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Game Of The Year Award – Winner

Game of the Year

The Getaway – PlayStation 2

It’s the most ambitious game in years, and Team Soho have pulled it off. As it says in the manual, “bollocks to all those who said it couldn’t be done, it couldn’t be built, it will never run – you’re now playing it!”

You can’t help but be impressed with the outstanding quality of every aspect of The Getaway. There’s 28 sq. km. of London, reproduced in astounding detail (you might even see your house). More than a gimmick, it allows for an immense amount of freedom in gameplay, and hours of explorative ventures. The gameplay is immersive and well balanced; the best gun battles in pretty much any game and heart-pounding driving sections. Graphically, it is superior to 99% of PS2 titles. Pioneering techniques allow for astonishing facial details and a fast, reliable frame rate. The sound is also fantastic, with great voice acting during cut-scenes and gameplay.

What really shines, though, is how The Getaway crosses into movie and film territory. Apart from the DVD-style menu and the many audio and visual options, there is a noticeable lack of screen ‘furniture’ – no health bars or icons, no radar or messages. It feels like you’re in a movie, not a game. This crossing of the boundaries redefines what a ‘game’ is. Team Soho is dragging us into the future of gaming, where games are so good that movies are just non-playable games.

A benchmark title in it’s own right, it shows what can be done, what’s achievable. Game Of The Year 2002, yes, better than GTA: Vice City. The Getaway is a glimpse of the future, a taste of what’s to come. Play this, and you won’t think about games in the same way again.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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