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The Getaway

The Getaway PS2

Developer(s)
Team Soho
Publisher(s)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Series
The Getaway
Engine
Kinetica
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Release Date(s)
EU December 11, 2002
NA January 19, 2003
Genre(s)
Action
Shooting
Modes(s)
Single Player
Rating(s)
BBFC: 18
ESRB: Mature
Media
DVD

IntroEdit

The Getaway is an action/adventure video game developed by Team SOHO and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for the PlayStation 2. The Getaway was the first game in the series and was released in the United Kingdom on 11 December 2002. The game was written by Brendan McNamara and Katie Ellwood. Brendan McNamara directed the game, while Katie Ellwood produced it. The game was inspired by British gangster movies like Get Carter and Lock, Stock and Two Smocking Barrels and has been compared to the popular Grand Theft Auto series. Indeed, The Getaway was released shortly after Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the latter had overshadowed The Getaway. Despite this, The Getaway managed to sell a quarter of a million copies in the run up to Christmas 2002. The game had initially been planned for release to co-incide with the launch of the PS2 in 2000 but was delayed for 2 years due to re-creating extensive areas of London in high-resolution. As a result, the game cost in excess of £5,000,000 to make. Sadly, despite the initial hype, the game has mostly been forgotten about today. This is due to the fact that the sequel, The Getaway: Black Monday released in 2004, wasn't as popular as the original and was overshadowed by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Furthermore, the GTA series keeps improving and was widely known about around the world, unlike The Getaway series.

Gameplay Edit

The Getaway is a sandbox-style game, where the player is put onto the streets of a virtual London City, which has been recreated exactly like the city itself. During missions, the player is able to go anywhere they like, although many missions have strict time limits and will be failed if the player wastes too much time. However, after having finished the game completely, players are then able to select an additional option from the main menu: "Free Roaming", which gives the player the option of driving freely around London without mission objectives, time-limits or threat of attack by gangsters and/or law-enforcement officers (unless provoked by the player). In contrast to GTA, The Getaway uses real car names like Alfa Romero, Vauxhall, Range Rover, Saab, Renault, Citroën, Brabus, Lotus, Nissan, Lexus, Fiat, Optare, Mazda, Honda, and Toyota. To keep in with the realisim of London, there are few weapons in the game, due to guns being illegal in the United Kingdom. The weapons include: Glock 17 (Handgun), AK-47 (Assault Rifle), Shotgun, MP5 (Uzi) and melee weapons like a police baton, baseball bat, crowbar and cleaver. The melee weapons are ineffective in combat as most gang members and police officers carry guns. The game is realistic in terms of brutality and has a dark tone to it. There is a lot of violence, blood, strong lanuage and some nudity (see Controversy of the game). Like the GTA series, the game was rated 18 in the UK and Mature in the USA.

Plot Edit

The first half of the game follows Mark Hammond, an ex-con who has recently been released from prison and has settled down with his wife Suzie and his son Alex. The game opens in Covent Garden at 8.00 AM. Some gangsters, two men and a woman, confront Suzie who is taking Alex to school. Suddenly, the men grab Suzie, who shouts at Mark above for help. As a result, Harry, the man in the green suit, shoots her in the chest and kills her. Mark rushes out in time to see his son being bundled into a red Rover 75 and his wife lying on the pavement. Mark foolishly picks up the murder weapon, incriminating himself. Suzie dies, pleading to Mark to get their boy. Consumed with rage, Mark frantically tails the car to a warehouse where he is confronted by Charlie Jolson, the leader of the Bethnal Green Mob, who is holding Alex hostage. Jolson tells Mark that he is to work for him or his kid will die: "We're gonna play a little game. I ring you, you do the job. You don't do what I tell you, the kid dies. You don't do it when I tell you, the kid dies. You don't do it where I tell you, the kid dies. You talk to anyone, you're late or you let me down, the kid dies! You get my drift?"

Mark is extremely upset, but realises he has no choice. His first job is torching the Republican Restaraunt, that belonged to Nick Collins, the leader of the Collins Gang, the gang that Mark used to be part of. Mark does this thinking this is all Charlie wants. However, this is only the beginning. Charlie then orders Mark to hit the Triads and threatens him with Alex's death. With no one to turn to, Mark phones Liam, who is part of the Collins Gang. Liam is angry at what Mark has just done but Mark explains that Charlie is making him do this. Understanding this, Liam reluctantly agrees to help. Mark is forced to do more jobs for Charlie which include stealing a drug filled statue from the Triads, breaking out Jake Jolson, Charlie's nephew, impersonating a phone repair man to assassinate a DCI Clive McCormack and attacking the Yardies to steal £300k in drug money. As a result, Mark ends up with gang members wanting to kill him. The police are also after Mark, because they believe he killed Suzie. During one of his missions, he encounters Yasmin, a female assassin who was present when the Bethnal boys killed Suzie. She knows where Alex is being held and offers to help Mark if he helps her. Mark agrees because he has at least one person on his side. Unfortunatley, Yasmin is caught and Mark betrays Charlie by killing one of his heavies. Charlie has them locked in the basement of his warehouse and phones the other gangs. He arranges to meet them at the Sol Vita ship at St Saviours Dock where he will hand over Mark to the Collins Gang, the Triads and the Yardies.

The second half of the game follows DC Frank Carter, a Dirty Harry-esqe undercover cop who is wanting to take down Charlie Jolson and his gang. Frank's missions run parallel to Mark's missions. Mostly, Frank Carter has to clear up the mess that Mark has made. One his first mission, Frank and his partner Joe Fielding have to raid a brothel in order to arrest Jake Jolson. Unfortunately, Jake shot Joe, meaning that Frank had to take him to hospital while the SO19 arrest Jake. DCI McCormack, Frank's boss who Mark Hammond would later assassinate, has received orders from Charlie Jolson to keep Carter away from Jake's interview. Frank is not aware that McCormack is bent yet. When Mark breaks out Jake, McCormack blames Frank and suspends him. This should have kept Frank away from Charlie and Jake Jolson's case, but Frank decides to break the rules further and become a vigilante. He follows McCormack to Charlie's depot and overhears him giving one of Charlie's heavies, instructions on how to find Frank's partner Fielding, and kill him. Frank realises that McCormack is bent and hurries to the hospital to protect Joe. Joe tells Frank that he can't prove anything about McCormack as Mark Hammond has killed him. However, he does tell Frank about a lock-up where Jolson keeps his real records. Frank finds these and decides to raid Charlie's warehouse. He overhears Charlie telling Harry and Jake that he intends to blow up all the rival gangs, Mark, Yasmin and Alex in order to have London to himself. As a result, Frank offers Mark Hammond and Yasmin a deal if they agree to help him stop Charlie.

ClimaxEdit

Frank frees Mark and Yasmin and he drives up to Charlie's depot. Mark and Yasmin drive to Charlie's Mayfair mansion to find Alex. Mark finds Alex being bundled into a car which drives away. He phones Frank who says that they are headed for the Sol Vita. He says that he will follow Jake. Mark and Yasmin drive over to the Sol Vita. Mark finds and kills Harry while Yasmin kills Eyebrows and Frank kills Jake. They find Alex at the bomb and free him. They are just about to leave when Nick arrives with Liam who is holding a gun at Charlie's head. Nick takes charge of the situation. As Nick is furious at Mark, he wants to kill him. Liam, who understands Mark's circumstances, trys to calm Nick down. Just then Jamahl and the Yardies arrive. They agree with their enemies the Triads and want to kill Mark. Mark asks to them to let Alex and Yasmin go and he will take what's coming. He explains that Charlie killed Suzie and kidmapped Alex, then blackmailed him into doing jobs all over town. He says he only did it for his son to live. He says that he couldn't understand why Charlie was having him taking turns in hitting each of the gangs. Charlie laughs at this and claims that Mark killed his wife and that he only took Alex in for his respect for Suzie. Frank intervenes and tells the gangs that Charlie wanted them all out the way so that he can have London to himself. Nick agrees to let Mark, Yasmin and Alex go, but he tells Mark that he doesn't condone him for killing his men. He asks Mark to leave London tonight for good. The Triads and the Yardies reluctantly agree to avoid a gang war with the Collins Gang. Mark tries to let them free Frank too. They refuse as they can't have the police knowing their business. Frank doesn't care as he would find it degrading to be saved by criminals. Charlie who feels he has lost the battle, goes mad and presses the detonator. Everyone panics and several gang members get shot. Frank fights his way through and jumps off the ship as it explodes.

CharactersEdit

See also: List of Characters

Mark Hammond - A former member of the Soho based Collins Gang. After spending 5 years in prison, he decided to put his criminal life behind him. Unfortunately, the Bethnal Green Mob murder his wife and kidnap his son. The police frame Mark for the crime. Mark is forced to do suicide missions for Charlie Jolson, the leader of the Bethnal Green Mob. Mark becomes a fugitive, dragged into a world he vowed to leave forever. Voiced by Don Kembry.

DC Frank Carter - A member of the Flying Squad, Carter's ambition is to nail Charlie Jolson. His boss, McCormack, does not share this ambition and suspends him for his 'Rambo' ways. Frank becomes a vigilante a decides to bend the rules in order to bring down the Bethnal Green Mob. He is the only police officer who believes that Mark Hammond is innocent and forms an alliance with him in order to stop Jolson taking over London. Voiced by Joe Rice.

Charlie Jolson - An aging, fat, bald gangster and the leader of the notorious Bethnal Green Mob. Jolson has a taste for the finer things in life - Classic Bentleys, Saville Row suits and Cuban cigars. Charlie is a British patriot and is racist. Many people hate him except for his gang of heavies. Charlie was once the biggest crime boss in London. Times have changed. New gangs of different race have formed and today's London is not one that Charlie recognises. Young ones don't respect him anymore. Charlie feels it is time to turn back the clock. He uses Mark as a pawn in his diabolical plan to wipe out the other gangs. Voiced by Ricky Hards.

Yasmin - A female assassin for hire, but was working for Charlie. She is a stunning brunette and is ruthless. She gets a kick out of killing men. She has never known a man who wasn't interested in her and uses her allure to lead her contracts to destruction. Beneath this icy pretence lies a hurt, little girl. Yasmin was present when Charlie's boys killed Mark's wife. Charlie sent Mark on a mission to kill her but Yasmin tells him that she knows where Alex is being held. She agrees to assist Mark but wants to kill Charlie because she now knows that he had no loyalty for her. Voiced by Anna Edwards.

Jake Jolson - Charlie's nephew and brutal sidekick. A tall and hulking man with short cropped hair, Jake is a crazy man who likes to shoot cops and torture Triads. His wild antics are feared by McCormack, who belives that Jake could be drawing attention to his corrupt dealings. Charlie, however, is fond of his nephew and believes he is important to the Bethnal Green Mob. He shares a mutual hatred with Mark Hammond and is best friends with Eyebrows and Sparky. Voiced by Dave Golds.

Eyebrows - He may seem quiet, but he is brutal. He is an excellent driver and is extremely loyal to Charlie and Jake Jolson. He accompanies Mark Hammond on one of his missions. Eyebrows fancies Yasmin, however, the latter doesn't like him much as she believes he's a 'lecherous prick'. Voiced by Paul Burfoot.

DCI Clive McCormack - Leader of the Flying Squad and is bent. McCormack is not a very nice man. He is hated by both Mark Hammond and Frank Carter. He has been in Charlie Jolson's pocket for 10 years. As a result, McCormack tries to keep Carter away from Jolson's case by suspending him. He is also responsible for arresting Mark Hammond which led to Hammond being sentenced to 5 years in jail. However, McCormack betrays Charlie by arresting Yasmin. Charlie sends Mark Hammond to kill him. Hammond got the revenge he never thought he would get. Voiced by Mick Oliver.

Harry - Charlie Jolson's right-hand man. He helps to get Charlie connected to the other gangs. Harry is an old but agggressive man who is usually armed with a sawn-off shotgun. He is responsible for Suzie's murder but later sympathises with Mark when he becomes his temporary mission controller. When Hammond betrayed Charlie, Harry wanted to kill him, but Mark wanted mutual revenge. Voiced by Michael Preston.

Grievous - He is a low-ranking member of the Bethnal Green Mob. He is very tall but not too tough. He is easily frightened by Jake's sneaky style. Grievous is not seen in the game very often, but was present when Alex was kidnapped. Voiced by Jim Darrah.

Sparky - Another of Charlie's heavies. He is one of Jake's best friends and has a taste for electrocuting people with an electric wire. He is killed by Mark Hammond. This was seen as an act of betrayal by Charlie. Voiced by Symond Lawes.

Big Walter - Yet another of Charlie's heavies. He is rarely seen. He is a fat man who was given instructions on how to find DC Fielding, Frank's partner, by McCormack. Frank, desperate to save his partner's life, kills him. Voiced by Jason Parker.

DC Joe Fielding - Frank Carter's partner. He is old but is a good runner. He is shot by Jake and Carter had to rush him to hospital. This leaves Carter without immediate armed assistance. Later Carter overhears a plot on Joe's life and he rushes to the hospital to save him. He manages to give Carter information on Charlie's lock-up where he keeps his "real records". It is believed that Joe made a full recovery from his injuries. Voiced by Vic Robinson.

Liam Spencer - A member of the Collins Gang and Mark's best friend. He is initially angry with Mark when he burned down the Republican but he understands Mark's circumstances and tries to help him find Alex. Liam worries for Mark's safety. Liam had to reason with his boss Nick to save Mark at the end. Like the rest of the gang, Liam hates Charlie Jolson. Voiced by Paul Swaby.

Nick Collins - The leader of the Collins Gang. His gang are based in the Soho area of London. Nick plays an important role in the game but more some reason he is rarely seen. The Collins Gang believe in the motto 'Work Hard, Play Harder'. Mark Hammond used to be part of his gang. When Hammond was released from prison, Nick could understand that Hammond wanted to leave his gang. However, Nick was furious when Mark destroyed his bar, The Republican, and killed several of his friends. Nick vowed to kill Mark but when the two confronted each other, Mark explained that Charlie had blackmailed him. Nick understood and decided to spare Mark's life on the condition that he leaves London forever. Nick was killed in the explosion aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Russell Levy.

Jamahl - head of the Yardie gang. He is involved in London's crack trade. Jamahl hates Charlie Jolson and is a very dangerous man. He is furious when Mark Hammond shot his gang members and stole his money. Jamahl confronted Mark on the Sol Vita but Mark reasoned with him. Although he wasn't too happy about Mark still being alive, he wanted to avoid a fight with Nick Collins and reluctantly agreed to spare Mark's life. Jamahl survives the explosion aboard the Sol Vita and reappears in The Getaway: Black Monday. Voiced by Elwin 'Chopper' David.

Shan Chu Lee - head of the London based section of the Triads. His gang are involved in dealing heroin as well as illegal immigration. He cannot speak English, only Chinese, but he can still understand English. He relies on his translator to speak to the other crime bosses. His business was badly affected by Mark Hammond but Nick Collins asked him as a favour to spare Mark. Mr Lee agreed. He and his gang are killed in the explosion aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Wai Tsang.

Controversy Edit

The Getaway is a particularly adult game. The violence in the game is frequent and strong as many people are shot dead with bloody results as well as several torture scenes. The language is strong throughout as every character swears and there are even some racist terms used by members of the Bethnal Green Mob. There is some nudity in the cutscenes involving the strip club Touch of Class where a lap dancer has her breasts exposed. There are occaisonal references to drugs such as cocaine and heroin and cannabis plants are explicitly shown in a house operated by the Yardies. All these actions as well as the glamorization of criminal and dangerous activites was enough to have the game rated 18 in the UK. This means that only adults should play this game and not children.

Shortly after the game's UK release, BT complained about the use of their logo on a Transit van on the mission Filthy Business. The mission in question involved Mark Hammond stealing a BT van and killing the driver of the 'real' BT van. Then, Mark went on a rampage through a police station to assassinate a corrupt officer. BT were offended with this as they did not want their name and livery associated with the violent scenes in the game. In addition, BT were also concerned for the safety of their employees as they believed the game might incite attacks on their employees.

Subsquently, an edited version of the game was released in the UK in January 2003. This is the same version as the one released in the US. The changes made to the game include:

  • The BT van and all references to BT were removed. The van was replaced with an ordinary white Ford Transit.
  • The torture scene involving Johnny Chai from the cutscene in the mission Taxi for Mr Chai was edited. Instead of showing Jake Jolson beating Johnny, the scene focused on the facial expressions of Walter and Sparky.
  • An extra vehicle was added to Free Roaming mode.
  • The use of the word 'cunt' was removed from the cutscene in the mission The Prodigal Son. The word was replaced with 'fuck'.

The US version of the game was edited further by having nudity removed from the cutscenes which involved the strip club.

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