The line between film and interactive entertainment has slowly blurred in recent years, to the point where movie and game fans can gather in front of the console. Not so much for photorealism, but for tightly packed stories with dialogue and plays suitable for film.
The Getaway is the newest. Based on classic English films like Get Carter and Face, Team Soho1’s latest game follows Marc Hammond, a former criminal who is drawn into Charlie Jolson’s web of lies and deception after losing his wife and son. The task is easy. Work for London’s toughest gangster boss or swim with your son in the Thames.
This is Sony’s most ambitious game yet. Team Soho has spent over four years recreating over 40 square kilometers of London’s streets. Many new items have been purchased and cleverly incorporated into the game, some of which will appear in other projects from the giant. A sometimes fantastic visual and sonic representation of London’s hard-boiled underground, and a gameplay that shows what it could have been with some general refinement.
The Getaway is steeped in history. Unlike Vice City, there is no opportunity to explore the streets of London’s liver pate. Or it exists but does not lead to anything. The game begins when you begin your actual task. No minor tasks, no phone calls, no extra missions.
A Great Story
However, the story is far more involved than usual in this type of game, keeping the player glued to the screen. First as Marc Hammond, then as the oddball cop Frank Carter. A prisoner transport is attacked, a police station is invaded, drug cartels are destroyed and a ship is seized. The game never repeats itself and features a fantastic array of exotic locations in London, all spiced up with unexpected plot twists.
Sadly, not all aspects of The Getaway are enjoyable. While driving reveals minute details on buildings, cars, and streets, another large part of the game is only partially connected. Driving a Lexus SC430 feels right. It’s fun to cruise down the street with the cops close behind. Threading the side up on a Citroen Saxo is a rewarding experience that must be experienced. It’s even more impressive that Team Soho has managed to infuse different driving characteristics into all of the game’s cars from a TVR Tuscan to a Nissan Skyline GT-R. Sadly, the car isn’t the mainstay of The Getaway, and there’s rarely anything else to do.
Aim of the Game
The main part of the game is the action, and The Getaway falls short. The game is a mix of Metal Gear Solid and Headhunter, with two pistols and a variety of locations to search for criminals from triads to Yardies. This is where you can lean against the wall, make scrolls, and break guards’ necks. The graphics are nice, but the steering and, in particular, the aim should have been changed long ago.
While the camera’s laziness in most rooms is annoying, it’s the game’s Auto-Aim that makes The Getaway unnecessarily difficult and uncompromising. The player is forced to die repeatedly because potential enemies are ignored in favor of peripheral enemies. To deal with an otherwise simple situation, this reviewer had to replay some of the game’s courses over fifty times. This element’s flaws and lack of interaction with the player are only revealed when a broken joypad is found.
It’s amazing that this element has slipped through the cracks without any adjustments, from enemies taking seconds to appear to a screen flickering between countless enemies. Add to that the fact that the same button is used for multiple purposes and is only determined by whether or not passers-by are present, and you have a recipe for an annoyance. Random saws also make this difficult, as they can either work perfectly and place the player exactly where the hero died, or force the player to restart entire tasks. The game also has some lag when a lot is going on.
Unique and Innovative
Still, this reviewer was drawn to The Getaway. The dialogue is fresh, provocative, and authentic, and the story is engaging. One feels like a lice between two nails who has to jump into the next suicide mission to save one’s son. One is constantly under fire. The pressure to abandon old friends and join the enemy. The world of claw powder is without a doubt a hand-tied world.
The Getaway is a stunning, but flawed, game that, with a few tweaks, could have been a more serious, hard-boiled, and adult version of Vice City. Cut-scenes, dialogue, and the absence of lifebars, sights, and a city map are all helping to create a credible and unique framework, but at the expense of clarity and management. The Getaway as it is now is still worth seeing, but it is not a true classic, and patience is required if the disc ends up in your machine.