The Getaway: Black Monday
Score: 6.0 / 10
Two years ago, SCEE Studios released their first Grand Theft Auto clone, The Getaway. Gameplay wasnít exactly on par with Grand Theft Auto, but the game had an entertaining storyline. Now SCEE Studios brings us The Getaway: Black Monday. I was expecting Black Monday to be more polished and refined than its predecessor, but SCEE didnít seem to be thinking the same thing. If anything, itís weaker than the first game.
In Black Monday, you control three different people. You
first play as a cop named Ben Mitchell, who has recently made his return
to the police force after a two-year suspension. Heís supposed to be
kind of a badass in a way because he is a troubled fellow, but
personally, his story and character doesnít appeal to me very much,
especially compared to other videogame characters in recent memory. Next
we have Eddie who could be considered to be on the opposite side of the
law from the police. You see, not only is he a boxer, but heís also a
bank robber. I find Eddie to be a more entertaining character then Ben,
but that is just my opinion. Finally, we have the stealthy Sam who
obviously relies on stealth rather than taking everyone head on. Usually
stealthy characters have some cool sneak attacks, but Iíll get to that
As already mentioned, you start the game as Ben Mitchell.
Unfortunately, you have a very low variety of weapons and the controls
feel a bit clunky at first, but you will eventually get used to it. Ben
has the ability to arrest baddies, which may sound kind of cool, if the
baddiesí buddies didnít just stand there and watch. Eddie has some
melee attacks and, like Ben, it couldíve been cool, if it was done
right that is. While fist fighting an enemy, his comrades would just
watch and leave you alone until your done pounding their buddy down.
(Nice friends.) The AI is utterly ridiculous!
When youíre in control of Eddie, things start to pick up a
bit, particularly the storyline. The game is still a mess though. What
really kills the experience is controlling Sam. There are some really
good stealth elements in games like the Metal Gear series and Splinter
Cell, however; Black Monday doesnít share the same caliber of those
two games and SCEE Studios should more than reconsider implementing
stealth in future games. Everything with Sam is a maze full of stupid
guards who donít even move. Itís all trial and error.
Throughout the game you will go through several missions like finding somebody etc. Some missions are even timed. In between all the action and stealth is where driving comes in. I found the missions that involved driving to be better than the majority of foot missions to tell you the truth. With Mitch, you will have some police vehicles at your disposal and a bigger variety with Eddie. There are some slow crappy vehicles in the game like the Vauxhall Corsa and of course there are some better ones like the Mercedes. You can also
ride bikes, which is what I actually prefer. Handling vehicles isnít as good as games like GTA, but theyíre not that bad either. As far as being fun, driving has its own sense of charm even if it does get quite tedious after a while. What I didnít like was driving as Mitch. I know cops can get away with a lot of things and that Mitch is not a saint, but having the freedom to run over people (including cops) without even being questioned or getting in trouble (never mind not even getting arrested), is just impudence! Eddie, on the other hand, canít get away with such things and will have trouble if he speeds up too much, passes a red light etc. If you want to take a little detour from the main story, there are some other modes you can check out like racing. But all the side features are boring like the main game. Getting back to the main game, the missions are broken up from action to stealth with a lot driving at the side. In the end it doesnít balance very well. I would like to entirely blame this on the stealth missions, but that wouldnít be fair.
Graphics are a mixed bag here. Character models look nice
and realistic, but they there is a lot of stiff animation. The
environments are impressive but not spectacular. What I really loved
about it is that it gave the feel of being in London.
I found that the audio was really strong. If I was rating
this game on just audio alone I would give it a 10 out of 10. The tunes
and exceptional voice acting really helped bring out some life. The
excellent dialogue also made the story enjoyable. All the voice actors
were great like David Legeno who played Eddie. They really made the
scenes come out strong.
Fans of the original may love this game, but casual gamers
should be warned. Itís no GTA, but Iíve played worst games recently.
This is a definite rent before buying.
(February 15, 2005)
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