June 2, 2003
The Italian Job - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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The mini - a classic car...
Yet another movie tie-in this time for The Italian Job, due for release this year, which is a contemporary remake of Paramount's 1969 classic by the same name. Directed by F. Gary Gray (who also directed The Negotiator), the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Seth Green, Jason Statham, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland. This game has been developed for Eidos by Climax in the UK, who certainly aren't strangers to racing games. It looks like Climax have captured much of the excitement of the movie, and yes that includes the mini's.

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Actual in-game screenshot.
Charlie Croker and his gang are left for dead in Venice after being double-crossed during one of the biggest gold bullion heists in history. Taking on the role of Charlie and his gang members, you must wreak vengeance on the man who betrayed you and reclaim the gold. In order to achieve this you need to create the biggest traffic jam in LA history and make your escape in super-charged new Mini Coopers. One of the great things about this game is that it includes hidden extras including movie footage, interviews with the film's cast, film stills, concept art etc.

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Now that's a car.
The Italian Job is an arcade driving game with three modes of play - Story Mode, Circuit Racing and Stunt Driving. The Story Mode is based on the film's plot as you attempt to steal $28 million in gold bullion from under the nose of the man who betrayed you. The game features 15 different missions utilising a range of vehicles and gameplay styles. Create havoc on the streets of LA as you drive at break-neck speeds through environments based on locations in the film including the Hollywood Hills, Downtown LA and the city's Metro and storm drain system. To re-create this sense of speed the game runs at a constant 60fps.

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Getting some air in the limo!
Climax are also incorporating a 2-player mode in the game which is circuit racing via a split-screen around tracks based on locations seen in the film. Test your driving skills to the limit in the Stunt Driving offering you the chance to control a Mini Cooper over various obstacle courses. Of course the range of vehicles is impressive with the new Mini Cooper, muscle cars, armoured truck and cable van all offered in the lineup.

With an opening weekend of approximately $US20 million ($AU30 million) the movie has certainly generated a large audience and this game should also generate much interest. The game is currently expected a couple of months after the movie (the current estimate is September 2003) but given Climax's track record including the stunning MotoGP titles on XBox (different to Namco's PS2 titles) and the rather impressive Rally Fusion: Race of Champions on most major formats.