The Getaway: Black Monday PS2 Review

Sony’s original bandwagon-jumping take on the GTA series was a decent, but flawed attempt at matching Rockstar’s well-established and classic series. The mechanics were there, but it’s just a shame that so many areas of the game needed some picking up. A sequel was inevitable; all those years of work weren’t going to go down the pan after a single game. Is this the game the original should have been?

Sony’s lovingly rendered London is further extended to parts of the Underground as well as the river Thames. It’s just a shame that the city has a bit of an inorganic look about it, with cardboard-like buildings. Apart from that, the Getaway is yet again a realistic recreation of cockney city and undoubtedly prizes some of the best visuals that the PS2 has to offer. It’s just a shame that the game doesn’t offer much incentive to explore every nook and cranny of the city, something that Rockstar have successfully pulled off with the GTA series.

The game is still as plot-driven and verbally profane, although sadly it lacks the brilliant story telling of the original game. That’s not to say that we dislike the plot as it still has some good characters and scripting, it just seemingly lacks something next to the original title. This time around the situation is viewed from three perspectives, although unlike the original game, the plot of the characters takes place from different periods of time.

The three controllable characters have their differences, Mitch for instant favours guns, ex-boxer, Eddie O’ Connor is also able to use guns but in addition he also has the natural ability of employing his fists, finally there’s Sam, who is perhaps the most different character of a diverse bunch as she is unable to get involved in any combat and commands stealth over anything else.

The game begins as you take control of cop, Mitch, in the midst of a bust. Here it becomes clear that the game has had little improvement over the original Cockney caper. The controls are still fairly stiff and not very fluent, although thankfully this doesn’t detract from the overall experience too much. Shootouts are still extremely enjoyable but at the same time are haunted by the unintelligent method of healing yourself. After being shot up, standing next to a wall will result in your current character to lean against it, whilst the incurred bloodstains magically disappear. We’ve heard of natural healing, but come on this is a joke. This just spoils what are otherwise respectable enough on-foot sections, making things all too easy as the AI stands and waits round a corner while you lean against a wall to heal your wounds and you’d probably have enough time to light a cigar and smoke it as well.

The driving is fantastic fun, still boasting real life vehicles (with motorcycles now included) and tight driving controls. That said the return of the indicator navigation isn’t welcome and still manages to confuse as you turn the street into a dead end after following the indicated direction. The roads are congested with traffic and the AI drivers don’t help this, making the driving more frustrating then perhaps it should be.

Throughout this review we may have sounded overly negative, but The Getaway: Black Monday is still a fairly decent title, it’s just one that seems to be kicking and screaming for expansion. The potential for classic status is certainly there, although it’s up to Sony to make use of that potential in the future.