Need to know – Driver: San Francisco

As it gears up for release, we’ve taken a closer look under the bonnet of the latest game in the Driver franchise

What is it?

It’s the latest game in the movie-inspired Driver series, which combines Crazy Taxi’s nosebleed-inducing thrills with Steve McQueen’s Bullitt and emerges with a plot that’s about as sensible as riding a pogo stick through a minefield. While blindfolded.

Sounds intriguing. What’s the story?

You play John Tanner – a cop whose nemesis leaves him in a coma after escaping captivity in an armoured police van. The events of the game take place from within this unconscious state, with Tanner able to ‘Shift’ Quantum Leap-style between vehicles and temporarily inhabit the characters driving them.

Ah, the cars. That’s what it’s all about, right?

It’s not called Driver for nothing. There are 120 fully licensed vehicles that, if you’re not careful, are also fully destructible. Extra attention has been paid to the in-car views, too, with Tanner’s hand reaching for the handbrake and palm steering when pulling off evasive manoeuvres.

What, like 45 degree hill starts?

Quite. Over 200 miles of San Francisco’s streets have been recreated, including trams to dodge and notable landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the super-twisty Lombard Street to watch out for. Some parts have been changed to make them more driveable but if you’re familiar with San Fran you’ll feel right at home.

What about when I’ve finished sightseeing?

Apart from the main missions there are one-off bonus tasks, 19 multiplayer modes and unlockable Movie challenges – set pieces inspired by some of Hollywood’s most famous car chases – which include authentic car choices and even a Grindhouse-style file grain effect on the screen.

And the vitals?

It’s out on September 2, 2011 for £40 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Icon – Swissvoice Epure

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