It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally less than a week away from the release of Driver: San Francisco, Ubisoft’s update of the car-chase classic. Offering players one last look at the game before it winds up on store shelves, Ubisoft today released the Driver: San Francisco launch trailer. Though it may be short on in-game footage, the trailer more than delivers on building anticipation for what must be the most unique driving game of the Fall.

The launch trailer offers a good look at the game’s gorgeous cinematics, and subtly sets up the clever SHIFT mechanic (see it in action in these previous trailers) that allows protagonist John Tanner to jump between multiple vehicles. Jammed with spectacular automotive action, and saturated with 70s style, check out the Driver: San Francisco launch trailer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z8bvStdl0c

As with the Comeback trailer released last April, the Driver: San Francisco launch trailer demonstrates a level of care and craft — at least in its cinematics — that players may not have expected to be lavished on such a tarnished property. Unlike other recent reboots that ended up leaving gamers cold (Duke Nukem Forever, anyone?), Driver: San Francisco looks like it might actually live up to expectations.

The game’s original teaser trailer, a live action re-creation of the opening cinema from the very first Driver, suggested that Ubisoft Reflections were looking to the first game for inspiration. The inclusion of a Film Director replay mode in San Francisco, which allows players to edit and share replays online, drives the point home. It was one of the most fun aspects of the original game — let’s hope it’s just as fun today.

Rounding out the package, Driver: San Francisco includes over 200 miles of road, more than 120 licensed cars, and 19 multiplayer modes. There are even unlockable challenge missions that recreate scenes from classic films.

The holiday season is rarely short on driving games. The competition is as tough as ever this Fall, with the Frostbite 2.0 powered Need for Speed The Run and the eye-searingly stunning FORZA Motorsport 4 leading the pack. Can Driver: San Francisco compete, and regain it’s footing as a triple-A franchise? Will  you be joining the chase?

Driver: San Francisco releases September 6, 2011, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and Mac.

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