Driver San Francisco - quick play preview

Over a decade in the making, the latest iteration of Driver sees it head over to San Francisco for some driving action, but can a "shift" in gameplay refresh the franchise? We went hands on at this year's E3 games convention in Los Angeles to find out.

Name

Driver - San Francisco

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Mac. There will be a different but similar title for the Nintendo Wii

When's it due out?

Q4 2010

What other game is it like?

Grand Theft Auto, Driver

Does it use any new tech like 3D, PlayStation Move, or Kinect for Xbox 360?

Nope

The pitch

The first iteration of the blockbuster franchise on current generation platforms and extends the cinematic car chase experience with a groundbreaking new gameplay feature called "shift". Players can now seamlessly "shift" between well over a hundred licensed vehicles, keeping them constantly in the heart of the action.

The storyline

Gamers will play as Detective John Tanner on a relentless manhunt for crime lord Charles Jericho through the hills of the City by the Bay.

Our first impressions

Another one that you had to be on a list to see, and guess what, we were. Heavily influenced by classic seventies thrillers, it’s another free-roaming game with the emphasis on cars, chases and stunts, but this one has a new trick up its sleeve.

Apparently, the hard-bitten cop hero starts the game in a coma, and while this would normally preclude a career in busting criminals, this time it has the opposite effect.

Our hero finds himself able to beam his consciousness into the minds of any driver in the vicinity, meaning players can hop from car to car using a range of overhead and – eventually – city-wide maps.

In practice this is a brilliant twist, especially in the game’s exciting multiplayer mode. One of the surprises of the show.

Please note

The E3 games convention is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year, as well as, letting us get a glimpse into what is going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there.

So with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming on just 15 minutes of play? However it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion, of what to expect come launch day.



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