Is a Inception of possibilities to the sandbox genre
Before GTA and The Fast and the Furious there was Driver, a open world franchise were a cop tried to stop crime with vandalism and reckless driving, and it was good. But Tanner and Reflections could not compete with the young franchises of drivers so Driver as a franchise was in a creative coma.
How can you fight with a franchise that did everything that you did first better? Well, just being yourself, a 80's or 70's buddy cop television series with a sudden magical realist season. Why be Grimm and Gritty as GTAIV or irreverent and offensive as Saints Row when you can say "remember how good is to be a entertainment product about a retro cop that survives car accidents in daily basis"?
Driver SF has is own voice, maybe is not Oscar or Adult Swim Worthy, but is cool to remember that you can told a good story with creative freedoms that only video games can accomplish and get lost in a affectionate satire of San Francisco without be cynic or vulgar.
Maybe fighting crime with cars is not the best idea, maybe helping people with inane but funny life changing events is not life changing or keep helping a jerkish boy to not get killed in car races is not a sign of wisdom. But anyway, is just a coma induced game. Enjoy the ride.