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December 21, 2004
The Getaway: Black Monday - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
17/11/2004SonyTeam Soho1MA15+Easy
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
62KBDolby PLIIYesNoLarge (Intentional)Yes

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Nice background detail.
When Sony Europe released The Getaway two years ago it received wildly mixed reviews. Some people, such as us here at Future Gamez loved the game despite some flaws, while others simply hated it. Given that so much time has passed between the original title, you would expect the developers at Team Soho to have ironed out the kinks in the first game, added plenty of new options, missions and locations and added plenty of freshness to keep up with the competition. Once again the storyline has taken a front seat in this sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday.

London has grown quiet since the big gangland chaos ended two years ago. But in the silence, the London's underworld was rapidly recovering. Sgt. Ben Mitchell's first day back on the force and it ends in carnage. A police raid goes bad and sends a signal that London's undergoing a dangerous transformation - organized crime has returned... On the other side of the city, boxer Eddie O'Connor is getting a severe beating. The bank heist failed and his crew was slaughtered. He's in way over his head and the body count keeps rising. His only way out may lie with an ex-associate, Sam - a brilliant street-tough girl. Now the only things on everyone's mind are revenge and murder. Desperate decisions will be made and someone will pay the price?

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Check out the texturing.
As with the original game The Getaway: Black Monday includes two main gameplay sections. The first of these is the driving sections With 40 square kilometers of London re-created for the game. It must be said that once again the driving sections of the game are spectacular visually. Having said that everything seems eerily familiar with little change from the first title giving you a sense of deja-vu. Perhaps a change of city for this game could have been in order, or at least some major changes to London including opening up some of the smaller roads. Sadly, the physics engine still needs quite a bit more work and if anything the game seems a bit more sluggish then the original. It's almost as if the developers deliberately slowed down the chase sections of the game for some reason. I have no idea why. Perhaps it was due to the poor physics engine of the game and the need to control the cars. Try turning a car when running at high speed and you'll soon be slamming into a wall or spinning around uncontrollably.

The on-foot actions sections have returned with 17 new areas to explore including the underground tube station, River Thames and a large hotel to name a few. The areas are much larger as well making the missions quite a bit longer. Team Soho also heard the cries and this sequel includes 14 weapons at your disposal to bring order or chaos to London: shotguns, machine guns, pool sticks and more. Unfortunately very little has changed from The Getaway with poor targeting which can be very haphazard in selecting enemies. The movement around the levels is strange, some moves come off well, other will cause your death almost instantly. I still like the idea of being able to rest against a wall to recover health though...

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SWAT team on the hunt.
As well as the main game the developers have included several new modes including Free Roaming, Street Racing, Taxi Driver, and Tourist mode. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory the Free Roaming allows you to drive around the streets of London, Taxi Driver sees you driving a cab around London to pick up and drop off passengers in much the same way as Crazy Taxi, but without the crazy. The Racing mode is pretty cool as you tear through the streets of London while the Tourist mode is a snooze through London.

The main complaint I have about this game is the lack of mission detail and description. Even within the first couple of missions I was confused as to the objectives making it more a process of luck to progress tot he next cut scene. Another issues is the length of the game. We here at Future Gamez completed The Getaway: Black Monday in under 10 hours, which given the 100+ hours of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is extremely disappointing. Given that the original game was so hard and turned many people off the developers have made this game much easier. With such mature content, it is likely that more seasoned gamers will likely to take up the challenge of this game - one which has been watered down too far for our liking.

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In the tunnels.
What was certain was that the original game was one of the best looking games ever, and that included PC games. The Getaway: Black Monday doesn't set any new benchmarks in graphics and indeed looks identical to the original. Given the passing of time that doesn't bode well. Sony have motion captured 23 actors for the game and including facial, body and death animations which are accurately portrayed and it shows. While the graphics look splendid much of this is ruined by an often sluggish frame rate and a horrendous camera which for some reason you can only rotate a small amount resulting in many blind spots in many sections of the game. Why, Team Soho, why?

If you can get past the expletives then there is plenty of other speech in this game. Hell, the first short cut-scene contains six uses of the word "fuck", and it continues through the rest of the game. Can I say that the speech and scripting, fortunately, is of very high quality. This is backed by excellent music and very strong sound effects.

Sadly the two years development on The Getaway: Black Monday hasn't resulted in any significant changes to the gameplay. With games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hitting the streets during that time Team Soho have really fallen behind the competition. What really needs to happen when, or if, there is a third title is a radical shift in the game mechanics. If you liked the first this game is worth a play, but for most other gamers there are better options.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSWhile London looks wonderful it hasn't improved from the original.
SOUNDOnce again the sound work in this title impresses, in all areas.
GAMEPLAYDid Team Soho listen to criticism of the first game? Seems not.
VALUESome nice extras, but ultimately falls well short of the competition.
OVERALLThe Getaway: Black Monday is an extremely disappointing title from the aspect that the two years have done little to advance the gameplay. Probably only a game for fans of the original.

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