on 20 December 2003
This game(The Getaway)i borrowed of a friend and i was very impressed.First you are Mark Hammond an EX-Gangster of a london gang.One day his Wife is shot and boy kidnapped and you chase them and therefor the Rich storyline evolves.After 12 missions you become Frank Carter an EX-member of the flying squad(police force)and you get wrapped in 12 more missions from a more legal point of view(he is a bad boy though).The missions are amazing and thrilling.Drive any veicle you see or hijack it if its occupied.The camera controls are slightly annoying and dogey but over all sweet.The whole of london is explorable and very well detailed and recreated with much accuracy.This game as you may know is 18, this is due to obsessive swearing(offencive or not is you choice),A sick amount of violece including breaking peoples neck,shooting them in the head and gunning people down in the street but whether you do that is your call.There is also traces of nudity however but that is only at the poledancing club.of corse there is breaking the law,killing police,hijacking cars and doing ilegal missions.For the light hearted its 'water off a ducks back' but for other gamers could be the fate of them or others(but not always).Also for some is even more discusting as hammond gets beaten' up alot which some may find disturbing and on mission 5 or 6(i think but i know its called 'taxi for mr chai')shows a man screming for his life as he gets torchered by gangsters but only on 1 mission for about 1 minuit.If its guns your after there are plenty such as pistol(s),AK-47,uzi,(other various (sub)machine guns),meat clevers,baseball bats and other weapons.The cars are all realisticly different in speed,turning(control) and sturdyness.From nissan micra's to lexus this game has them.free roam can be unlocked at the immediate completion of the game.Free roam in two words:'A SHAMBLES'. but hey,some may like it and your not me so you may.i hope you like this wonder of a game and look forward to 'The Getaway 2'.See Ya!!!
on 16 December 2002
This is definitely a game of two halves.
The driving sections are great, although as I'm not a Londoner the detail of the street scenery is wasted a little on me. The frame rate can get a bit choppy, but the overall impression is that you are playing on a more powerful console.
However, the game falls down when it comes to the sections on foot. The controls are awful and the game-play repetitive. It may look better than GTA: VC, but it is no where near as fun.
Overall, you may get something out of this if you know London well. If not, I'd stay clear and get Vice City instead.
on 31 December 2002
After hearing over and over about the amazing photo-realistic interpretation of London and the other hype that went with this game I could not wait to buy it. After playing it for a while I did find that what they said about the streets was largely true - the roads are accurate and graphically close to the real thing. However I did find it very grey and depressing (how's that for realism!) and unfortunately sparse of cars and pedestrians.
The game itself involves you having to perform dirty deeds for a gang boss who has your kid hostage - with each save point being the start of each of twenty-ish(?) missions. Each mission (usually) involves you driving somewhere, then getting out, into a building and shooting lots of people.
In-car playability is fairly dull, most cars are fairly slow to drive (plenty of diesels, estates and tiny Micras and Fiats), although you do get one or two sportier ones (there seems to be about ten million green Alfa-Romeos in London these days!). The only indication you get as to your destination are - your indicators - telling you whether to go left or right. Car damage is fairly realistic - similar to Grand Theft Auto 3.
Out-of-car control is a bit of a nightmare. The over-shoulder camera is too slow to keep you aware of what is going on in front. Upon doing a U-turn you will find that you need to skilfully change direction with your gamepad otherwise you will run off at a tangent to where you wanted to go.
If you don't like getting shot then steer clear of this game. No matter how ready you are for a battle or which weapon you've got or how quick your reactions are, your enemy will almost always hit you first (and usually two or three times) before you put them down.
There are no health or ammo bars - in fact no on-screen indication at all whether in car or out, of your status. You can only tell by the amount of smoke coming out of your bonnet, or how much your character staggers when they've been shot too much. Luckily you can lean against a wall and recover your health when on foot - otherwise you would last less than a minute each time. (Reload times are very quick thankfully - you'll find yourself doing one bit over and over again).
The 18 certificate is there for a reason. The amount of violence and swearing in this game makes Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels look like Cinderella (almost)!
Overall - if you're looking for a fun game then do not buy this. If you expect a realism-based simulation of a gangster's life in London then this game is bearable. In fact once you get over the disappointment of the hype and the annoying little gremlins in this game then you can actually get into it quite well. My advice - get a demo or hire the game out first!
on 24 December 2002
Having waited quite some time for this game, I rushed out to buy it on the day of release, only to be rather disappointed with the whole affair.
Being a huge fan of GTA3 and latterly, Vice City, I was ecpecting more of the same type of action, only set in photo realistic London. I've never been to London, so I can't really comment on how lifelike it looks, but the graphics while driving are superb...even if it wasnt accurate, it still looks like a real city.
The first thing that got me was the sheer un-userfriendliness of the controls. I was struggling on the first mission when faced with more than one opponent because of the dodgy camerawork. Also, being a PS1 veteran, I'm more used to the D-pad for movement, which isn't an option here, only the fiddly analog controller.
Then, midway through the second level, I encountered a huge bug in the game, when I was able to walk through the wall upstairs in the office area of the bar in Soho, causing the screen to distort badly, Having taken ages to get there, I was more than a little frustrated.
Time may well give me a better impression of this game, but as far as playability goes, its nowhere near as accomplished as GTA.
Play before you buy would be my advice.
With competition for your money (and time) being so fierce in the video game industry, you really need to come up with something that goes the extra mile to impress these days, and sadly this game was a huge disappointment, but it did receive alot of hype that it was always going to find it difficult to live up to.
There are some great things about the game, like the fact that someone has finally bothered to create a virtual London... the streets are familiar and accurate, and it is alot of fun racing down towards the IMax cinema at Waterloo... indeed, the graphics in general are superb, and the game certainly can't be faulted on that front.
What I felt was disappointing was the pretty mundane game play, which is frustratingly slow at times. And however much it pains me to say it, you can't help but compare this title to the GTA series, and 'The Getaway' simply falls well short of the benchmark that Vice City has set. The characters and storyline are full of pseudo macho rubbish that may appeal to some people, but it really needs to have a bit more of a sense of humour about it, and you get the distinct feeling that the makers of this game thought they were making a movie instead of a video game.
Considering that the game has borrowed ideas heavily from the likes of the brilliant 'Driver' and the GTA series, it is a shame that the handling of the cars and the realism of the driving sections is so poor. Also, there is a distinct lack of variety and freedom of movement throughout the game, making the whole experience far less immersive than its peers. Somehow, every other vehicle seems to be a Transit van or a black cab. That said, one plus point about the lack of realism in the driving sections is the London traffic (or lack of it!)... if only the streets of London were really as quiet as this!
Its difficult to say that this game has much in the way of replay value, and is more like reading a book or watching a long movie that you might return to once in a while, all of which puts this game squarely in the 2nd division... in other words, it could have and should have been much better...
Opinion on The Getaway is at the very least polarised violently. You either love it or hate it. One other reviewer said that the Getaway would have been great 5 years ago. Although it is undeniable that the time this game has spent being tweaked, rewritten, altered and generally stalled has kicked it back from the status of a landmark title to something which has clearly dissapointed many people it still has some very strong plusses. So perhaps not 5 years late, but certainly 1 year late.
Okay, so if you are looking to pay your money and revisit the cathartic pleasures of GTA3 and Vice City forget it. The Getaway isn't free roaming. If as I have, you followed the development of this game, it is embarassingly obvious that it was meant to be. But they couldn't pull it off. But no disrespect guys, you can pick your own route through the streets of London. As you do so you will notice things are impressively bustling and busy and there are a good (but not great) selection of cars on the roads. However, in the heat of a car chase, don't try to abandon your vehicle and stealth-it to the next waypoint on foot. The game isn't deep enough to allow you to find your own way to complete a mission. And to hammer this home your character can't heal out on the streets, neither can he jump, climb or enter non-mission buildings. The navigation system too (the cars indicators, erm... indicate where you should turn off next) discourages exploring.
The linearity of drive around, then do a Max Payne style infiltration then drive again etc etc soon strikes home, but don't worry because if you are anything like me you will by now have been seduced by the games strengths. You'll be enjoying the cheesy gangster speak, giving it stylish twin 9mm action and generally larging it in the beautifully drawn locations. I deny anyone not to dig the way our protagonist throws down an empty AK47 and draws his handguns. The lack of an energy bar too pleased me. It means that the tactical player may be able to reduce replaying each level 1000 times by taking it carefully.
I won't deny there are some clanging glitches in this game. Police cars disapear and reappear during chases, you target the wrong person frequently and stealthy movement is often hit and miss due to the less than fluid movement system (I keep posting references to the brilliant Extermination movement system on Amazon, why won't game developers listen to me?). Perhaps most ridiculously of all when your character leans against a wall to recover and the camera lurks behind his back, his rhythmic movement and heavy panting makes it look like he's... well you get the picture.
Anyway, enough from me. I nearly gave this 4 stars but can't quite justify it to myself. To conclude, yes it does contain glimpses of the future. Yes, it is well made enough to be enjoyable. Yes, if you've completed Vice City it's worth buying. But if you haven't, stop reading this right now.
on 28 July 2012
I have noticed that many reviewers before me have told you (the reader) not to compare this to Grand Theft Auto. May I say, they are absolutely correct - this game, The Getaway, is NOT Grand Theft Auto. As a matter of fact, The Getaway is NOTHING compared to GTA, and that is the first point I have to stress here with my own review of this game.
The plot. Firstly, you play as Mark Hammond, an ex member of the Soho-based Collins Gang. Mark is now running a nightclub, so he is "not in the life anymore", as he says himself. That is, until Charlie Jolson, an ageing East End gangster and leader of the Bethnal Green Mob, kidnaps Mark's son Alex and forces Mark to undertake jobs for him in exchange for Alex's safe return. What Mark does ultimately plunges every gang in London into war, leaving him and his son for dead.
Meanwhile, DC Frank Carter, a member of London's Flying Squad, has wanted to take Charlie, and his criminal empire, down for years. Now, with all hell braking loose across London (thanks to the actions of Mark), Frank may finally get his chance, forcing both Frank and Mark into a 'legendary' confrontation.
Upon first playing the game, the gameplay is going to seem/feel very realistic... did for me anyhow! For example, you drive real, licensed cars, as opposed to fictional cars seen in GTA. You can only sport one weapon at a time (whether that be a Pistol, Shotgun, AK-47, to name but three), not store them down your pants like in GTA (seemingly!). Plus, when acquiring weapons, your character will pick them up from the ground. They don't float in mid-air like in GTA! When playing on-foot, your character can use natural cover and surroundings by hugging walls, something that is 'impossible' in GTA.
Arguably, playing as Mark has to be the hardest segment of the game. This is for one reason only. The reason is that, when you eventually get to command Frank Carter, you have the power of the law on your side... but not with Hammond. Be prepared for plenty of annoying, difficult police chases while playing the character of Mark.
However, at times, the gameplay is terribly flawed. This is especially true with the camera. The camera is quite bad at times, making it impossible to get around and play the game. Also, in contrast to GTA, there's no HUD in The Getaway, so you have no idea whether or not you're running out of ammo or losing health. You can only tell about your health if your character starts limping profusely and bleeding at the same time. While this seems realistic (and it is, in my view!), it really means that the game can be very difficult and require a heck of an effort to complete. All I shall say is that Practise makes Perfect.
The graphics of this title are superb! The developers have done really well in creating a London fit for a console. Myself, I have never been to London, so I really cannot comment on how realistic or authentic it may or may not be, sadly! Either way, for a 'Console City', so to speak, it really isn't bad here at all, except that there are very few pedestrians walking the streets... making it feel like a ghost town at times, and London in reality certainly is not that!!
Also, graphics wise, the interior segments of this game are brilliant - full credit to the developers here.
Above all, though, I give this game the 5 stars because of the story, voice acting and the cutscenes. These 3 elements of the game are worth your time and money alone, in my view, so do check this game out because it is brilliant. At the time of release, I played nothing but this game, and was hooked to the story - couldn't put the game down (and didn't, in fact!) until I had prevailed!
Bottom line, whip out your 'Bees and Honey' (Money) and buy this.
Thanks for reading this. Hope it helps a little.
on 13 January 2003
Really excited about this one. Starts off great, couldn't wait to drive around 'real' London.
Hold on! Can't just go anywhere, have to follow car?
OK. I'll drive later.
What? Stuck in a warehouse shooting people? Where's the driving?
OK give it a chance.
Right got the car! Continue to drive round London. Looks nice. Good sound. Have to drive on the pavement to get any speed up though (well this is London!)
It's then you realise that a little more artistic licence has been used to 'reconstruct' the 40 square km. A few side streets here and there are replaced by buildings. Ah. Not the London I know.
Get to destination and its more of the same shooting as before: stand behind a wall getting pinned down by heavies with no discernable tactic. Good realistic wounding to your character with good movement and limping, even if it does slow you down to the point of 'sitting duck'. In hot combat, the controls are a bit muddled and the 'stelth' mode is extremely limited. Essentially all you do is keep replaying the level again and again hiding behind a wall basically hoping your shot gets him before he gets you. When you shoot him, another one comes along.
Complete the level, drive to the next (slowly) and it's groundhog day (haven't I just done all this?) Shoot more people, die, try again, die, try again, die, switch off, play GTA3.
Nice to look at, London incomplete (if you know it), driving is fun but limited, shoot outs make up the most part and are pretty dull and frustrating with no brains behind your combat. Ooo, bit of swearing, bit of neck breaking - zzz. In fact its all a big Guy Ritchie homage that relys on the 'geeeezer' factor rather than the gameplay. Did I mention that the cut scenes were about 2 hours long and unskippable? I've given up. Sorry. Bit of a Muppet.
For driving and violence this can't compare to the scale, variety and sheer enjoyment of Grand Theft Auto Vice City. If you want to race, get Gran Turismo. If you want the 'geezer' factor, watch 'Snatch' and leave it at that.
on 6 January 2003
Dead realistic - graphically and physically. There's no concealing rocket launchers and sniper rifles in your pants like in GTA). No indicators on the screen at all - the gait of your player indicates health which you can recover by leaning against walls. Some reviews complained that this was silly but I think it's a nice compromise considering you can only do that when the heat dies down so you still need skill to maintain good health. REAL CARS! Lexus, BT Vans, Citylink vans, Citroen Saxo(!) to mention but a few. Of course, you can drive the old London cab or bus!
The police are realistic - using spike strips and roadblocks and shooting your tires out. Yes, you can eventually be driving on rims with sparks flying!
LOADS of swearing (F*** mainly although I'm convinced the character called another car driver a c*** for cutting him up. The little comments your character passes as you drive are cool!
Dodgy camera angles sometimes (What game hasn't?), but not as bad as some reviews make out, and the acting is sometimes slightly dodgy but then, east-end gangsters ARE dodgy...!
Buy this - especially if you live near or in London...
on 16 December 2002
After hearing so much hype for so long, I had it in my head that this was going to be the best game ever. But there are many little problems that are a constant 'let down' from the beginning of the game. I was vey disappointed after telling all my friends for so long that this is the game to get. I will go through what I think lets the playabilty of the game down.
- The graphics, even though they are extremely realistic, there are many points in the game where there are flaws. For example I got in a double decker bus once, and the driver remained there, so I was actually sat through the bus driver while driving- which was bizarre. Also when shooting 'the bad guys', they sometimes disappear ane reappear very quickly, which lets the game down.
- This brings me onto another point. When having a gun fight, it is quite hard to aim. You can press the fire button three times before your character actually fires your gun. By which time you are shot and injured! Another problem when having a gun fight, is that you are surrounded by barrels that can explode when shot - taking out a number of bad guys. But there is no way to actually aim at the barrels, so it seems pointless to me that the game designers have included this in the game, when its simply luck if you hit them. You cannot change your gun either. If you have a machine gun you have to drop it to get back to your pistols.
-Driving cars is another let down. You cannot change camera angle or even look behind you. So you are constantly unaware of what is going on behind you. When driving the ambulance it is very hard to see the cars in front of you, as the vehicle takes up a lot of the space on screen. You will want to change angles so you can actually see, but I inevitably ended up crashing. When the ambulance was on fire, I had no idea, my charcter just fell out and died.
-Getting into cars can be a long procedure too. I once had to press the button 5 times before he managed to get into the car, which was made all the worse due to the fact I was stood by it throughout.
-Cut scenes, these are quite good, but there is no way to skip through them. Having seen some of them for the fifth time, its getting boring now.
I gave this game two stars instead of one, because of
- The Britishness of the game. You are in London, and although not every street is represented (which I read was going to be the case) you will find places you recognise, and shops you know. Even looking at the BT phone boxes lets you know you are in Britain.
- the amount of effort the designers put into the game. 6 years work, and £5 million budget. Unfortunately the game looks rushed and unfinished, and probably put out to catch the Xmas buyers, but you have to give them some credit.
Overall, rent the game before you buy it, or if you are still unsure get GTA vice city and you won't be disappointed.