Car carrier trucks make great ramps for some random mid-chase airtime
Tacked onto the groovy soundtrack and muscle cars are Challenges that can be unlocked and accessed at any one of the garages that you’ve acquired; these Challenges vary from time trials to races to movie-themed scenarios. Secret unlock for going 88 mph in a DeLorean DMC-12? Got it. Loose recreation of the Mustang Mach 1 scene from the original "Gone in 60 Seconds"? Yep. Car chase based on the legendary scene from "Bullitt"? I’m in heaven. Even the parking garage from the Driver training run is here, faithfully reconstructed all the way down to the laundry list of stunts that you once had to perform in order to start the campaign.
A one-minute clip of my time with the Mustang Mach 1
Okay, so it’s obvious that Reflections has a strong nostalgic streak...but what’s new in Driver: SF? Well, for starters: there are more vehicles to drive than in any previous title. It’s downright staggering the number of cars, trucks, and buses that you can unlock - all the way to nonsensical vehicles like front-end loaders and garbage trucks. Of course, your collection is limited to four wheels or more - you won’t see any motorcycles in this city.
Then there’s Shift, the big selling point that’s been pushed in all of the game’s press previews. Shift allows you to float out of your current driver, navigate the city at will, and overtake any other driver you wish. This makes for some really funny in-car conversations and adds to the game the unique aspect of being able to use oncoming traffic against anyone chasing you (or anyone you’re chasing). It seems a bit cheap, and to be honest it does remove a certain chunk of the game’s difficulty. As much as it can be a crutch, though, it’s also a boon for when you want to simply fly across the map to a nearby garage, mission, or side mission. Plus, it’s almost never required - it’s just another gameplay option.