Finished Driver? Impressions? (SPOILERS)

#1 Posted by Ethan_Raiden (342 posts) -

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.

#2 Posted by Thalamus42 (7 posts) -
@Ethan_Raiden said: 
 
Generally I totally agree with you, D:SF certainly is a big huge surprise in how good it really is.  After all, it's a Driver game, right? Those haven't been worth anybody's attention since, well, erm, since the original Driver, really.
This one beats Driver easily, I dare say. It combines everything that made Driver good with a big open world (which looks beautiful) and adds a unique twist. Like Driver 1, it oozes with perfectly executed and deliberately cheesy 70s tv shows style. And this one has some WTF?! moments and a couple of great missions which make good use of the unique shifting mechanic. I recognize it is not the most original and innovative game ever, but comes up with a really unique core concept which, combined with the vast cityscape to play in, gives you *many* options to complete missions. 

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.
 
My sentiments. Until I finished one of the sidemission with unlocked a Delorean DMC-12 to buy. I bought it, took a ride and hit the 88mph mark. Unlocked a special challenge. No spoilers, only to say that I deeply fell in love with the game this very moment. :D
#3 Posted by Madz (64 posts) -

Driver has NEVER been my cup of tea, to me it always felt like it was some sort of simulation game to people that really love and know how to control cars so I was planning on skipping this game entirely, however, when I saw the Quick Look and saw not only the history but how the characters were "designed" how they reacted to stuff and etc I fell in love with it.

Driver: SF is a hell of a racing game, it's definetly up there with the early NFSs. The mechanics are simple and enjoyable, it feels good to pull off a huge drift without fishtailing into oblivion, making your way into trafic without crashing head on, etc, it's all satisfactory.

I'd say the strong suit of this game is not even the story, it's the dialogue, how your passenger and Tanner reacts when you crash or pull off a nice drift, how Tanner admits to be fucking up if you start crashing too much, how he reacts when he's on other people's body talking to them about their issues. Driver: SF is the same as having Deadly Premonition with good gameplay AND a fun, dynamic mechanic to play around, which, amazingly doesn't get tiring to use as the game progresses thanks to all the crazy variations the main story throws at you, like the mission where you chase yourself and the nightmares.

This game will definetly be at least Top 5 this year and I'd wager any money that the guys on Giant Bomb will award it at least one game of the year prize.

And goddamn, that ending where you dodge flying cars and then starts throwing them out yourself. I really hope other games take cues from this.

#4 Posted by Zaccheus (1795 posts) -

I haven't played a Driver game since the first one and am not a big driving game guy in general, but I really enjoyed this. I'd like to see a lot more driving games with a story. It started to get a bit boring at some points when the missions were a bit too similar but it always managed to surprise you. The phasing is actually pretty good and the highlight of the game is definitely all the crazy stuff like chasing the ambulance, driving in the empty city, dozen Jericho's chasing you and of course the crazy amazing end game with cars flying everywhere. All the story bits from the side missions are also pretty good and you can even get some laughs out of the few lines that are said when you jump in a random car. This game is probably the biggest surprise of the year for me.

#5 Posted by bybeach (4848 posts) -

This must have been a pretty cool game in some ways. I wasn't interested, but I'm glad it has fans.

#6 Posted by Jamsque (53 posts) -

One of my favourite games of 2011, out of absolutely nowhere. I rented it on a whim and the story blew me away.

#7 Posted by Vrikk (904 posts) -

Underrated Game of the Year. Easily.

Such a good, good game. Great presentation, good humor, and the pacing is great. The best part is that the story is insane but they know it and they handle it well.

#8 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

I never played a racing game except for Mario Kart (lol), but reading some of the commentary here, I'm pretty interested. I watched a gameplay video on YouTube where you had to scare your driving instructor by going fast and almost hit other cars... seemed pretty fun. I also like the idea of an open-world and side-missions, collecting cars, etc. So even if there aren't any real rpg-elements, I might enjoy this game :]

#9 Posted by mikeerik (9 posts) -

It's cool because it goes back to the original game's feel of car chases and 70's films rather than Driver 3 which was trying to be a GTA clone.

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