YMMV / Driver: San Francisco

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A driving game in a previously-realistic series with a Magic Realism Body Surfing element that's actually still realistic because they're Adventures in Comaland. Many previews or reviews opened with a brief discussion of how odd this mix was.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The menu theme which is a remix of the original Driver theme, as well as the menu theme's remix that plays once later in the game around chapter three, which also plays during the climax against Jericho.
    • "Eye for an Eye" by U.N.K.L.E. also counts, considering it plays during the final chase in reality, no boosting, ramming or shifting, just relying on your skills of the wheelman.
    • The game's soundtrack includes the Diplo remix of the classic "California Soul" by Marlena Shaw and three songs by The Heavy, including their ubiquitous "How You Like Me Now?".
  • Genius Bonus: A very minor one but one of the armored trucks has the imprint of "Au Security" on it. Anyone who understands basic chemistry would know that Au is the chemical symbol of gold. Obviously something you'd keep in an armored truck.
  • Growing the Beard: This entry in the Driver series loses the Grand Theft Auto clone status given by the third game and Parallel Lines (although it was hailed as one of the first free roaming non-racing driving games in the fifth generation of videogames), established by a couple of preceding installments. It focuses solely on the driving aspect, like the first entry in the series, while the elaborate story and Shift mechanic make it stand out among other driving games.
  • Most Annoying Sound: With some passengers, Tanner doesn't respond to them. Most of their reactions to his driving are often fairly generic and forgettable, which makes them grating next to the other, more colorful passengers.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The part where Tanner finally realizes that most of the game's actually been All Just a Dream. The clear and sunny sky suddenly darkens out of nowhere, everyone but Tanner suddenly vanishes entirely, and then your only real hint as to what's going on is the phrase "ESCAPE THE NIGHTMARE" — yikes. And after all of that, Jericho suddenly starts sending a whole bunch of Implacable Man trucks after you...
    • It doesn't help that the mission starts with Tanner and Jones responding to a call of an officer critically wounded at Bryant Street and Jones mentions being en route to a collision before acting as if he never said that, it seems like an odd, slower mission before the game nails you with a Jump Scare of a truck horn followed by a crashing noise (not helped by the treble of the radio) then dispatch assuring John that everything is going to be alright. It really shows how much the reality of Tanner's coma is falling apart.
  • That One Level: There is one story mission at the end of the fourth chapter where in one part you have to drive from point A to point B. There are two major problems: The distance is insane, and worst of all, your enemy for this mission can also shift, i.e., he can hijack any car and ram it to your car to wreck it. Oh, and the nearer you are to the destination, the higher the chance that your enemy will hijack multiple cars at once. It gets worse later when this sort of mission is repeated.
    • Another mission involved having to return four stolen vintage cars that were to be sold at an auction. The first two, a RUF CTR and a Lancia Stratos, aren't so bad, until you shift into a Lamborghini Jalpa which is severely beaten up by the person who stole it and any high speed crash will total it in one hit, while another involves an Aston Martin DB5 about to be traded off until you start running, causing the gang to chase after you. You're on strict time limit and you have to do all of the tasks over again if the time runs out or a car is totaled. The best idea is to do the DB5 first, the Jalpa second then the Stratos or CTR can be done in any order. Unlike the prior example, the only other time you would need to do this is during the challenge Special Delivery, although in that challenge, none of the cars start damaged, yet the final one is similar to the DB5 part of the mission.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This game has really good-looking cinematic cutscenes. Seriously, where did Reflections get the CGI from? While there is a noticeable difference between the pre-rendered scenes and scenes rendered in the game itself, they still look good together and the character models sit well on the peak beyond Uncanny Valley.