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Driver: San Francisco Review

Melee attacks with a car have never been so improbable

After the fun but disappointingly short Driver: Renegade on 3DS, here comes the Wii version to show how it's supposed to be done. Sort of. There's undeniably a lot more to do in Driver: San Francisco, but there are still a couple of niggles.

First and foremost is the control system, which uses the Remote and Nunchuk. Oddly, acceleration and braking are controlled with the Z and C buttons on the Nunchuk, with the stick used to steer. This has you playing with your hand in a claw shape that gets painful after a while.

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Then there's the game's over-reliance on the bizarre melee attacks, which involve attacking criminals' cars with your own car by thrusting it forward or slamming it sideways, both impossible in a real car.

We can live with things being unrealistic, but what really bothers us is awkward motion controls which see you flicking the Remote differently depending on the attack you want. These gestures aren't detected too well, and as a result you'll often find yourself trying to slam into an opponent at your side but instead ploughing head-on into a wall. Why not just let us damage cars by just driving into them?

Driving The Point Home

These annoyances aside, what remains is actually a tidy little car-chase game. Its free-roaming nature lets you just drive around wherever you want, getting into scrapes with police and chasing the hoodlums who speed past you.

Everything positive you do earns you XP, which can be used to upgrade your abilities. When you then decide you want to continue the story and take on the next mission, you simply need to drive to the green icon on your map.

Each mission also has a medal system as well as three achievements to complete which also give you bonus XP. It's all one big step up from the 3DS version's measly two-hour story mode.

There's also a decent selection of multiplayer modes for up to four players. They're good fun, but the framerate and graphical quality suffer.

Driver: San Francisco is easily the better of the two Driver games on Nintendo systems, but it's not perfect. The control system will start to give you cramp after half an hour, and melee attacks can ruin the fun sometimes - this aside, it's pretty competent effort.

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  1. retrotoad Friday 2nd Sep 2011 at 14:51

    Looks like decent fun, just wish the 3DS version was more similar to this.

  2. emperor ing Friday 2nd Sep 2011 at 20:38

    Sounds like a decent effort from Reflections, who have had a rough time recently and could do with a boost.

  3. imbusydoctorwho Friday 2nd Sep 2011 at 21:25

    Might pick this up,Tesco sells it.but don't know how much.
    Might just go for it.

  4. NintyFan90 Monday 12th Sep 2011 at 20:14

    This latest game from the Driver series looks promising :) I was watching some gameplay videos on Youtube. The funny thing is, I still never got around to completing Driver 1 & 2 when I was about 12. I could never get past the car park interview (Driver 1) or the final mission in Chicago (Driver 2). Once I get around to playing those games again, I may have to buy this game 8)

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