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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Gotham Games

 

Developer

Pivotal Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

7/23/2003

 

- Appealing graphics

- Great sound

- Respectable controls

 

 

- Inconsistent AI

- Vehicular controls

- Low fun factor

 

 

Review: MDK2: Armageddon (Playstation 2)

Review: Shinobi (Playstation 2)

 

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The Great Escape

Score: 6/10

These days every single game is based on a movie. The Great Escape is part of the category but has a distinct difference. The movie it's based on is 40 years old. Many people haven't even heard of the movie made by Steve McQueen except for older gamers. The first game that comes to mind when you think of games spawning from old movies is The Thing. Pivotal Games intends to emulate The Thing's success with this release.

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The Great Escape is simply a stealth/action game. Not comparable to the likes of Splinter Cell and Metal Gear series but it's an okay game. The game is about escaping a Nazi prison camp but the introductory missions are about the events that lead to the charactersí imprisonment in the camp. Each of these characters has a specialty, like operating machinery, which you must utilize.

The controls in The Great Escape are respectable. You will never feel fully comfortable with them but you won't lose any missions because of them. You have an action button to move/pick up objects and to use any of the objects you have equipped like a hacksaw. Then you have a stance button, which will lower you into crouch and holding it will enable you to crawl. The R1 button is the attack button and tapping it will strangle guards if you attack from behind.

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Unfortunately when you step into a vehicle everything good about the controls go out the window and you begin to fight the vehicle into doing what you want. The game does provide a variety of transportation ranging from APC's to motorbikes. Speaking of motorbikes there is a long stretch at the end of the game where you ride toward the Swiss border and shake off pursuers. It is a nice change of pace from the sneaking around but it is simply way too long. You need good things at the end of a game to keep the gamer hooked but it simply mars the lasting appeal of the game.

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Graphically the game is good. The character models look great considering this is the PS2 but yet their movements seem awkward. The levels are detailed and believable. In fact the only thing it suffers from is massive frame loss at times. It usually happens in high-risk situations where you need all your concentration. It's made me redo missions many times.

The AI isn't very good in most games but in this game it's pathetic. Since the game relies on stealth you would think the AI would be respectable but it's horribly inconsistent. Sometimes you can walk right in front of a guard and escape unnoticed and other times the AI spots you through buildings. This eventually leads to unrealistic hit-and-miss sneaking as you move around praying for luck to be on your side.

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The sound is better than everything else in the game because it does things right and doesn't do anything wrong. The sound ranges from orchestra music for stealth scenes and patriotic songs for the rest. Gun effects are lacking but it doesn't take anything away from the game as the majority of the time you do not use firearms. The voice acting is great. Every character sounds true to life and speaks with a proper accent. The game supports Dolby Pro Logic surround sound but that only makes a difference on action packed levels like when you shoot down Nazi planes in the first level.

The Great Escape does justice to the license but does little else. It's not a bad game but it isn't necessarily a good one either. For fans of the movie owning the game is a must but to the rest of the people renting it will do.

-Stefan Shetty

(August 17th, 2003)

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