The Getaway Review

The Getaway Review On PS2

Mark Hammond is a man on the run after his wife was gunned down in the mean streets of London's east end and his son has been kidnapped. He is the prime suspect for the murder and he wants to teach the cockney thugs responsible a lesson they won't forget. DC Frank Carter a maverick cop that has been suspended, he is prepared to go to any lengths to get justice and nick Charlie Jolson. With both men desperate to clear their names they find themselves being controlled by Charlie Jolson, the crime lord and paid up member of the National Front.

So you get a total of 24 missions with game play seamlessly shifting between shooting and driving sections. You will start the game as Mark Hammond who accepts a deal he can't refuse from Mr Jolson, carry out a series of suicidal jobs or his kid will die. Before long Hammond is a wanted man by the police, the Yardies, the Triads and even the old firm he worked for. When you think you have finished the action switches to DC Frank Carter, so you see all the events from two completely different perspectives and it works brilliantly.

All of The Getaway's action is driving or shooting based with about an hours worth of cut scenes that move the story along. All of this takes place within 28 square miles of London, but there is one snag, you won't have access to a map. Now you will be thinking how an earth do I navigate around London? Well the answer is a good, simple and original one. While you are driving the vehicles indicators will flash depending on which direction you have to go. Once you arrive at your destination the hazard lights will come on. If anyone has driven a car with a satellite navigation built in you will have a good idea of what to expect. For most of the time the system works perfectly but you will probably find some problems when you come to roundabouts. If you do happen to go the wrong way it doesn't matter because the navigation system will quickly adjust to compensate for the wrong turn.

While playing as Hammond you will be constantly harassed by the police, they will set up road blocks and deploy stingers which will burst your tyres. You will also come under attack from rival gangsters who will spray your vehicle with bullets. Due to the huge amount of traffic and congestion crashes will be inevitable, with the scenery and cars looking so real (you will recognise areas of London all the time) the crashes are even more realistic than titles such as Burnout 2. If you're being chased by the men in blue there are many ways to loose the tail. When the Police are just about to ram your vehicle, stamp on the brakes at the last minute and watch them fly straight past. You can also throw a dummy by turning one way and then suddenly steer in the opposite direction down a street, this should not just loose the fuzz but make them crash and burn. Changing lanes is always a good way to get rid of that pesky tail. So long as you don't crash the Police car probably will at some point. If all else fails get out of the car and fill the scum full of lead.

The gun fights in The Getaway are some of the best you will have ever seen, nothing less than jaw dropping. The auto targeting system isn't perfect but it is still dam good. Usually the tooled up cockney wide boys aren't too bright and generally become cannon fodder, but they do come in large numbers so you will need to use every bit of cover available, you will have to dive behind walls or just hide and then pop out with your guns blazing. You are also able to do Metal Gear Solid style moves such as leaning against a wall and edge out to let a couple of rounds off. You can also do this blind, which means you don't have to stick you head out, just point the gun round the corner and start shooting. This is a very good way to take out stationary objects or people and it looks great. If you get hit you will not be able to find any health icons because there aren't any. What you have to do is find somewhere quiet and safe and let your character lean against a wall, you will see all the blood stains disappear as if by magic.

The Getaway Review On PS2 @
The Getaway Review On PS2 @
The Getaway Review On PS2 @
The Getaway Review On PS2 @
The Getaway Review On PS2 @

This is by no means realistic and it can break up the game play but it is definitely an original feature of The Getaway. Another original feature is that when playing you will not see anything else on the screen apart from the action. There are no health bars, ammo counters or radar, this makes The Getaway a very cinematic and immersive game.

The Getaway isn't all perfect it does have a few slight faults and frustrating elements. For example during the stealth missions you will have to guess the computer AI which is the same old case of trial and error that has been seen in many games. There is a way to make life easier though, listen. The Getaway features lots of AI controlled people who chat constantly, all you have to do is eaves drop on these conversations and they should give you valuable information on where guards are situated.

The controls are incapable of pin point movement, this can cause some frustration when you have to sneek around and avoid alarm systems. The camera can also be fairly erratic you can move it manually with the left analogue stick, when you stop manually moving the camera it will centralise behind your character. Despite these niggles The Getaway is awesome it feels like you playing a movie comprised of the dodgy dealings of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the amazing gun fights of Heat.

There are a few differences between The Getaway and GTA Vice City. Firstly, the level of realism differs massively Vice City portrays almost comic violence though the cartoon styled characters. The Getaway can actually be disturbing even for desensitised people like us; the best example is a torture sequence which is genuinely very unsettling. As Hammond you can press a gun against an unfortunate persons head and kill him execution style. It's not just the violence either many of the villains in the game are hugely racist. Killing police and anyone else for that matter will cause the army to chase after your sorry arse in Vice City, in The Getaway killing is not a big deal, it becomes a matter of course as police chase you so frequently toward the end of Hammonds game it feels like the easiest solution because you're not punished severely. The Getaway makes GTA Vice City look like a pussy cat and as a result you can expect a huge media frenzy building. People will forget that this game is sold with an 18 certificate and it is strictly aimed at an adult audience.

The Getaway doesn't allow you to have as much freedom as Vice City, but the game itself is far more original, realistic and cinematic. Plus you have a total of 50 cars all based on real life vehicles. Graphically this game is a real land mark, it is the most cinematic game ever created to date. The voice acting is unquestionably brilliant, the whole game oozes quality. If you own Vice City you should rush out to the shops and buy yourself a copy of this game too. You need to own both of these games they both take two completely different angles on what is essentially the same subject.

9 out of 10