Kyubi22B's 1st game review! The Getaway (PS2)
“8.00AM Covent Garden. A woman is shot dead in the street. In the distance a child screams as a car disappears with a screech of tyres. It is a crime that will spark a series of shocking events involving London’s most notorious gangs.”
So, here it is, my 1st ever game review. So, before we begin, lemme tell you on what categories I rate my games in:
Each one on a 1 through 10 scale. Lets start with Design.
The overall design of The Getaway is pretty solid, mostly. The vehicle physics are borderline sim-cadeish. Pushing your car too hard through corners for example, can easily spin you out if your not experienced enough. The sense of speed, even in say, the green Alfa Romeo 156 you drive at the start of the game can get really intense while your weaving your way through London traffic. Speaking of which, one fast collision can easily set your car ablaze. Which brings us to our 1st problem, constantly having to jack cars. This happens often in games like GTA or Driver, but The Getaway takes it to an extreme. Your cars are extremely fragile, even bigger vehicles like the Range Rover or London Bus can be reduced to an pile of flaming metal quick, which kills you instantly if you don’t get out quickly enough. Speaking of which… The on foot controls, where do I even begin? Its not as bad as Driver 2’s on foot controls, but it still is sloppy executed. Movement is pretty simple, push the Left Thumbstick up to walk forward, push it to the right to go, well, right. And so on. Running is simple too, just press down LS and let go to run. Thats where the positivity ends unfortunately. Making a simple turn is a bit too slow, and it feels somewhat boat like. Running just makes it worst, it makes your character either turn too sharply or too curvy. But where not done yet, an addition that would’ve probably saved the on foot controls from harsh criticism instead makes it even more dreadful. Im talking about the SHOOTING MECHANICS! Main problem here is the atrocious auto aim system. Sometimes it works perfectly, other times, say when theres more than one enemy on screen, instead of aiming at the nearest baddie, it instead decides to aim at a guy halfway across the BLOODY ROOM WHILE YOUR GETTING PISTOL WHIPPED BY THE GUYS BEHIND YOU! And it can break even more! The manual says that tapping the R1 button cycles between targets. But just the slightest touch cycles back and forth between baddies in a split second! And did I mention how fast your health goes down and the ridiculous way you get it back? One shotgun blast to yourself chips away at 25% of your health. And how do you know this? Well unless you read the wiki or hell, even the Prima Guide, the amount of blood on your clothes tells you how much damage you’ve taken. And when you do get damaged, you get slowed to a crawl. TO heal, you lean up against a wall for around 5-25 seconds depending on how much damage you’ve taken to nurse you back to full health. Tedious, to say at least. Oh, if you haven’t got the message yet, this game has NO USER INTERFACE! You heard me! No UI! Now, im not saying its a bad thing, if its designed properly. But The Getaway takes takes that idea, and runs it through the wood chipper and attempts to glue it back together with an Elmers glue stick! This even leaks out into driving as well. Team Soho, one of the developers behind the game, thought it would be a good idea if they did away with the map and instead replace it with a confusing navigation system which involves your cars blinkers. Just like the shooting mechanics, this can work perfectly, but other times it falls flat on its face. Say it blinks right, which means turn at the nearest right. That sometimes means turning right into oncoming traffic! Sometimes going into oncoming brings you to your destination faster, other times its gets you hopelessly lost! You can still get a map, if its included in the box that is. As I said earlier, a feature that could’ve been perfect turned into a dumpster fire all in the name of innovation.
For design, I give The Getaway a 4 out of 10. Now for content.
The Getaway has an very interesting story, mainly based on British gangster films like Get Carter and Lock, Stock, and two smoking barrels. The Getaway has Some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in a video game. The plot is split into two parts spread across two characters. An ex-con named Mark Hammond, whom is framed for the murder of his wife and the kidnapping of his child, whilst in reality members of The Bethnal Green Mob killed his wife and kidnapped your kid. And the main antagonist, Charlie Jolson, blackmails Hammond into betraying your friends and causing a wave of terror across London or else he will kill Mark’s kid. And a vigilante cop named Frank Carter, whose suspended from The Flying Squad (The armed robbery division of the UK’s police) for discovering corruption in the system. Even though both characters are exactly the same by abilities, their mission styles are a differ quite a bit. Whilst Mark Hammond’s missions are essentially just barging into somewhere and shooting up the place with only one stealth portion in just one mission. Frank Carter’s missions are more stealth focused, even when its not the objective, it can help you avoid a massive shootout which can kill you in a few seconds. Moving away from the story, The Getaway offers a pretty good selection of real, licensed cars. Yes, licensed cars from real manufacturers in an m-rated game. Hell, even Toyota and its luxury car division Lexus are in the game! The overall driving experience when you take away the confusing navigation system, is pretty awesome. With the occasional police chase or drive-by shooting from a gang you’ve angered in some way, shape or form spicing up the bland, colorless world of London. Swinging into the drawbacks, starting with London, the games setting. Sony, the publisher of The Getaway actually had to delay the game for two years due to the realization on how gargantuan of a task to do a realistic recreation of Central London on the PS2’s hardware was. That work definitely payed off, but I think Team Soho could’ve added a bit more color to their London instead of leaving it grey and depressing. Even Piccadilly Circus, which is supposed to be colorful and vibrant is instead nothing more than a bunch of grayish, static signs on a building surrounded by monochrome streets. Suicidal color palette aside, London has even a bigger problem than that, you barely even use most of the roads in the games story, with you occasionally you driving down the same road time after time again over the course of quite a few missions. Making it a mundane task pretty quick. And when you do drive to a new location, right after you complete the objective there, the next mission forces you right back into familiar territory. Or in a extreme case, punishes you by making you drive across London just to get a vehicle to take out another thats miles away from you! Once you’ve jumped out of car and prepared to fight, you actually have a nice assortment of weapons to chose from. But the problems persist here. Don’t wanna use the guns with awful mechanics? You can use the physical weapons, such as baseball bat or police baton, but these barely do damage and you’ll probably get obliterated by enemy gunfire before you even land a single hit. The games real strength has to be its soundtrack. Really, take a listen at one of the tracks:
For Content, I give The Getaway a 5 out of 10. Forward to Graphics
The Graphics in this game are above average for the PS2 era. Not as advanced as Gran Turismo 4 or dare I say it Jackass, but still fairly impressive. I can’t tear the game apart as much in this category as the other ones, but I can still can The Getaway out for its half-assed lighting. One moment you’ll be outside with the snow white sky hurting your eyes and the next you’ll be in almost total darkness with only enemy gunfire being the only source of light. You’ll be constantly walking into dead ends, and turning around can easily expose you to enemy gunfire. A brightness setting would fix this issue, but Team Soho once again omitted a necessary feature that felt like trash to them. So unless you have night vision googles, you’ll have to squint you eyes at this one.
For Graphics, I give The Getaway a 6.5 out of 10. Final Stop, Replay Value
After completing the Main story line, theres nothing more to do despite the free roaming mode. But if you came here for the intense police pursuits and ludicrous shootouts, you’ll be surely disappointed. For some unexplained reason, the once brutal AI from the Story Missions doesn’t carry over to the free roam mode. And is instead replaced by a nearly brain dead AI that can’t seem to tell which pedal makes the car go forward. Shootouts would be the same if the AI didn’t have the urge to run into oncoming traffic and get run over every 5 seconds.
For Replay Value, I give The Getaway a 3 out of 10
All in All, The Getaway seems like a bad game at first, perhaps deserving the Angry Video Game Nerd treatment. But behind all that rough skin lies a hidden gem overshadowed by its main competitor, GTA. Despite that, the game received rave reviews and managed to outsell the entirety of the Parappa The Rapper series. Enough to generate one of the most impressive sequels I’ve ever played…
Overall Score for The Getaway (PS2) 4.6 out of 10