by Sony Computer Entertainment
If you thought GTA 3 and Vice City were adult in nature wait until you see The Getaway. Hard hitting and brutal in the extreme. Comparing GTA 3 with The Getaway is like comparing Juliet Bravo with The Sweeney (I'm showing my age now). The game begins with an attempted abduction that goes horribly wrong, but even here you'll notice the strong language and the brutal edge to the game. Don't get me wrong this is not a criticism of the game I'm just saying that the developers have pulled no punches with this one and have created a far harsher environment that has a distinctive London gangster film feel to it.
Comparisons with GTA 3 are always going to be made but in actual fact they are different kinds of games. GTA 3 allows you to do things at your own pace and wander round and admire the view. The Getaway is probably more accurately described as similar to Max Payne in it's style and is far more linear in nature than GTA 3. The game consists mainly of gun fights and car chases. Whilst the car chases are excellent and as good as anything seen on the PlayStation 2, the gun fights are an acquired taste as the control method for aiming and firing takes some getting used to and could have included a crosshair.
The game is about two characters, the ex-convict Mark Hammond and Frank Carter, an undercover member of the Flying Squad. To begin with you play as Mark Hammond and then later as Frank Carter. Both characters want to see that big time villain, Charlie Jolson get's what's coming to him. At the beginning of the game Mark hasn't long come out of prison but Charlie tries to see to it that he doesn't remain idle. The games shows their respective sides of the story and the developers have carried this out very well indeed.
What the developers deserve high praise for is creating a mammoth reproduction of London. The streets and shops in the game are instantly recognisable to people who live in the capital and I've come across many message boards where people have recognised either their own local shops or their relatives local shops. Those of you that have played GTA 3 will recall the poor framerate especially when there was plenty of activity on the roads. The Getaway manages to keep the framerate smooth for the most of the game and has a good draw distance too. The game looks far better than anything in the GTA series too. There are 50+ 'real' cars in the game and they all have damage models. Reckless driving will of course lead to the cars destruction. What is also a nice touch is the way that your car becomes difficult to control after a few bangs.
So it's time to look at whether or not the game is suitable for deaf gamers. Overall it's not too bad. There is the option to enable subtitles but I found this covers the cutscenes and important dialogue only. Not all of the speech in the game is subtitled. This doesn't harm the gameplay too much but does take away from the atmosphere somewhat. It's a shame that the option to fully subtitle the game is not there, as this would have improved the game for deaf gamers.
A lot of people will ask whether this is better than GTA 3 or Vice City and that really is difficult to answer because of the differences in the games. I would say that if you enjoyed Max Payne then you would enjoy The Getaway, no bullet time here though. If you want an adult orientated, hard hitting action game, The Getaway will please you no end.
Game Rating: 7.9/10