Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Getaway

(Video Game)

JAMES says:

This excessively violent game involves driving round a realistically rendered London, killing people. Not really much in the way of variety to be honest, but it does have some excellent moments. The first time you drive down Oxford Street and see all the shops in the right places, you feel so happy you stop watching the road and run someone over. You also get a great buzz when you smash through a police line then skilfully drive between triad and yardie cars, making them crash. And you’ve got to love a game that you can pause and look in your A to Z when you get stuck. However, this realism can be a bit disturbing.

The other day, for instance, I spent the morning playing the game, going around Charing Cross stealing buses and causing mayhem, then I went there in the real world in the afternoon, and it made me feel quite uneasy, let me tell you. There are also quite a few problems that would affect anyone, Londoner or no. As I say, it lacks variety, and when it does try to mix things up a little, the results are pretty bad. For instance, there’s a section where you have to sneak through some laser security beams. Unfortunately, your character has obviously been shot in the head at some point, as he is incapable of turning round without also running in that direction. It is also impossible to just pick this up for a quick go. Every level has an opening scene that can last up to 10 minutes, which you can never skip. You also get to the point where you’ve sat through the opening sequence, and the first section of the level, and are getting incredibly bored/pissed off with the bit you’re playing, or need to get to bed/watch TV/pay some attention to your significant other/eat. However, you know that if you stop you’ve got about half an hours solid game play to get back to the point you’re at, so you have to plough on, no matter how unenjoyable you’re finding it. Or give up, I suppose.

Finally, the system dispenses with traditional items such as a map or health register in an attempt to be more realistic. Unfortunately, there’s a reason why most games have these things. Aimlessly driving around London with only a left and right indicator to tell you the way can be incredibly infuriating, and by the time you’ve reached Trafalgar Square for the 5th time you’re ready to kick the TV in. And to avoid having health, you get progressively bloodier the more you get shot, which is quite cool, and you can reverse this by having a little rest, which is just really boring.

To sum up, good fun occasionally, but frequently very tedious.


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