If Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino collaborated on a crime film, only to realize that they hated each other's guts halfway through filming and wanted nothing more than to sabotage the project, a cinematic failure along the lines of The Getaway: Black Monday would likely be the result. Amid hardhearted action sequences and vulgar cockney dialogue, the plot unfolds through flashbacks, flashforwards, blurring time periods, and maybe even some wormhole-related anomalies. I applaud Team Soho's grand scope and attempt to bring ambitious storytelling to the video game front. With beautifully animated and well-acted sequences fueling every second of the story, it definitely feels like an interactive motion picture. Sadly, it's also a bit hard to follow, and not nearly as gripping as Charlie Jolson's twisted mind games from the original entry in the series.
Additionally, you never really get the impression that the three playable characters are connected to the events at hand. In the original title, you really got the sense that you knew who Mark Hammond was, and would go to any length to help him exact revenge on Jolson. In this entry, Sergeant Ben Mitchell's personality is paper thin, Eddie comes across as a cheap attempt to diversify the action with hand-to-hand combat, and Sam's hard-edged ways just gnaw at your nerves. It is nice that you can alter the events at hand to bring about multiple endings, but as you can imagine, my disinterest with the plot to begin with didn't necessarily transition into the desire to see different outcomes.
Without a truly engaging story to fall back on, it was up to Team Soho to create a thrilling gameplay experience. Sadly, the game is still firing blanks and driving on four flat tires. Team Soho did little to improve upon this series' shoddy gameplay. Targeting is still incredibly frustrating, your character movements are very mechanical, the vehicle physics are painfully inaccurate, and although improved, the enemy AI is still prone to blindly running right into the barrel of your smoking gun. The changes or new additions that Team Soho has implemented are minimal at best. The game now boasts a pause screen map system, you can fire a gun while driving, and motorcycles can be jacked. The game does have moments of brilliance, and I was impressed with the diversity of missions, but in an age where Grand Theft Auto continues to improve with each passing release, a mediocre Getaway sequel gets beat down in a bad, bad way.Concept:
A hard-boiled British crime caper that will make you scratch your head in confusion over the plot twists, and shake your fist over the shoddy gameplay
London's gorgeous details are diminished by the bumbling animations of its occupants
The only area of the game that doesn't have faults. The voice-acting and score are perfect
Very ambitious, but also very disappointing
Rated: 7 out of 10
Editor: Andrew Reiner
Issue: February 2005
As always, the English are living in the past. In keeping its bad targeting and camera, as well as the awkward movement of its characters, this game has all the grace of the Queen of England getting drunk and stripping for pounds just like the first Getaway. The simple and repetitive action is sharply contrasted by the explicit care put into everything from the stellar voice-acting to the cinematic cutscenes. Although I like the philosophy behind the HUD-less interface, I often wanted a little more direction during missions to complement the impressive wide-open environments. Rue Britannia!
Rated: 7 out of 10
Editor: Matthew Kato
Subscribe to Game Informer