The Getaway


posted 1/26/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
It’s very hard to review a game like The Getaway. The way I look at it, it’s like being a supportive father to a non-talented child. As much as it hurts you and annoys you, something inside of it makes you want to love it. No matter how many times it fails you a glimmer of promise always seems to shine through and right when you’re ready to leave it somewhere in the middle of the woods, it gives you those puppy dog eyes and beckons you to come back.

Then it grows on you and with time you’ll learn to look past the deficiencies and find the good in it. It’s the love and hate relationship, this is The Getaway.

Meet Mark, he's the shy, silent type.

Comparisons to Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City are unavoidable but to be honest, they don’t have much in common. The Getaway gives you a purpose for running around and causing havoc as opposed to Vice City’s “wow, I killed 50 people in the streets, umm what was I supposed to be doing again?” style of gameplay. Better comparisons can be made to Mafia, Take Two’s excellent surprise PC-hit that will soon be headed to consoles. They both follow a very linear, story-driven style of gameplay and both feature very rich and detailed cities that are chocked full of atmosphere and ambiance.

The Getaway begins with the botched kidnapping of a young boy, ending with the death of his mother. As his father runs down to check out what happens he sees his wife die in his arms as her murderers flee, kid in tow. In fulfilling his wife’s last request, he hops in to a vehicle and chases after the culprits. That’s when you take control of Mark Hammond, a former thug who seemingly retired from the scene, only to find out that you can never truly break your ties. To quote the game's tagline: “He swore off a life of crime… some promises are hard to keep.”

The game’s plot unfolds very much like that of a major motion picture. Storyline progression occurs via a series of very well-rendered cutscenes that show off not only great animation but great voice acting as well. It is here where you’ll learn more about the story’s advancements and more importantly, your next mission objective. You see, Charlie Jolson, a crime boss, was the man behind your son’s kidnap and unless you want your son to swim with the fishes, you’ll have to do what he asks of you. This means you’ll be doing heinous things like torching the establishment of an old friend, breaking a thug out police custody and starting an all-out gang war between the Triads and the Yardies. Mark’s a straight edge nowadays but he reluctantly agrees to the tasks in exchange for his son’s well being. The story isn't one that's bound to win points for originality but after seeing it unfold, is one that seems ready made for Hollywood. To say the least, this is game would make one hell of a movie.

This game differs in structure from GTAVC in that it actually has one. Missions flow in to one another, you won’t have to sit around and go to a location to wait for it to happen. Instead each scenario is self-contained and waiting to be accomplished. Personally I enjoy this type of play much more than GTAVC’s in that I have a solid idea of exactly what it is I’m supposed to be doing.
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