March 14, 2016
I recently bought Driver San Francisco on the PSN store.
I had already played the game on the Xbox 360, so, as its price hit 2,99 euro, it was a no brainer.
The game is one of the sequels of the original Driver that came out in 1999 for the Playstation. The first game of the series was like a 3D version of Grand Theft Auto (minus the occasional smeared blood all over the road), way before GTA 3 saw the light of day. You played as John Tanner, an ex racing driver turned undercover cop, trying to infiltrate organized crime syndicates.
Driver San Francisco features the same protagonist although it is very different from the first chapter of the series. Still, it is a great arcade driving game with a premise that truly gave the people of Reflections full artistic freedom: it takes place, almost entirely, in a dream.
The game features many real-life, officially-licensed cars that the player can acquire by gathering “Will Power”. Rather early in the game, you unlock one of the most iconic cars in automotive history, the DeLorean DMC-12, most widely known as the time machine from Back to the Future.
What would you do if you ever got behind the wheel of a virtual DeLorean?
For me, it was clear: get it to 88 miles per hour.
To my great surprise, as soon as the car hit 88, the screen blurred and a new challenge was unlocked, called “A blast from the past”. The reference to Back to the Future was obvious, but what was even better was the challenge itself: it was a remake of the first mission from the original Driver, a test performed in a garage that, once completed, landed you your first job in crime.
I had spent hours on that mission back in ’99; I still remembered the routine I followed to complete all the required stunts, so, beating the challenge now was a breeze. Upon completion, I was awarded a PSN trophy. Its name was “Fan Service”.
“How appropriate”, I thought. That’s exactly what this was: amazing fan service.