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Why This New Generation Needs The Getaway 3
It’s been an awful long time since we’ve seen anything remotely similar to Sony London Studio’s The Getaway series, and we think the series deserves to be rescued from the sidelines for another London gangster tale.
The original game “The Getaway”, was release 11 December 2002 for the Playstation 2 system and was often compared to a London version of Grand Theft Auto, in that it was also a third person sandbox game. It was said to be inspired by British gangland films such as Get Carter and Snatch. The player took control of two protagonists: Mark Hammond, an ex-Collins Crew member, who witnesses his wife being shot and murdered and his son Alex kidnapped by the Bethnal Green Mob. Both fictional gangs. He then sets out after revenge and the return of his son, only to be ambushed and forced to do dirty work for Bethnal green Mob leader Charlie Jolson. The second character the player takes control of, Frank Carter, A Detective Constable serving with the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad unit. Carter’s ambition was to destroy Jolson and his gang.
- It was a game rife with bad language and adult themes. This was certainly not a game for young children and was clearly targeted at an older audience. It was a logical push to convince the public that not every game is made for kiddies. The game was mostly received with critical success, being praised for its excellent cutscenes, graphics, sound and story, but was substantially flawed with poor gameplay mechanics which made it very difficult to complete certain missions. The soundtrack was composed by Shawn Lee, who later went on to make the soundtrack for the game Bully by Rockstar. Evidence of this can be heard in one track especially,”Halloween” which uses a distinct theme from The Getaway. The graphics for its time were very good, although the public were expecting the game to look even better, from seeing some supposed leaked shots, which may have been concept screens, whilst it was in development.
The Getaway: Black Monday
The second in the series, “The Getaway: Black Monday”, was released 12 November 2004. It also featured a number of different protagonists the player controlled throughout the story development. Sgt. Ben “Mitch” Mitchell, an accused trigger happy policeman who’s sudden mood swings and foreboding silences unnerved his fellow colleagues. Eddie O’Connor, a down to earth boxer, is essentially the main protagonist of the game, appearing front of the cover art, and Sam, a ballsy and athletic scam artist and computer hacker. The game featured multiple endings depending on how the player progressed
Black Monday was also praised for it’s graphics, sound and story but let down by the number of glitches and design flaws and gameplay which was not improved but perhaps even worse than its predecessor.
Despite having obvious annoyances with the gameplay, I believe The Getaway is a series that needs to return. And what better time than with the arrival of new systems? The original games still hold up well today in the visuals department, so just imagine what could be created on today’s hardware. Development techniques and design have also come a long way so with an entirely new engine, a third Getaway game could be fixed of it’s habiting flaws. From what we’ve seen of other PS4 exclusives so far, The Order 1886 for example, has some very impressive character models. If we can see similar benchmarks for a new Getaway game, we could see a game with almost film-like proportions.
What are Sony London currently working on?
The Getaway 3 was originally going to be released for the Playstation 3 system, showing of trailers and even a tech demo. The game was reported cancelled in June 2008 but then in October 2009, we were told the game wasn’t cancelled but ‘on hold’ for the foreseeable future. It’s a shame Sony’s London studios has released mainly family orientated gaming in recent years, such as Singstar, Eyetoy, Eyepet, Wonderbook, and The Playroom for PS4 being their most recently-released project. It seems Sony haven’t been using them to their full potential. Perhaps it’s because money has been tight and Sony can’t afford the budget of a new Triple A game and instead get them focusing on titles to attract more casual gamers. Rumours are constantly circulating of a either a new Getaway game or Eight Days in Development or a completely new IP with the studio having job postings for a “Very High-Profile New IP”.
I was always thrilled with sights so familiar to me found in the series. Anything from branding such as the Fosters logo on the side of crates of beer in a warehouse, to properly licensed cars such as Vauxhall, driving around the roads. It was always exciting to hear cockney accents coming from a video game too. It just feels like back in the PS2 days, there was more creative freedom. But it’s something Sony has promised will return with this new generation of consoles. I miss the sense of drama and suspense The Getaway brought to the table. The narrative was unlike any other game on the market and is the closest example to playing a British TV style drama. I miss the deep bass found in the soundtrack as you plough your way through assailants. I miss the character designs who seem like people you could easily meet down the pub in real life. If you also hunger for a new Getaway game, or you completely disagree, leave your thoughts below.