Hey guys, Tony here again, bringing you the first of some long delayed pieces, the first of which is another in the series of "Gamefreak revisits". It's also one of the games that a lovely reader, Oldboy666 has asked me to look at, so I hope you appreciate me putting myself through this tripe.
Released in 2002, The Getaway was a sandbox style GTA-em-up that came hot on the heels of Rockstar's 2001 epic, GTA 3. Team Soho obviously saw a gap in the market for a UK themed GTA game, and so got underway with creating this game, a mix of GTA and Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels.
The big selling point for the game at the time was London. Team Soho painfully recreated 20 square miles of London, and as impressive as it was back then, it still hold up today. The city is well populated with miserable fuckers who wouldn't give you the steam off their piss, the taxi's drive like there are no other cars on the roads, and it's all grey and miserable, so 10/10 for getting London spot on! A good friend of mine who live in London played it with me at the time and he could actually drive from a random location to his office, so I guess they have to be applauded.
The game follows the exploits of one Mark Hammond, a reformed criminal with a dodgy past and an even dodgier chin. Mark's wife is gunned down, his child kidnapped by a gravel-voiced crime lord and he's forced to play a game of "Simon says", except a kind of violent, kill everyone Simon says. He must kill members of his old gang, break out accomplices of his new found friends, take on the Triads and Jamaican Yardies and dodge the long arm of the law. Or filth. Or rozzers. Or narks. Titheads, WHATEVER you want to call them. After churning through the banal dross that is Marky boys missions, you then play as a member of the flying squad, Frank Carter, who ghosts the story laid out by Mark in a slightly shite Pulp-fiction style way. Their stories cross basically.
Controls are shit. Mark runs about like he's shat himself, the bad guys walk around with all the character and AI of a shop window dummy, the cars have all the control and handling styles of a concrete bumper car and the music and sound effects, whilst well done, just don't really fit with what's happening on screen.
I'm not going to go on too much about it, as I rant about the game in the videos below. The biggest heap of shit in the game is the way you regenerate health. With the whole idea of getting rid of the HUD in the game and having what's happening on screen inform you of where you are at we run into problems. I'm all for an intuitive way of looking at informing the player, but the way they did it here is as effective as using a Forklift truck to perform open heart surgery. When Mark or Frank is shot up to shit, limping and bloody from their wounds, simply place them near a wall and they will lean against it, breath heavily and channel Wolverine....their wounds will heal. And not just that, the blood gets soaked out of the very fabric of their clothes and back into their bodies, where they rise again like some kind of Cockney Christ. It's no more fucking dumb an idea as picking up a simple health pack. Literally one of the most stupid things i've ever seen in my 30+ years of playing games.......absolutely retarded. Mind you, it's almost worth playing the game just to hear the unintentional comedy gold that is the voice acting. Look at the videos and you'll see what I mean.
Anyway....i'm waffling. Check out part one right here:
And here's part two:
So that's the Getaway. Bad controls, boring generic story, shoddy design decisions and a game that on the whole is kind of worth playing, in a way that you know....it's kind of worth sawing your own foreskin off with a rusty saw for sake of cleanliness, but you wouldn't choose to do it. It's kind of worth playing the Getaway for the comedy value and the fantastic recreation of England's favourite capital of ignorant people and tramps, but you'll never get those hours of you life back.
That being said, and I can't believe i'm saying this, if you want to see another mission or two let me know and i'll record one for you. Thanks to Oldboy666 for the suggestion, and of course if you want me to cover a game, any game, just let me know.
Be kind though.....
The Getaway is available on PS2 from any local charity shop or car boot sale for 50p.