Driver: San Francisco changes things up with Shift

driver san francisco changes things up with shiftLast month at E3 one of the first things that really took us by surprise was the sheer volume of racing games that were coming out. Forza 4, Need for Speed, Ridge Racer and more were waiting to display themselves around every corner, and they all had something specific going for them, some gimmick or catch that set them apart. But of them all, Driver: San Francisco was our favorite and the winner of our Best of E3 Driving Game Award. The main reason for that was the “shift” mechanic.

Driver: San Francisco is a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is a racing and driving game, not a simulator, so it is not constrained by the same rules that more realistic titles are. And that is where shift comes in.

The shift mechanic is an integral part of the game, and one that you will need to quickly become acquainted with in order to succeed. When you are in one car, either in a mission or just driving around, you can lift yourself up and look at the map, then use shift to jump into any other car you see.  For example, if you are in a mission where you need to stop a fast car, you can shift into a faster car to peruse, or even shift into oncoming traffic to cause a head-on collision. If you have time, you could even cause multiple wrecks in order to form a road block of destruction.

As you progress through the game, you will earn more shift powers through completing objectives and pulling off memorable driving moves. In that, the shift meter is a de facto experience gage, and you will need to earn upgrades for it.

It is also a major part of the multiplayer experience, and one of the best competitive games Driver: SF has is a tag-based game where the person that is “it” will be on the run, as the other drivers continually shift into nearby cars to try and strike the target car and become “it” themselves. It was frantic, slightly insane and one of the most fun original multiplayer experiences at E3.

Check out the video from developer Ubisoft Reflections discussing the shift mechanic, and look for Driver: San Francisco on Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii on August 30.

Product Review

Get crafty as you scavenge your way through Far Cry New Dawn's wasteland

Far Cry New Dawn is more of an extension of Far Cry 5 than a full blown sequel. Its focus on crafting and building up the world makes it a great open world shooter and an overall rewarding experience.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?