Grand Theft Imitation: The Getaway (2002).
(AfroGamers.com) If you enjoyed British crime movies like Get Carter, Snatch, or Locked, Stocked, and Two Smoking Barrels you just might fall in love with The Getaway.
This game is very heavy on story and drama. I’d say the only clone that comes close is The Godfather. It delivers on story more than GTA, Scarface, Saints Row—all of them. Notice that Driver 3 was excluded. No one cares about Driver 3. But The Getaway, this title has a small following that should be bigger because the game was damn good.
It is split into two different stories. One tells the tale of a bank robber named Mark Hammond, who is trying to leave the Collins Crew and go legit. He was just released from prison and the time away from his son has him wanting to be a good father and be a square head.
As mafia dramas have told us, it’s not that easy to simply leave the life. Now he’s a marked man—no pun—with his wife being killed and his young boy Alex being snatched by the rival Bethnal Green gang. His quest to get his son back has him run into several rival firms such as the 14K Triad, the Yardies, Bethnal Green, and his former gang, the Collins Crew.
The other story is about rogue detective D.C Frank Carter known for his hardboiled, violent tactics and drive to destroy the Bethnal Green Mob. The game eventually ties Carter and Hammond together in a bit to save Alex and take down the Mob.
So, this wouldn’t be a clone if the core gameplay elements weren’t crime, driving, and shooting, right? The thing here is that there is no money. You don’t buy weapons or armor. You come in with what you have and pick up weapons as they drop. Also, there is no HUD. You have health but it’s not indicated. There’s no day-night cycle since most of this happens in the course of a day or two.
This comes down to the game being driven by its story. If your kid is kidnapped, you’re not going to hit up strip clubs and do some joy racing, are you? It’s all about the drama and the difficult but fun gun battles as both characters engage in raids on hideouts and businesses.
Gun battles require some patience but getting through one is rewarding. They aren’t slow but the AI isn’t to be f****d with. You’re not going to be mowing mobsters down easily and you’re not going into places like the Terminator and turning it into a ghost town.
Technically the game is open world. In the main story mode, you can drive around London but since the story dictates the pace you’re expected to get to places in a timely manner. So, you’re not going to be exploring and honestly, outside of the genuine recreations of the different parts of London, there’s nothing to explore. The Free Mode isn’t particularly fun since there’s nothing to do but drive around and attack people.
Normally, when open world games are made these two elements are mixed together seamlessly. This ensures that you sink in a ton of time. That’s not the case here. If someone says “The Getaway should take you 20 hours to complete.” You’re pretty much going to complete it in that time.
That aside, the game has a realistic look and feel to it. All the cars don’t go fast like in GTA, when they hit something, they have this heavy feel to them. The guns don’t go full on berserker mode and just spray everyone in sight. When you’re injured, you’re not going to find a health pack or anything, you have to rest and recover what you can.
While it is restrictive in what you can do as far as driving around and exploration, The Getaway offers a memorable story and some fun gameplay within those restrictions. Also memorable are some of the missions and the shoot outs that ensue such as taking on the 14K Triad in the museum or the Yardies (who have the best warning music in the game) in the housing development.
As an early 2000s clone, it’s probably the best there is. For those who want more steak than sizzle, The Getaway is definitely up your alley.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10 (Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.