Driver: San Francisco E3 Preview
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 4th Aug 2011
Driver: San Francisco is the upcoming racing-centric action-adventure RPG from the studio Ubisoft Reflections published by Ubisoft with a core version for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC, and an alternative version for Apple's Mac OSX and Wii. A portable version of the game has been announced for Nintendo's 3DS that consists of a stripped-down and heavily revised story absent many of the optional elements of the core version of the game. Originally planned for a release date of August 30th, 2011, the date was pushed back to the 6th of September 2011 in North America, and September 2nd in Europe and the rest of the world.
D:SF consists of a sandbox-style world in which the story from the previous title -- Driv3r -- sort of continues here, some three months after the end of the previous game. The reason that we qualified that with the declaration "sort of" is because while the beginning of the game consists of a continuation of the previous story line, an event takes place that clearly separates it from that path early on -- the details of which will soon become very apparent.
-- The Anti-Hero and the Hero --
The first important bit of information that is communicated in the official trailer and the intro CS for the game is the fact that Jericho and Tanner somehow managed to survive the massive shootout in Istanbul that served as the explosive conclusion in Driv3r, with Jericho eventually retreating to San Francisco to recover from his wounds, and Tanner eventually pursuing him there.
Much of this information as well as hints at the plot for D:SF are revealed in the official game trailer which introduces it to the gaming public. One crucial element that is not revealed is the format for the game, which takes the form of an anti-game in that the events of Driver: San Francisco actually take place in the subconscious imagination of Tanner, who begins the game as a patient in the critical care ward of a local hospital, where he is trapped within his comatose body, and where we take part in an intense anxiety fueled adventure that is presumed to be a product of his fever-addled hallucinations.
The contents of this sequel have been largely treated as an open-book by the dev team, mostly we suspect to avoid the heated backlash of the sort that resulted from the big revelation at the end of the TV series Dallas when the events in all of the episodes of the previous year that began with the assassination of J.R. Ewing ended with the revelation that it was all a dream.
The use of that old and worn literary trick generally result in one of two reactions from the audience -- amused but grudging acceptance, or annoyed anger. By staging the events of the game in as a product of Tanner's imagination the development team for D:SF leave open the possibilities for the actual sequel to Driv3r that should follow D:SF some time in 2013, so for now we will just have to be happy with this ersatz adventure of the subconscious.
Before you sit down and fire off an angry email telling us how we ruined the plot or sub-plot of the game for you, in our defense it should be pointed out that the information we impart above is not actually considered a spoiler -- most of the mainstream coverage of the game treats that information as a commonly known and intentionally shared part of the official presentation of the game.
For the record the sequel begins with Jericho in the back of a prison truck -- either on his way to court or on his way to prison -- when he executes an escape plan that makes use of a vial of acid that he has concealed in his mouth. It is implied that he obtained the vial from a corrupt transport guard, and after he uses it to release himself, he overpowers the other guards and hijacks the truck.
Fortunately -- or unfortunately depending upon how you look at it -- both Tanner and Tobias witness most of the events of his escape, and subsequently end up pursuing Jericho as he intentionally causes distractions and mayhem in the streets of San Francisco, and somehow Tanner ends up standing in front of Jericho in an alleyway, where he is pushed in front of a fast-moving truck. In a battle between Tanner and a commercial semi-truck the truck is going to win of course, and the result of this one is that Tanner receives serious nearly-fatal injuries that include a brain injury that puts him into a coma.
This is where the adventure of Driver: San Francisco officially begins...