Guy Ritchie would be so proud.
Size of Liberty City in GTA 3: 8.12 km²
Size of Lost Heaven in Mafia: Approximately 10.2 sq.km The game also features a countryside outside of the city. The total area of the countryside measures between 30 and 40 square kilometers (18.75-25 sq. miles)
Size of London in The Getaway: 10.0 sq.km of photorealistic depiction of London. Burroughs in The Getaway include: Marylebone, Mayfair, Westminster, Soho, Bloomsbury, St Pancras, Holburn, Lambeth, Southwark, Borough, Finsbury, Clerkewell, Shoreditch, Barbican, Broadgate and City Of London.
An ace, bang up job from Team Soho and Sony- The Getaway comes as an answer to the massive success of the Grand Theft Auto series from across the pond.
With a photorealistic depiction of London, graphics that still hold up today, no gameplay overlays (no ammunition indicators or health bar) Sony went for a true crime-cinema experience and it paid off well – for the most part.
The bulk of the game follows, Mark Hammond, an ex-convict who is trying to lead a straight and narrow life with his wife, Suzie and son, Alex. One morning an ex-rival gang boss targets Hammond’s family as he sleeps. After the kidnapping goes awry, Hammond is awoken to gunshots. He has just enough time to rush downstairs to the street to see his son being stuffed into a car and his wife bloodied on the ground. In her dying moments, your wife begs you to go pursue your son’s captors.
You immediately pursue your son’s kidnappers and they lead you straight into a trap. One of the many compounds of tough-as-nails old school ding dong, mob boss, Charlie Jolson.
Let’s play a little game. I ring you, you do the job. You don’t do what I tell you, the kid dies. You don’t do it when I tell you, the kid dies. You don’t do it where I tell you, the kid dies. You talk to anyone, you’re late, or you let me down, your kid dies! You getting my drift?Jolson to Hammond
From there, using your son as leverage – Jolson and his crew have you driving all over London one miserable day – starting turf wars between other gang’s in the city. He has you hit the Yardies, the Triads and even the family you used to work for, The Collin’s Boys. Insanity ensues – and it all inevitably leads to a massive Tarantino style Mexican stand off.
The first thing that blows you away is the sleek production value. The voice acting in The Getaway is top notch and there are only a few series I can name off the top of my head during the ps2 era that matched this level of quality. Team Soho did a fantastic job bringing to life the game as well as the city of London. In comparison to its direct rival, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the city of London is packed with (real) cars.
The graphics looked fantastic, the gameplay is incredibly challenging at times, with gunfights being much more realistic then other open world crime games at the time. You even take damage in car wrecks – even though I believe Mafia did that before both, The Getaway and GTA.
The first thing you will notice immediately is the driving controller scheme. Which has you accelerate and steer manipulating both analog joysticks. If you push the left one forward you accelerate while the right one is solely to steer. I found myself get used to it and even comfortable with it after a few hours of high speed chance but it never felt natural and I’m glad the trend never really took off. At times it just feels like the joysticks are just too sensitive – making the cars handle even worse then they already do.
Other parts of the game that had me longing for more were more motivated by this being a twenty year old release. The sand-box open gameplay isn’t unlocked until you beat the story. Which is a pet peeve of mine (that’s how Mafia plays as well) but even once you do get to Free Ride Mode, you realize how lonely this gameplay universe really is. Sure it has some of London’s most beautiful sites, the roads and lanes all packed full of cars but there just isn’t anything to do. With the exception of finding a few rare cars throughout the city. Offering really, little replay value.
Ultimately, the game looks and sounds great and offers a fun, crazy story. If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie films then, The Getaway is a can’t miss crime thrill ride.
Overall: 87% (Silver)