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Driver: San Francisco (PS3/360)

Written by funkyellowmonkey (GP) on . Posted in Video Games

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After the awesome PS1 series which spawned many a clones, the Driver series kinder went downhill, with iteration after iteration the series wasn't really selling as well as it should or indeed could of. Versions of the title appeared pretty much on every format that the publisher (defunct Atari) could sell the franchise on, from handheld to mobile phones.

The franchise is now in the hands of Assassins Creed publisher Ubisoft. A new and bold direction for the franchise has taken place with new graphics and animation system along with it's well established vehicle controls and physics.

With the earlier series on PS1, the sequel Driver 2 reached the limits of the system which affected the frame rate and dampened the gameplay somewhat. The frame rate of the game that followed on other systems was good but the best has to be the current version, as it runs a blistering 60fps without any hitches, most impressive coupled with the fact that many effects and things happening onscreen at any given time.

The game really captures that cinematic feel well as you play and watch the replays over and over again. Steve McQueen would be most proud of the title as the car chases from infamous movie Bullitt are replicated perfectly.

Best of all though is the most welcome return of Director mode, after a mission is complete you can view your antics in a replay over a number of gloriously placed camera angles. You can edit the replay as you see fit. You'll even be able to save your masterpiece and upload it online for all to see.

As the story goes, good cop Tanner leads the game in his usual affair, but with a new twist - after an vehicle incident which left him in a comatose state, he now has the ability to 'shift'  into another drivers body, sounds pretty far fetched right? Yes, but it works and is hella fun. You see, his new found ability integrates into the missions perfectly - one moment he shifts and possesses a bad guy to enable him to eavesdrop on their plans, the next moment he shifts into a good guy in order to take the bad guys out. Diversity in the missions are in abundance which makes the title so fun to play.

There's plenty of story missions as well as intensely fun online modes to keep you going for a while. If you've been a fan of the earlier Driver franchise and hesitated to look into this, hesitate no further and get this game right away, for non-fans of the series, get it as well as it's a great game in every department, you will not be disappointed!...

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9/10

Pros
+ Great vehicle handling and impressive city engine
+ Fast and smooth gameplay
+ Lots of events and challenges
+ Many online modes
+ Awesome Director mode and uploadable replays
+ The best in the Driver series thus far

Cons
- Some missions can be abit unforgiving

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