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Playstation 2












M (Mature)



Q1 2003



- Deep and dark story draws players in, if only to find out what happens next

- Voice acting and music are both top-notch

- Auto-aiming feature makes firefights markedly easier than in the GTA games



- Driving sequences hampered by sluggish controls and use of blinkers for objective pointing

- Healing by just leaning against walls seems more silly than realistic

- Occasionally poor enemy AI



Review: Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)

Review: Minority Report (GC)

Review: GTA III: Vice City (PS2)



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The Getaway

Score: 6.8 / 10


With the popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series on the PS2, The Getaway is surely getting its fair share of notoriety and attention. There are certainly some similarities here, such as the driving sequences that both games have in common, or the ability to hop in and steal some poor innocentís ride at a momentís notice. Thereís gunplay in both games, a fair amount of blood and guttermouthing in both games, and some really good voiceover work in both games. Whatís not to like, right? Unfortunately, there are some things that about The Getaway which keep it from competing with Rockstarís juggernaut-like franchise, despite some great production values and nice visuals.


the getaway ps2 review          the getaway ps2 review


The Getaway has an intense storyline with very little in the way of humor. Players will find themselves getting behind the lead character after seeing his wife killed and his child kidnapped early on. Players will likely hate the syndicate that theyíre forced into working for. Thereís a fair amount of language that many players outside of London wonít immediately understand as the characters interact with each other; thankfully, SCEA has added a little glossary in the back of the gameís instruction manual. The voice acting is really top-notch, as you can feel the tension, anger, and other emotions that the characters are getting across. The voice acting makes the story very believable, and thatís a definite plus.





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Playing The Getaway will put players either behind the wheel of a vehicle or will put them on foot, usually winding up in firefights or physical altercations. The driving sequences feel a bit more realistic than they do in the GTA games, but this doesnít necessarily make them better. The cars cannot sustain much damage before breaking down, and the steering feels rather sluggish. Unlike the GTA games, which have a more visible arrow to show players where to go, Team Soho tries to implement a little more realism by using the vehicleís blinkers to 


show the proper route; thus, it can be difficult to keep sight of your objective as youíre driving, and itís too easy to miss a turn here and there. The gameís very first mission demonstrates the problems with this, as you have to closely tail a getaway car without getting too far behind. If you miss a couple of turns, you lose too much ground and fail the mission ó not good. As with GTA, itís only a matter of time before the bobbies (police) will come after you, and they can and will get aggressive as they try to run you off the road and into custody. Of course, it doesnít help to keep the coppers uninterested if you run down pedestrians; however, the pedestrian traffic in The Getaway doesnít seem to showcase a big will to live. Theyíll just keep walking right in front of your moving car without a care.


As for firefights in The Getaway, itís a plus and minus situation here. The plus is that the annoying targeting system from GTA has been replaced by a more user-friendly auto-aiming system here. Unfortunately, there are no indicators to show how much ammo you have for a weapon; so, itís possible to be locked in a fierce battle, only to have a weapon no longer fire and leave you to fumble around for an alternate weapon without warning. Also, there arenít any health indicators here. You can only judge your characterís health by watching his on-screen mannerisms. If heís stumbling around and bloodied, youíre in trouble, and the next bullet he takes could be his last. There arenít any health paks in The Getaway to heal up with, however. In order to heal up, players must lean up against a wall or other vertical object. While there, itís almost comical to see the blood dry up and magically disappear. Be prepared to do as much leaning as you do driving or running. While itís certainly commendable that Team Soho tried to implement more realism by removing most indicators and all health paks from the game, itís simply not very realistic to simply lean against a wall and let your injuries heal within seconds. In fact, health paks might have been slightly more realistic in this case.


the getaway ps2 review          the getaway ps2 review


On the plus side of things, The Getaway looks and sounds really good. Certain landmarks and locations in London stand out and are very noticeable. The game has a nearly photorealistic sense to it graphically, and the frame rate rarely stutters. The cars in the game are modeled well and look just like their real-life counterparts, including vehicles from Lexus and Saab. There are some nice particle effects, which can be seen when cars are about ready to break down, but thatís obviously not something players want to see often. The Getaway is a bit on the dark side, but this is also somewhat reflective of the gameís overall mood and demeanor. The music is also usually fitting of the current setting in the game, and itís all very well done. The sound effects are spot-on, too, save for a bit of muffling of some of the armament.


It is apparent that Team Soho was going for a more realistic approach with The Getaway, rather than the less-than-serious approach that Rockstar took with Grand Theft Auto. The ideas to remove the indicators and maps are noble, but the alternatives just donít work that well. The removal of health paks seems like a good idea, but resting against walls winds up taking more time in the game than a lot of other action, and isnít any more realistic. The driving sequences never wind up feeling right, either, and it becomes a case of playing through the game just to uncover the dark storyline than it is playing through the game because itís fun to play, and thatís the true crime of The Getaway.


- Peter J. Skerritt, Jr.

(March 29, 2003)

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