October 3, 2002

The Getaway - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
13/12/2002SonyTeam Soho1$99.95

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The screens still make me drool.
There have been so many rumours about this title. After being shown to the press almost two years ago details have become scarcer and scarcer. By early 2002 many people had the game on the "scrapped" pile. Things weren't helped by SCEE's reluctance to talk about the title or confirm it's current status. Then along comes E3 2002 in America. Not only was The Getaway on display but it was Sony's biggest title on display, and rightfully so. After 3 years in development The Getaway looks like setting new benchmarks in gaming.

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Have you ever seen better streets?
Team Soho begun this game as a PSOne title with 8 people working on the game. Since that time however, and with the shift to Playstation 2, over 50 people have been working away at this title and have taken it from a predominantly mainly driving game to a driving and action game. As you can see the graphics are as close to photo-realistic as ever before and the developers have re-created over 40 square kilometres of London to give the game and authentic look. Everything from buildings to billboards has been faithfully reproduced.

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Yep, it's time to duck for cover.
The storyline of The Getaway tells the tale of two men on opposite sides of the law. The first is Mark Hammond, ex-bank robber and gangster who is on the run for the suspected murder of his wife and kidnapping his son. Then you have Frank Carter, a cop with a massive chip on his shoulder. Both men are being worked over by Charlie Jolson, the Godfather of London's East End for more than 30 years. Jolson has Hammond's kid and is forcing him to be his errand boy -- basically doing his dirty work for him. Hammond wants out, but he has to figure out how to get out of this situation and save his son. Carter is looking to take down the notorious crime boss himself. Who will come out top? Will Hammond save his son? It's all up to you.

The Getaway is a third person adventure game, although it is now possible to switch to a first person perspective for the driving sections of the game. As is becoming the norm these days the developers have secured licenses for over 60 different cars from manufacturers such as BMW, Land Rover and even the world famous double decker buses, all the cars that you would expect to see on London streets. Each car has a realistic physics model for the driving sections of the game which changes the properties of each vehicle. If a car's too slow for you, hop out and steal another.

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Car driving should be terrific fun.
One of the most interesting things that Team Soho has decided about this game is that they haven't held back on anything. The developers know this will be an M rated game and as a result he haven't held back at all. The developers have taken inspiration from movies such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch so there will be plenty of swearing and violence to make the parental groups pretty upset. It will be interesting to see how this game goes with the Australian censors.

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The classic getaway scene.
Graphically, The Getaway is simply stunning. The levels, both interior and exterior are almost photo-realistic. With over 30 artists working on the title for a couple of years every single aspect has been tuned to perfection. The characters are all made of around 2,000 polygons while each face is capable of around 12 different expressions. The developers even used new motion capturing technology so that instead of the white balls on a single actor they are using magnets on up to five actors at once for more realistic interaction between people.

The Getaway looks like being one of the most impressive games this year. There is little doubt that the visuals are second to none, but the gameplay remains to be tested. With many similarities to the Grand Theft Auto games there is no doubt that this game has plenty of potential. Expect more details closer to the games release in December 2002.