I was looking forward to Driver, not because of any press or trailers that have been released but because I'm a huge fan of the series, despite the other games having flaws I love the style of a 60's style cop chase game. I just finished San Fransisco and I am very impressed by the game, it was a huge suprise. I was sceptical of the whole shifting into different cars mechanic, but they fit it into the game well and it was really easy to pull off and fun to use. I like the atmosphese of the dream world and it does get very creepy as the real world starts leaking into the game world, with the bilboards giving tanner personal messages in the dream world, the beeping of the life support system when you're looking at the map overview.
It never gets stale either, every chapter of the game introduces something new. One car chase mid way through the game (before you've unlocked the entire map) has you chasing a target that leaves the area of the map that you've unlocked, meaning that Tanner isn't able to progress, the self apparent game nature of the dream world is sometimes mind blowing. One of the final chapters have you and your target throwing cars at each other while barreling down a freeway, it's very cool and parts of it are really remeniscant of the Matrix Reloaded freeway scene. The end of the game really blew me away, when driving down the Golden Gate bridge seeing the massive explosion far off into the distance, and driving full speed into the city as your few gets more obscured as you head into the dust cloud.
I can't praise the story and the atmoshphere of the game enough, with the weather shifting from dream world into the nightmare world it sets up a very strong emotional link. The soundtrack is phenominal with a good mix of new drive time songs such as the Queens of the Stone Age, and older jazzier songs from the 70's that fit right into the car chases sequences. The graphics aren't amazing, but they don't draw attention to themself as being bad so you're never felt uneasy with how the game looks or runs when you're in the city. It all feel svery alive, freeways are full, city streets are full of civilians. There are a 150 vechicles in the game, with a mix of small cars, super cars, SUV's, busses, trucks. Everything seems in place, and there's no obvious repitition of the same cars when you're driving around.
There are things that I'm not too keen on in the game, there are a lot of side quests, which you do to earn currency to unlock vehicles, but with the ability to shift there's not much reason to buy cars, unless there are some there that you'd really love to own. While the city is full of side missions and there are a good range of them so they don't get stale, I found them to be pretty redundent around half way through the game, as the story line was s engaging and I didn't really find a need to do the side missions.
I could go on and on, but they're some of my impressions of the game, I'd love to know what you guys thought about it.