The Final Say!
The Getaway -
reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 22 December 2002
Review Score 8.4/10
Distributed By: Sony Computer Entertainment
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Based in and around the English underworld, The Getaway would have to be one of the most graphically impressive games that I have played.. ever. Don't confuse that with one of the best games I have ever played however as there is a distinct difference which I shall highlight after you read the features of this cool game.
The Getaway Features
- Players: 1
- Genre: Crime/Driving/Shooting
- Photo Realistic Graphics
- Cinematic Style and Narrative mixed with driving and on foot combat
- Possibly the largest environment ever seen in a video game –drive through 40sq Kilometres of the heart of London with realistic weather conditions
- Over 60 minutes of compelling narrative, delivered in a photo-realistic, cinematic style allowing for previously unseen levels of story-telling which will capture the gamer’s imagination and fully involve them in the story
- Two story threads – play as the victim, then play as the cop to get both sides of the story
- Special Bonus Game modes: explore London as a tourist, black taxi or mini-cab driver
- All vehicles of all types driveable and deformable
- Cast of 22 main characters, all with World-wide buy-out contracts
- Action includes hostage taking, execution and gunfights while defending a hostage
- 20 REAL interior locations
- Music soundtrack and follow up album available for all territories
- Seemless loading between exteriors and interiors and in car and on foot sections
- Analogue Control Compatible
- Vibration Control
- Rating: M15+
Hopefully as you were reading the features, you chanced to look at the screens that we've provided for you. The second one, the boring picture of a street? Well friends, that's ingame footage and furthermore, it's a street that you will be driving in or running about on. In fact, I'll go you one better; that's a real location in London, England, a fact that any Brit who knows the city will attest to.
The Getaway would have to be one of the most painstakingly detailed games I have seen and can fully understand why it arrived so late and was so over budget. Having made custom maps for Quake III (not very good ones mind you), I have an extremely basic understanding of mapping and applying custom textures and even with the experts making this game, it would have been a very laborious task indeed as the title covers 40 square kilometres of the interior of London.
Quite possibly one of the first things that will spring to mind with this game is how much it resembles the movies Snatch, or in particular Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, both of which cover the same ground as this game and the same locales. You play the part of Mark Hammond, a crim just out of the nick (jail) and making a new life with his wife and son. With his wife murdered on the streets and his son kidnapped, Mark has to get to the bottom of who is behind destroying his family before it is too late for his son.
A nice touch to the title is that there are actually two games with the second being played from the perspective of rogue, suspended cop Frank Carter. Both men are intent on bringing down the criminal empire of the protagonist, Charlie Jolson, the kingpin of the London Underworld.
The game plays in two main ways, driving and third person shooting. Driving is an absolute pleasure and every vehicle you encounter on the road can be utilised. Best part of all is that they all handle very differently as well. All cars take damage and show it, they also will slow down and do different things when beat up. An odd thing about the cars though is that you must have your indicators intact at all times as Team SoHo, the developers, have chosen to show the path to travel via these little blinking lights. So if you do lose the indicators you must get another vehicle.
The third person shooting is another beat altogether and is where the game lets us down fairly significantly compared to the sheer exhilaration of the the driving. I had no problem with general on foot controls however as soon as you started shooting, the inherent flaws in the game became apparent. Firstly our chief enemy is the in game camera, you have no control over it at all and there is nothing worse than being shot up and not even seeing who is doing it.
I didn't understand why there would be camera issues as the point of view during the car sequences is certainly up to par. It is an issue that you can certainly overcome however the casual gamer may not be as persevering and give up on it. Also, although you can pick up two guns and go guns akimbo, for some reason your character is incapable of moving or shooting with any real degree of accuracy.
Saves are conducted upon completion of a mission and sometimes these are fairly lengthy so be prepared to repeat a lot of stuff if you screw it up. The Getaway is very compelling though, so repeating play shouldn't cause too much heartache.
To sum it up I would have to say that The Getaway is well worth purchasing and totally worth the price of the purchase. Players will need to spend time getting used to the controls, especially on foot, however the end result is more than rewarding enough to detract from all that. This game truly is a masterpiece for the PS2!
- Tory Favro
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