The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Guildhall Game Corner

Get away from ‘The Getaway’

If a game contains the word “London” somewhere in the description, I seem to be given the review (being British myself). Not that I mind, however, but sometimes this can be a disadvantage as things immediately pop out at me as being obtrusive or nonexistent in the real London. With that said, I was really looking forward to reviewing “The Getaway: Black Monday” (PS2).

Briefly, the game revolves around three central characters and their dealings with the London organized-crime scene: Mitch, the ex-Army Organized Crime Squad officer accused of shooting an innocent and working his way back into the Metropolitan Police; Eddie, the rough and tough local gangster; and Sam, a woman whose obsession with computer hacking led to her brushes with the law. You may think these are fairly stereotypical game heroes and villains and to some extent you’d be right, but playing the game introduces the depth of character missing from some games of this genre.

I’d like to point out right now that I don’t condone any of the illegal activities portrayed in this game. “The Getaway: Black Monday” has an M (Mature) rating from the ESRB, but in my opinion this should have been increased to an A (Adult) title. Read on to find out why.


“The Getaway: Black Monday” has two main action modes, walking and driving, combined in different ways to provide a good variety of missions. The driving aspects of the game have you performing different missions or completing various tasks, such as driving your Crime Squad buddies to a crime scene or stealing a car and outrunning the police (there is even a rather fun Black Cab mode, where you play a London cab-driver and have to ferry passengers around the city). This part of the game feels solid and complete; car control is responsive and extremely fun. In keeping with the crime theme, I enjoyed driving along sidewalks and seeing people scatter in all directions, stealing police cars and ramming the other officers. I’m not really this violent in real life, honest Guv.

But the walking sections of the game are the biggest disappointment. The camera is always pointing over your character’s right shoulder and uses the PS2’s DualShock control system (meaning that you have to use the control sticks to move your character). In some games this is the best method, but for a game like this where fine touch is needed over aspects like inching down corridors and aiming quickly, it can become far more of a hindrance than a benefit. Many times I found my character dying because I couldn’t aim quickly and accurately enough. I suppose the fine touch would develop over time, but all the same it is frustrating.


The PS2 is now a mature technology and many companies have found ingenious ways to make the most of the PS2’s (dare I say it) limited capabilities. So when I received this game, I was anticipating a gorgeous environment accurately recreating the atmosphere of London. While true to reality in some aspects, the overall impression is of a sterile, lifeless world; interiors are beautifully decorated, all feeling as if they could really exist, but the exteriors are very boxy-feeling with none of the detail that you would find in games like Driv3r or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Granted you are usually speeding through the city in or on a vehicle (you can also ride motorcycles), but still there is a nagging feeling that more time could have been spent during development in completing the nuances of the real London. As the box states, the layout of the city is indeed accurate (since I managed to find my old home in the game, that was fun) but that wasn’t enough to keep me hooked.

In keeping with many PS2 titles (and again, being a restriction of the PS2 as a game console), the game textures are all blurry and smeared. This isn’t really a problem when actually playing through the game but it is immediately noticeable during cut scenes. Cut scenes are important parts of a game in that they help provide the back story, the atmosphere and plot of all the characters, but when you keep being distracted by the horrible blurry textures used everywhere, you tend to lose some of the feeling of immersion.

All the character animations are smooth and realistic, hardly surprising since Team Soho used motion capture technology to record human movement in various situations and poses, and there are a huge variety of moves individual to each character (Eddie has very nice hand-to-hand fighting animations with a variety of moves such as head butt, stomach punch and using a hostage as a shield; Sam leaps and swings from beams very gracefully).


I’m really in two minds about this game. On the one hand I liked the atmosphere and the moves you could pull using all three characters. On the other hand I disliked intensely the outside environments and the camera system. But for me, the most disturbing aspect of the game is the language.

Videogame violence is one of the reasons why games such as the Grand Theft Auto series are popular, but The Getaway: Black Monday uses some (if not all) of the foulest language I have ever heard in a game. The “M rating” doesn’t justify using this language at all, and in my opinion it actually detracts from the overall experience. If you visit London after playing this game, please don’t think we’re all foul-mouthed criminals; some of us are actually quite nice. Oh, and the game is okay too.

The Guildhall at SMU is an intense 18-month certificate program in digital game development. The curriculum was designed by expert teachers working with leaders in the gaming industry to provide students with a solid foundation in game development. Visit

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