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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Eidos Interactive

 

Developer

Climax

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q3 2003

 

- Captures some of the fast-paced excitement from the movie

- If you have a short attention span, the levels are tailored to you

- Open-ended level design

- No slowdowns…solid framerate

 

 

- Poor voice acting

- No online mode

- Although it captures the mood of the movie, if the name wasn’t “The Italian Job” I would have never guessed it came from a movie

- The game can be completed faster than it takes to watch the movie

 

 

Review: The Italian Job (XB)

Review: Shox (PS2)

Review: Burnout 2 -Point of Impact (PS2)

 

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The Italian Job

Score: 4.0 / 10

 

The video game adaptation from the movie screen to the television screen has been harsh over the past years. For every Spider-Man, there was a Charlie’s Angels. Or, an Enter the Matrix. When I saw the Italian Job in theaters, I didn’t like it. So, it came as no surprise that when I started playing the video game it, too, didn’t leave favorable impressions.

The biggest problem I have with the video game is its mediocre voice acting and “is this stage already over?” level design.

 

italian job ps2 review        

 

The main character, Charlie Croker (played by Mark Wahlberg), has some voiceovers in the “Storymode” portion of the game. I was hoping for something a la Toby McGuire in Spider-Man, but what squirted out of my television speakers was muffled, botched one-liners. I understand that not every video game has the budget to hire the actors to read over the script, but it would be nice to have someone that sounded somewhat alike. There also are circuit races, which let you cruise around the city, a “stunts” mode that is a mini-games mode, and a multi-player mode. Unfortunately, there is no drag racing mode or an online version.

 

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My other main beef is the level design. The only way I can describe the levels here is by using another racing movie title, “2 Fast, 2 Furious.” And the levels really aren’t that furious. The design is similar to a Crazy Taxi or a watered-down Test Drive. You have free reign over the levels, a la Grant Theft Auto, but by time you pass over a few intersections and blow through a few “S” curves, you’ve managed to finish the level.

 

There are also no checkpoints in the levels. 

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So if you accidentally take a corner too fast and tip over, you have to start from the beginning. True, I said above the levels are annoyingly short, but the frustration of having to repeat the same course can get annoying.

 

So, what went right?

 

The game is a little catchy, in the same mold as a Crazy Taxi. The handling and steering is a little touchy at times, but I like how you can jam down X and go with it. You might tip over like a beached whale, but it’s nice to get that adrenaline rush of the speed burst. The cars move pretty fast and the open-endedness of most levels allows for creative ways to find shortcuts via alleys or in well-conceived side streets. The graphics of the MINI cars are decent, but not of the caliber of a Midnight Club II and surely, the new Grant Turismo. The cars don’t have as much detail or logos on the cars, but they do OK in the shadows and lighting.

 

italian job ps2 review          italian job ps2 review

 

The music and ambience is above average. The grungy rock music that plays in the background pales in comparison to Grand Theft Auto’s playlist. The cars sound like garden tractors.

 

Overall, with the solid number of racing games on the market, even for the reduced sale price of $39.99, the Italian Job is not worth the price. I would recommend renting this if you have a HUMONGOUS Italian Job fetish, but otherwise, I’d suggest picking up Gran Turismo for $20 or at the very least, Midnight Club II.

 

- Tim Martin

(September 7, 2003)

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