The Getaway brings the streets of London back onto our screens in Black Monday. It seems that everyone is a cockney geezer, lifted straight from the set of Lock Stock. Anyway, cultural and phonetic diversity aside, London looks good - the road mapping is very good, in that if you know the city, you can recognise where you are and where you are going. Of course, all the best short cuts aren’t there, but that’s life. They have even included the London Eye and Foster’s Gherkin to keep the purists happy.
In Black Monday you play three characters: Mitchell, the trigger happy cop, Eddie O’Conner, the ex-boxer and Sam, a thief. Each character is different and helps the game evolve somewhat.
The game plays out flexibly, with the player deciding how to complete the levels and how to progress. Its fun, but you have to look at what is going on around - and this is no San Andreas.
The biggest complaint about the first version of The Getaway was the controls and the camera. Walking around a building was a nightmare because the camera had a mind of its own. This has been totally revamped and moving your guy around on foot is now not a problem - but it lacks the feel that you get from other third person shooters, leaving you a little open to attacks as you figure out what you are doing.
The game opens well with a film style intro that isn’t too painful to watch - it looks good, and it sounds great. However, I have beef with the cutscenes. They are okay the first time round, but if you accidentally start a new game, you are stuck watching the opening again - with no escape, other than reset. It’s a small point, but one which will cause headaches in the future unless you need the occasional tea break.
There is no denying that the map is good, and the environment is exciting. Ok, I've never seen that many Yardies rolling around Shoreditch, but that London thing is going on in this game. You can certainly do a lot worse, but if your shopping for one game, I doubt Black Monday will have enough bang for your buck. I would give it another point on the score, but there is too much else out there in one of the toughest Xmas seasons for gaming so far.