For Vice City and GTA3 fans, The Getaway brings that street-gang shooting action to London, England. The result is both fun and sometimes frustrating.
You don't know where you're going. Even though your *character*, Mark Hammond, would of course know London, YOU don't. So you're stuck with this really annoying flashing-turn-signal system. It tells you in general which direction to go - but isn't good at exact turns. It can have you zig-zagging all over creation.
The car modelling is good, and the driving is fairly realistic. The cars seem to be very flammable and prone to skidding, though. Where a good driver could get through situations fine in real life, in this game you're constantly restarting because your car got bashed into a wall or caught on fire after a few bumps. You can't look left or right (or behind for that matter) so you're constantly getting slammed into from regular cars you didn't see.
Finally, you figure out your destination. Now you're thrown into a GIANT gunfight. Again, no getting-used-to-things here. There are no health bars, no indicators, nothing. All you have is red spots on your body and the ability to lean on the wall to gain health. I think a medkit is far more realistic actually, to stop bleeding and feel better!
That's not to say I didn't like the game. We did enjoy playing it, first 12 missions as bad-guy Mark Hammond and then 12 more as rogue-cop Frank Carter. But where other games give you a sense of satisfaction as you plow forward, this game involved a ton of replaying the same mission over and over (many times with long cut-scenes which were unskippable) and getting killed because someone broadsided you, or someone shot you 3 times (you die very quickly) or a myriad of other reasons.
The graphics are *gorgeous*. When you shoot someone on the stairs, they roll down. The car models are great. The city of London is extremely realistic, as you can tell by looking at any real life London map. There are a ton of indoor and outdoor scenes.
But the game is very stagnant. Your missions are forced down your throat, no breaks. No 'hang out' or 'drive around' time. No day/night cycles, no weather. Characters love to swear and are just nasty with each other 99% of the time - no cool dialogue. Sometimes the dialogue doesn't match up with the action, either. You only get to have 'free drive' at the very end of the game.
A good way to blow through a weekend or two, but definitely not the months-of-fun that the GTA series provides!
Buy The Getaway from Amazon.com