The Getaway

Ben goes all cockney on us in tackling this criminal mastermind.

Boost a bleedin’ motor you muppet!

I was happily sittin’ at home, when the trouble and strife hollers at me that the old dog and bone is ringin’. Leapt down the apples I did, grabbed the dog and listened carefully. This was one call I had been waitin’ for... It was me Guv, Luke. He wanted me to review this game, The Getaway; it’s a 24-carat diamond title he says. I was on it like a Whippet at the tracks. Sorted I says to him. He says we better be or the boy’s will be round again, visitin’ like. I says no worries, soon it’ll be as clear as this paragraph. With that, he slams the phone down. Lets get motorin’ people….

Firstly, this is a game I have been waiting for. I normally don’t get excited about upcoming releases, but there was something about The Getaway that instantly appealed to me when it was still a pipe dream. Perhaps it was because it was like a British gangster film turned into a game, or maybe the thought of most of London being reproduced in true 3D glory…. what ever it was, this game has been anticipated for a very, very long time. So does it deserve it? Does it live up to expectations? Oh yes, read on, read on….

The first things that’ll hit you about The Getaway are the graphics. They may not appear to be that smooth, but the detail is incredible; all the characters have superbly mapped faces that suit their personas well. There are no rush jobs on these models. Secondly, talking of detail, the majority of London is recreated in this game. This is not a small little section here, you can drive across town if you wish, taking in all the sites… that’s if you aren’t being pursued! The detail is astounding, I work in London and I was amazed at the work that has gone into this game. All the buildings look identical and the roads have the exact same layout, granted there is some artistic licence, but for the most part, it is stunning. I can truly see why this game has been in production for so long! Also, with the absence of any on-screen instructions, directions, health info or ammo count, it almost feels like a movie, not a game.

As for the way the game plays, it’s quite like GTA3, although it has some very big differences. Firstly, it is a lot more mission based, there isn’t quite the same amount of freedom as there is in GTA3, not unless you unlock the free roam mode at the end, but that takes some work. Secondly, it’s important to remember that The Getaway is set in a real city, with real locations and real cars, therefore the sense of realism is much greater, although this does hinder some factors, as you are unlikely to find quiet the amount of fun weaponry and vehicles as GTA3. However, one big trump card in favour of The Getaway is the ability to go inside. There are many more buildings to roam around in than GTA3, and the controls and style of game play reflects this. Mark and Frank can both do some fancy shoota moves, including leaning around corners and taking hostages, all adding to the feel that this is a movie and not a game..

The game flows very smoothly, with you assuming the roles of Mark Hammond, a fugitive ex-gang member, wanted for the suspected murder of his wife and Frank Carter, a member of the Flying Squad, as they both try and take out Charlie Jolson, one of the East Ends most vicious Mob leaders. Where GTA3 had you playing the Mafia, The Getaway does things in a good old English style, with much more violence and swearing. Ahhh, those good old English traditions we hold so dear….

Speaking of swearing and violence, this game has it in bucket loads, not a minute passes without somebody telling you to f*** off, which helps the realism, but upsets the Daily Mail crowd… This game has been slapped with an 18 certificate, and rightly so, it is more bloody and violent then GTA3 and has a gritty element that was missing from the GTA titles. This is not for kiddies (and GTA was? – Ed).

Speaking of notoriety, The Getaway is no stranger. In level five of the game, you assume the role of a BT engineer, in a BT van and in a BT uniform. You then proceed to a police station, where after sneaking around the evidence room, you grab a pistol. From there on in it’s a literal blood bath, reminiscent of a scene from Terminator, as you slaughter Police and SO19 special armed Police, all whilst dressed in a lovely BT uniform…. Funnily enough, BT didn’t like this very much and insisted it be removed, and it has been, leaving you in a plain van and uniform. Makes you wonder what the developers were thinking at the time though, it’s highly unlikely that any company would like to see their brand displayed in such a way! Oh well, it managed to ensure that all the copies of the game with the BT engineer in were snapped up pretty damn fast, Even if Team Soho did risk a lawsuit.

There are some problems with The Getaway though; they are only minor problems, but need mentioning. Firstly, the camera. Sometimes you just cannot see what you are doing. The camera will swing around behind you, leaving you facing a wall when you are trying to keep an eye on the door, also, it tends to shake and judder when you jump out from behind doorways, which can put your aim off somewhat.

The second problem is with the Police. If you perform some stupid traffic manoeuvre, such as going the wrong way down a one-way street, they will come after you, which is fine, but when you ditch your car they shoot at you! That’s not how Police react in London! Fine, if I had run someone over, or committed a big crime, but to shoot me for a traffic violation? No wonder no one leaves any cars parked in the game, the traffic wardens most probably have bazookas. Seriously however, these are all minor gripes and shouldn’t put you off too much.

So, what we have here is effectively GTA3, set in London, with a lot more swearing. It’s a fantastic title and one every Londoner should own, believe me, it’s a great way to relax after being cut up in Blackfriars by a black cab. Even if you have no idea what London looks like, you should own this game. It’s Lock Stock and Snatch, mixed with GTA3 mixed with real life, a medley of grit, profanities and death. Entertaining stuff.

Get ‘im! Get ‘im! Bloody hell, my Nan drives faster than this...

E3 Trailer