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The Getaway (PlayStation 2) artwork

The Getaway (PlayStation 2) review


"Have you ever fancied visiting England's vibrant and exciting capital city London, but you just can't afford the ticket? Ever wanted to drive around London shooting gangsters, but don't want to spend anytime at Her Majesty's Pleasure? Ever wanted to be a corrupt police officer trying to rid the streets of London of crime? "



Have you ever fancied visiting England's vibrant and exciting capital city London, but you just can't afford the ticket? Ever wanted to drive around London shooting gangsters, but don't want to spend anytime at Her Majesty's Pleasure? Ever wanted to be a corrupt police officer trying to rid the streets of London of crime?

Well if you've answered yes to any of the above then Team Soho's five-year project The Getaway, is the game for you. Within seconds of inserting the disc into the PS2 your whisked into a world of crime and underhand activities all set in the beautiful surroundings of Central London.

The central character in The Getaway is Mark Hammond, a former gangster who's recently been released from prison and is trying to make an honest living for himself, and his family by running a nightclub (is there such a thing?) Unfortunately though for Mr Hammond one of London's most notorious gangsters, Charlie Jolson, wants the ex-con to run a few errands for him. But rather than ask politely (gangsters never did seem to be up on etiquette) Mr Jolson kills Hammond’s wife, kidnaps his child and then gives him the ultimatum of either working for him or never seeing his son again. Obviously a father's got to do what a father's got to do, so the next 12 missions are spent flying around London, killing the odd triad, burning down a couple of bars and then walking straight into a Yardie gunfight. (All in a good days work.)

Once you've completed Hammond's chores and get your son back, the game takes an exciting twist! You then become suspended flying squad copper DC Carter, despite being totally different to Mr Hammond, Carter seems to spend an awful lot of his time doing exactly the same sort of things. Driving around London, shooting Gang members, but only this time the Rozzers are on his side.

Many people have assumed that this game is just GTA in London, but I can assure you that it's not. There’s more structure to the game than it’s rival, rather than just roaming the city freely, picking up random missions or becoming a cab driver, pizza boy and just making money as you do in GTA. Team Soho’s game is more like a film, you have to complete missions to progress, and it’s difficult to just drive off and do your own thing simply because there’s nothing for you to do (apart from mame the odd tourist – which in itself is fun - and shoot complete strangers – which is just a little sick.) So you do have to just play the game, but once you’ve completed the game as Mark Hammond and then DC Carter you unlock the Free Roam mode, which allows you to fly around London at your free will but unfortunately even this can get a tad boring.

The graphics are great, the gangsters look gansterish, the yardies look like yardies and Mark Hammond looks like a chap on the edge, running around the capital like a mad man. London does really look like London, obviously there are a few bits missing (Camden – maybe Ken Livingstone could have a butchers at this and decide which bits of London to get rid off) but you can cruise up to the London Eye if you want, unfortunately you can’t get on it though, did Team Soho not realise that even gangsters need a bit of downtime.

At the end of each level you watch a cutaway scenes these keep you informed with the story, and inform you off your next mission, unfortunately these can tend to go on for a little to long sometimes.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Getaway is the screen you see whilst playing. It’s very simple and easy to use, there's no life bars, ammunition counter, points, maps or different weapons over the screen distracting you.

All you see is the action in front if you, when you’re in a car driving the indicators flash on the back of your motor informing you of the direction you should be heading. This can be quite frustrating though when you follow the indicators telling you to take a right and then you end up flying down a one-way street with the police coming straight towards you.

So how without a life bar do you know when you’re about to die? This is one of the best parts of the game, if you get shot your suit gets splattered with blood and then you start to limp this is basically telling you that you’re likely to die shortly. But don’t worry all is not lost, simply find a wall (that’s not surrounded by any of your foes) and rest on it, this’ll help you get your strength back and then you can carry on as normal.

The Getaway is a great game, but coming from London (and always wanting to become a gangster) may have made it just that little more enjoyable. I mean honestly how could you not enjoy driving up to where you used to work in London and shooting at the front door? Unfortunately though I feel that because of the rigid structure and inability to go off and do your own missions the longevity of this game could suffer. You’re not going to want to pick it up and play again once completed, but whilst trying to complete it you won’t be able to put it down.

A great game, that looks and sounds fantastic, but with a little more depth and more variety it could’ve been one of the best PS2 titles. Unfortunately though it lacks the options that GTA Vice City has and you could end up getting bored with it rather quickly.

Verdict: “Sadly this game is more David Gray than Reggie Kray”.

Rating: 7/10

aldo2003's avatar
Community review by aldo2003 (January 22, 2003)

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