Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android

Driver: San Francisco  

Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco

1:00 PM on 07.14.2011
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo

I've played every Driver game since the original yet I've never actually beaten any of them. I stopped playing each one shortly after the beginning levels because the series seemed to always end up competing with my preferred choice in vehicle carnage, the Grand Theft Auto series. Except the original Driver. I stopped playing that because I couldn't even complete the horrible tutorial stage.

So needless to say, I've been interested in Driver: San Francisco since it was announced if only to keep up the tradition of saying I've played every Driver game ever made. Now I have no idea if I'll end up abandoning the single-player once again since I haven't gotten hands-on that yet, but I do know that I will play the every living hell out of the multiplayer.

Driver: San Francisco (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Developer: Ubisoft Reflections
Publisher: Ubisoft
To be released: August 30, 2011

What's got me so excited for Driver: San Francisco's multiplayer? Well as Tony Ponce put it when he saw Driver at E3, it's the whole Matrix-like abilities you're given. In most of the multiplayer modes, you're able to shift out of the car you're in and take over any other car you see. It's basically like the car chase scene in Matrix: Reloaded, where the Agents are taking over vehicles in order to run down Morpheus and Trinity. Also, I can't believe I just made a Matrix reference in 2011.

Shifting out of your vehicle is essential in Tag mode, where players need to be tagged it the longest in order to win. Four players will start out all next to each other with one randomly tagged it. In order to become it, you just need to smash your ride into the person that is it. Once it, you can't Shift out of the vehicle so you have avoid everyone else until you've reached the required points to win.

It's very easy to get behind other players in the hecticness of a chase, especially if you mess up by spinning out of control or hitting another car, for example. It's going to be next to impossible to catch-up, so that's where Shifting comes in. With the simple press of a button, you're taken out of your vehicle and can see the entire city of San Francisco high up in the sky or right down on street level. You can move your cursor anywhere on the map and hi-jack any vehicle that's not controlled by another player.

You'll want to use some strategy when you're picking a car. Do you want to pick a car that's oncoming towards your target or maybe jack a car that's about to get passed up by the tagged player? It's not going to be as simple as you think. I mean, the logical choice to me during my hands-on was to stick with oncoming cars but there were plenty of times I missed just by a fraction of a second. It's just a matter of timing and a little bit of luck.

Picking cars is also a matter of strategy as there are are over 125 of them, ranging from sports cars to big, slow trucks. As for how the cars felt, it was a little like a cross between simulation and arcade style. The learning curve on the vehicle handling is a bit hard at first, but I got it pretty down after the fifth match or so.

There are actually over 10 multiplayer modes, ranging for four to eight players in free-for-all games or team games. One of the team games is called Cops & Robbers, where one person is the robber and three others are the cops. The goal of the robber is to hit four drop-off points on the map and the cops need to ram the robber's car until it's completely busted up before it can hit all four locations. The robber is restricted to one vehicle while the cops can Shift into any car they want.

In another free-for-all mode called Trail Blazers, the computer AI is racing around and leaving an energy trail. Players need to get behind the AI car and suck up enough of the energy trail in order to win. Everyone can Shift in this mode and you'll be doing a lot of Shifting as players will be knocking into each other quite a lot in order to get a piece of the energy trail.

As for the other modes, expect things like Capture the Flag, standard racing and even a type of base defense mode. All the modes will take place in the more or less open world of the "ideal" version of San Francisco. So the city is designed to handle the modern age, as opposed to what it's really like where it feels like you're in the middle of a Twisted Metal match or something. The streets are all filled with people too, but you can't run anyone over.

If I had one complaint, it was that the cursor you use to select cars when Shifting needs to be more precise. More than once I tried to select a car only to end up in another car that was right next to my intended target. It's quick to Shift right out, but does cost you some time.

All in all, Driver: San Francisco's multiplayer was a ton of fun. I really hope Ubisoft puts out a demo of the Tag mode online before release. I was skeptical when I read previews of this mode beforehand, but you really need to try it for yourself to really understand it.

Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo
Playing tag in Driver: San Francisco photo

Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*]   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.

timeline following:
Driver: San Francisco

3:00 PM on 08.18.2012
Storm's Adventure with Driver: San Francisco

There it was, on the OnLive console, just calling me. "Please, somebody buy me!" And so I went for it. UPDATE: OnLive is dead. Damn... There is really no reason for me to play this game, other than compare it to a city ...more

5:00 PM on 10.05.2011
Review: Driver: San Francisco

Driver has been around for a long time, despite never really enjoying the kind of mainstream success that other open-world games such as Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto have. Of course, it doesn't help that the series has had...more

12:00 PM on 09.06.2011
Error results in free Uplay Pass content for Driver: SF

Driver: San Francisco was going to be the first Ubisoft game to make use of the company's new Uplay Passport, however, there's been a printing error on the inserts in some North American copies of the game. As a result, the U...more

1:00 AM on 09.02.2011
Driver: San Francisco has a pretty intense launch trailer

Flipping vehicles, police car sirens blaring, blockades being destroyed, epic background music and one-liners. There's also some cutscenes peppered in there for good measure. Yup, everything is here for a successful launch t...more

8:00 PM on 08.29.2011
Driver: San Francisco gets a music video by Yelawolf

Wait, what the f*ck is a Yelawolf? ... Ok, it seems Yelawolf is a white rapper from Alabama who is on the verge of releasing his first major-label produced album. This is quite different from my initial assumption that he wa...more

8:30 PM on 08.18.2011
Ubisoft lightens up the DRM in Driver: San Francisco

A few weeks ago, Ubisoft announced that Driver: San Francisco would need a constant connection to the internet to be playable. This resulted in quite a few PC players to be pretty upset, to say the least. But I bring good new...more

3:00 AM on 08.18.2011
A slew of Driver: San Francisco screens to salivate over

Ubisoft was kind enough to release a pile of screenshots today for the not-far-off Driver: San Francisco. The gallery includes a selection licensed cars, running from the police and other shenanigans. Launch the gallery below...more

10:45 AM on 08.11.2011
Driver: San Francisco PC delayed, Mac still in the works

Not only will PC gamers not be getting a demo for Driver: San Francisco, but the game has been slightly delayed, as well. Publisher Ubisoft tells Blue's News that the out-of-body racing experience will be released on Septembe...more

5:00 AM on 08.10.2011
Driver demos hit XBL and PSN, no demo for PC

Two new demos of Driver: San Francisco are heading to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network soon. A single-player demo launched yesterday and a multiplayer demo is expected to arrive next Tuesday. While you wait for the latte...more

5:00 AM on 08.05.2011
Driver: San Francisco trailer shows off multiplayer fun

Here is a new Driver: San Francisco trailer which highlights three of the 11 online multiplayer modes: Tag, Shift Racing and Takedown. Tag is pretty much what it sounds like (if you're "it" then hit someone else and they're...more

Racing games

8:00 AM on 04.15.2015
Mario Kart 8 gets 8 new tracks: Baby Park, Animal Crossing, and more

Nintendo detailed its DLC Pack 2 for Mario Kart 8 during a recent Nintendo Direct. The 200cc races are coming free for all, but you gotta pay if you want to play (the 8 new tracks). The Animal Crossing: New Leaf track is lov...more

3:30 PM on 04.10.2015
Friendly reminder: Last day to get the free Forza Horizon Fast & Furious game

Two weeks has already come and gone, meaning that today, April 10, is the last day you can pick up the free Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious title for both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Beginning tomorrow, it jumps t...more

5:30 PM on 04.08.2015
Mario Kart 8's 200cc class put to the test on Piranha Plant Pipeway

We're about two weeks out from Nintendo adding the speedy new 200cc class to Mario Kart 8. After watching a few of these side-by-side comparison videos between 200cc and 150cc, it already feels like I'm growing accustomed to...more

View all Racing games

Back to Top

All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more