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Driver: San Francisco is out today in the UK, allowing gamers across the nation to leap into the bodies of random road-users across a gorgeous, sun-drenched San Francisco. Not that you'd know that from the actual launch trailer, which makes precisely 0.1 references to it during its 80 seconds. As in, it looks like Tanner has a headache. Well, come watch the trailer, then let me tell you why you should be giving this game a chance.
The game's bizarre bodyswapping mechanic has been shown in previous trailers, certainly, but it's such a large part of the game, it really should be given top billing on launch day. It arises when Tanner fails to realise he's in a coma and so continues to live his life inside his head, meaning anything is possible.
But not only does that make for interesting quick-swap gameplay that allows you to affect the world around you before jumping back into your actual body and continuing at speed, it also works as a mission structure - letting you soar above the city streets looking for icons denoting game types like stunt or chase. Then you swoop down into the body of the driver in that car and away you go. It makes Burnout Paradise's free-roam mission structure look archaic in comparison.
It works really, really well from what I've played so far. The demo didn't let you use the bodyswap mechanic as a mission select, so how are gamers supposed to know? Presumably it's too wacky a concept to convey in the 80 seconds of the launch trailer, but videos can be made longer.
Our review is coming soon so feel free to hold off until the official verdict comes in (always wise), but don't let it pass you by completely. It's much more than it's letting on.
02 Sep, 2011