Driver: San Francisco is out today, Ubisoft‘s latest entry in the long-running arcade-style street racing series. It’s actually a very strong game in a lot of different ways, though an exceedingly bizarre one in terms of the story. Driver: SF is also notably the first Ubi title to require a Uplay Passport redemption code for online play, though the initiative didn’t exactly go according to plan as Driver arrives in stores.
There’s apparently been a printing error with some copies of the game — I think I can confirm this, as my review copy seems to be missing a character from the redemption code — spurring Ubisoft to open the Uplay gates to one and all by making the Passport for this particular game free (via Destructoid). Normally, the code would be required to access the associated game’s online play, the latest example of an industry-wide effort to maintain a flow of income from older games as they proliferate in the used games market.
The latest Driver goes back to the car-focused basics that lie at the heart of the series, only there’s a twist in San Francisco. Series protagonist John Tanner ends up in a coma in the first hour of the game, giving way to the key mechanic of shifting. Tanner can essentially go out of body, inhabiting the driver of any vehicle that happens to be roaming through the streets of the city. It lends an unusual twist to some of the more standard racing game-type challenges and offers a completely new way of interacting with an open world environment. Look for Ryan’s full review soon.