The Getaway: Black Monday PlayStation 2
by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Team Soho
Release Date: Out Now
Price : £39.99
Originally a big rival to the GTA series, The Getaway proved to be a big success when it was released a few years ago and it was always going to be the case that a sequel would appear. Well now that sequel is here and big things are expected from The Getaway: Black Monday and many will want to know if the game has delivered on the promise the first game showed. In many ways it hasn't and it could even be argued that if anything it's not even close to the first game. Let's take a look at why the game probably won't be as good as you were expecting it to be.
The game begins with you taking part in a drugs bust and as you might expect it doesn't go strictly according to plan. The story is set over just 48 hours and is played out through three very different perspectives. There's Sergeant Mitchell whose on his first day with the firearms squad who is the character you'll control in the aforementioned drugs bust. Then there's Eddie O'Connor, the boxer and finally a thief who as you would expect prefers a more stealthy approach. Without giving anything away the story is not as involving as in the first game and it's not the only area of the game which is lacking.
In terms of difficulty Black Monday seems a lot easier than the first game. The missions are more forgiving and less infuriating although some would argue they are now too easy. To make things a little tricky for you though the control just doesn't seem right. The cars don't handle right and when you're controlling your character on foot it feels more awkward than it should. One of the things which has made the GTA series so popular is the ease of how everything controls. In Black Monday though most things feel awkward ranging from aiming to camera control and it does little to keep you playing. If you do manage to persevere though you'll find the game can be completed in well under 10 hours and depending on your personal point of view this may not be a good thing but then again given the games problems it might.
Graphically Black Monday is head and shoulders above the GTA series but that isn't exactly saying much and there's nothing outstanding here. The character models are average at best and their animations are also disappointing. The textures in the game are rather bland and a little over simplified in places which gives buildings and the environments in general a basic look. Despite the lack of graphical excellence the frame rate also fluctuates and although it's never problematic it does add to the unpolished feel of the game. Our final gripe in this area is the game camera which feels very awkward to use. It's one thing having to adjust the camera yourself, it's another when it seems to have a will of it's own.
It's not often that a game that has subtitles is problematic for deaf gamers but that's exactly how it is with The Getaway: Black Monday. The real problem is the lack of visual feedback within the game and it makes it very difficult indeed. Subtitles can be enabled although they are off by default. With the subtitles enabled you'll be able to enjoy the games cutscenes which are shown in a letterbox format and the subtitles shown in the lower border. Even at the beginning of the game problems become evident. You're told to raid a flat and arrest the Collins Crew in the cutscene and this is all the information you're going to get in the mission briefing that's available from the pause menu. However verbally there's a lot more information such as where the flat is, what colour door it is and what floor it's on (it is a block of flats we're talking about after all). On finding the flat you're told to search the rooms and handcuff the residents, again no text for this and your objectives haven't changed from what they were originally. This goes on and on as verbal instructions are dished out and no notification is given to deaf gamers. Put simply (and to save me giving example after example) the game is simply not an option for deaf gamers, which is a shame.
I have to be honest here and say that it's been problematic deciding what rating to give The Getaway: Black Monday. Do I just give the game a 'Not Rated' because it's just not suitable or do I give it a score because after all there are subtitles here and a score would reflect the massive problems for deaf gamers with Black Monday? In the end I decided to give the game a rating because of the subtitles option. The low score doesn't just reflect the massive problems for deaf gamers but also the other issues with the game, such as poor control and disappointing graphics. The Getaway wasn't perfect by a long shot but you could see potential however that potential hasn't been realised and the game has to be considered an all round disappointment.
Game Rating: 4.0/10
Very disappointing and so problematic for deaf gamers despite there being subtitles for the cutscenes. The game looks and feels rough and a lot of improvement is needed in just about every area of the game.
So many problems it's difficult to list them all here. If you were a fan of The Getaway make sure you rent Black Monday before you decide to purchase the game.