Nevermind the bollocks here comes The Getaway, a phrase long forgotten and slightly altered by me for this review. Sure we all love British culture, you have no doubt found yourself trying on the accent for size and fit as much as the next person. Blimey mate, whot the fuck is this wanker doin’ ‘ere? Doesn’t it feel good? Sure it does, but culture and great presentation can only take you so far in this world. Game design, playability and fun factor must make their appearances in any game and unfortunately for The Getaway being fun is a rare occurrence. I take you deeper into the game than I probably should and let you know why this game is less like a great videogame and more like a fabulous idea for a movie.
London Bloody London..
First we will discuss the visuals, oooh pretty is what we will all say at first glance. The game is truly gorgeous, perfectly scaled city streets, landmarks, and buildings make up one of the sharpest looking PS2 games on the market. The car models are highly detailed sporting even some interior detail and the facial animations are damn near flawless. The problems arise with the “iffy” frame rate. The game can chug more often than not in intense sequences on the street or in closed quarters. Sure it doesn’t affect gameplay but it is noticeable for a game that was in development for three years. Next is the character animation, I have said over and over how I hate your character’s running animation. It looks like he needs to drop a load off anytime, I swear I laugh every time I see him run because it is so goofy. OK so perhaps that was nit picking but dammit I truly feel this game was a rushed effort to compete with GTA and not a game in development for so many years, otherwise would Sony truly allow three years for this mediocre title??
That’s A Pisser!
Well now that the visual aspect is out of the way how about the sound? Well to be honest this game is an audio delight, the voice overs are immaculate and the sound effects fantastic, you couldn’t ask for a better cast for the game’s characters. Using real actors/actresses to voice the parts is always a plus in my book. The accents make me feel like I am watching a sequel to Snatch, and the dialogue is perfectly blended into the truly engrossing storyline. The sound effects are spot on, glass breaking, gunshots blasting, and London cop cars going woo-oo woo-oo…err sorry ICP reference haha. The music is also a delight, mixing a solid 70’s score with some modern gangsta style anthems the game truly pleases in the sound department.
What About The Bloody Camera!
Well my friends this is where the game left me wanting more, then after disappointing me left me wanting less of this game. The control flat out sucks, there is no manual camera to be found which would have solved a lot of the game’s problems. I mean how hard is it to implement a camera system in the left analog stick? It would have done wonders for this title. The next problem is that the aiming system, while loads better than GTA, still leaves you wanting a crosshair or something to tell who the hell you’re aiming at. With the exclusion of health bars and a map navigation throughout the game is trial and error. You can guess how much health you have left and decide to heal yourself if you can find a place to lean up against the wall long enough, or you can chance it and have to start the entire mission all over again. Sure this adds realism but it takes away a key element, fun factor. Picking up health icons is what deciphers a videogame from a movie per say, that way you know you are going to live long enough to make it to the next checkpoint.
Navigating throughout London is fun for a while until you damage your car enough to break the turn signals. This keeps you from finding your destination as they are key to locating your missions. Without them you have no way of telling where you are, unless you live in London perhaps. This is a pain in the ass when attempting missions that require you to run from the police or mobsters because as soon as you leave the car they begin firing and almost instantly kill you. The frustration factor on this game is very high so unless you have tons of patience or a Gameshark you will be cursing this game more often than not.
God Save The Queen
So what does that leave us with? Well honestly this is a great movie, haha. The storyline will keep you playing for the most part or should I say suffering through the game. The missions are generally difficult, frustrating, and above all not very fun. The cut scenes are so well polished and presented you are dying to see the next one and the promise of a free roam mode sounds intriguing but to be honest the journey there is not worth the reward. Another game that will sell based on it’s likeness to another and will surely be argued across the net as being the GTA killer/underling. You decide but while you waste your breath defending or offending this game you could be playing something worthwhile. Not recommended.