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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 is the first in the series and is said to have been inspired by British gangland films Get Carter and Snatch. Initially, the release of the game was to coincide with the launch of the games platform, the PlayStation 2 in 2000, but was delayed by a period of 18 months due to the nature of re-creating extensive areas of London in high-resolution. In the game it is not possible to see the Crooked Surgeon or drive up floral street to the Tintin Shop.

The game focuses on two characters each with their own plot settings, being a police officer in service with the Flying Squad, Detective Constable Frank Carter and an ex-bank robber, Mark Hammond with both plots running parallel and intersecting before concluding in the finale of the game.

A sequel to The Getaway, entitled The Getaway: Black Monday was released in 2004.

Gameplay

The Getaway is designed as a third-person sandbox-style game in which the player controls the two lead characters as they carry out their missions for game progression. Both of the two characters can perform a series of physical tasks, such as walking, sprinting, rolling, shooting and taking cover during a firefight. Once both of the games characters missions have been completed, a "free roaming" option from the main menu is opened allowing the player to roam around the City districtmarker and Central London without mission objectives, time-limits or attack of rival gang members or police.

The game features a number of licensed vehicles from real automobile manufacturers that the player can control, unlike those seen in the Grand Theft Auto series which are fictional. The majority of the vehicles in the game are made by MG Rover Group, Jensen Motors, Saab, PSA Peugeot Citro├źn, Fiatmarker and Lexus along with a number of others. Firearms and weapons available to the player include the Glock 17 pistol, the AK-47 assault rifle, Remington 870 pump-action shotgun and the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub machine gun, other weapons include a meat cleaver and crowbar among others.

Plot

The first twelve missions of the game follows the fictional story of Mark Hammond (voiced by Don Kembry), an ex-member of the Sohomarker-based "Collins Crew" who has recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for armed robbery. Soon after being released, Hammond witnesses his wife being shot and killed and his son, Alex, being kidnapped by a gang known as the "Bethnal Greenmarker Mob", before rushing to his dying wife's aid who is lying on the pavement. Emotionally perturbed by the situation, Hammond inadvertently incriminates himself by picking up the firearm that killed his wife, leading the police and the public thinking that Hammond killed his wife and kidnapped his son for the rest of the game. After hearing his wife's dying words, Hammond chases the car carrying his son to a warehouse where he is ambushed by the boss of the "Bethnal Green Mob", Charlie Jolson (voiced by Ricky Hards) who is holding Hammonds son hostage. It later transpires that Jolson kidnapps Hammonds son as he knows that Hammond will do whatever is needed to be done in order to get his son back, which eventually equates to murdering police officers and starting a gang war between Hammonds rivals. If Hammond complies, he is promised his son's safe return. Charlie Jolson explains the "game" he intends to play with Mark:

Most of the missions that involve Hammond are made up of two elements, being driving and shooting. The chronologically ordered missions include Hammond burning down an establishment operated by his previous criminal employers, attacking the London branch of the 14K Triad and Yardies to entice a turf war between the two factions, ambushing a prison transport convoy to release Jolson's nephew, Jake Jolson (voiced by Dave Gold) and attacking Snow Hill Police Station to kill a corrupt Detective Chief Inspector, Clive McCormack and free Yasmin (voiced by Anna Edwards) from police custody, an ex-gang member of Jolson's who participated in the murder of Hammond's wife and kidnapping of his son, eventually leaving Jolson to help Hammond find his son.

Subsequently, Hammond is captured by Jake Jolson after he infiltrates Charlie's warehouse it an attempt to locate his son and while in the process kills Sparky, a loyal member to Jolson. At the same time as Mark's capture, Yasmin's assassination attempt of Jolson is also inconsequential as she is captured while infiltrating Jolson's highly protected manor. Upon Hammond and Yasmin being reunited in a basement cell of Jolson's warehouse, they learn that they are bait in a scheme masterminded by Jolson to lure all the rival gangs in London to his ship, the Sol Vita at St. Saviour's Dockmarker before blowing the ship up to wipe them all out.

The second half of the game follows the story of a suspended and disgraced police officer, Detective Constable Frank Carter (voiced by Joe Rice) in service with the Flying Squad as he attempts to wipe out Jolson and his gang. Both stories take place parallel to each other causing Hammond and Carter to come into contact on several occasions. Carter's partner, DC Joe Fielding (voiced by Vic Robinson) is shot at the beginning of the game, leaving Carter alone and without armed assistance while on duty. Carter also reports to several disturbances that have been caused by the player as the character Mark Hammond, such as the Collins Crew establishment which Mark burned to the ground and Carter was escorting Jake Jolson before he was broken out by Hammond. Due to his "Rambo ways" , Carter's superior officer, DCI Clive McCormack suspends him pending investigation. While suspended, Carter grows skeptical of McCormack's integrity and covertly follows his boss to a depot operated by Jolson's Bethnal Green Mob. Using stealth tactics, Carter discovers McCormack's corrupt relationship with Charlie Jolson. Upon hearing that McCormack has orderd the assassination of his partner, Joe, Carter rushes to the hospital and adverts the attempted assassination. However he cannot clear his name as McCormack was just killed by Hammond. Joe gives him a new lead to follow up about the Jolson's (tax records). Carter then makes his way to Jolson's warehouse where he discovers Hammond and Yasmin locked in a cell. After eavesdropping on Hammond discussing his dilemma to Yasmin, Carter decides to help Hammond by breaking him out of the cell and the two tenuously agree that Jolson is their respective target. Hammond and Yasmin escape the shipping warehouse and manage to infiltrate Jolson's highly secured manor to locate Alex. However, Alex is seen being driven away by some of Jolson's henchman, and Hammond and Jasmin take active pursuit.

Hammond, Yasmin and Carter rendezvous at the Sol Vita, where they also find the Triads, Yardies, Nick Collins Crew and Jolson's Bethnal Green Mob with all of Jolsons remaining henchmen killed. In the finale stage of the level and game, it transpires that the gangs want revenge for what Hammond has done to them all thinking he was working for Jolson, only then are they told by Carter and Yasmin that Hammond only carried out such actions for the safe return of his son, Alex. The gang bosses agree that despite killing a lot of their men, Hammond is to be spared death on the basis that they would have done the same thing and on the condition that he never returns to London (Jamahal even lets Hammond keep the money he stole from him). In the ensuing moments, Charlie Jolson detonates a bomb on the ship, killing himself and the vast majority of gang members and gang bosses on the ship. Carter, Hammond, Yasmin and Alex all manage to escape the boat alive.

Characters

  • Mark Hammond - the main protagonist of the game. A former member of the Soho-based Collins Crew, Mark Hammond is a fugitive throughout the game wanted by both the police and gangsters for the suspected murder of his wife, Susie and kidnapping of his son, Alex, which was in fact orchestrated by Charlie Jolson. Voiced by Don Kembry.


  • Frank Carter - the second main protagonist. A Detective Constable in service with the Flying Squad, Carter's ambition is to destroy Jolson and his gang. However, Carter is suspended by his superior DCI McCormack as he is corrupt and helping Jolson. Voiced by Joe Rice.


  • Charlie Jolson - the main antagonist. An ageing East Endmarker ganster and head of the Bethnal Green Mob, eventually blowing himself and rival gangs up in the finale of the game. Voiced by Ricky Hards.


  • Yasmin - ex-gang member and prostitute working for Charlie Jolson's Bethnal Green Mob, eventually turns against her ex-boss and helps Mark Hammond locate his son. Voiced by Anna Edwards.


  • Jake Jolson - nephew of Charlie Jolson and the heir to becoming the future boss of the Bethnal Green Mob. Killed by Frank Carter on the Sol Vita. Voiced by Dave Gold.


  • Harry Preston - Jolson's "right hand man", and is often seen wielding a sawn-off shotgun throughout the game. Preston was involved in the kidnapping of Hammonds son and was assisted by Yasmin, shooting Susie when she resisted, later being killed by Hammond aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Michael Preston.


  • Paul Burfoot - nicknamed 'eyebrows' and is one of Jake Jolson's close associates, later killed by Yasmin aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Paul Burfoot.


  • James Frost - nicknamed 'Grievous', he is a low-ranking member of the Bethnal Green Mob. Dies in the explosion on the Sol Vita. Voiced by Jim Darrah.


  • Sparky - a close associate of Jake Jolson and is seen during the game to have a like for electrocuting people, such as a captured member of the Triads and is later killed by Hammond in the mission: 'a cat in a bag'. Voiced by Symond Lawes.


  • Liam Spencer - a member of the Collins Crew and Hammonds best friend who helps him find his son. While aboard the Sol Vita when it exploded, Liam Escaped. In the games sequel he is revealed to have died in the Shoreditch Massacre. Voiced by Paul Swaby.


  • Nick Collins - head of the Collins Crew. During the finale of the game Collins agrees to let Hammond live despite the amount of men that have been killed by him on the condition that Hammond never returns to London, later dies in the explosion aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Russell Levy.


  • Shan Chu Lee - head of the London based section of the Triads and is later killed in the explosion aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Wai Tsang.


  • Jamahl - head of the Yardie gang and survives the explosion aboard the Sol Vita. Voiced by Elwin "Chopper" David.


  • Clive McCormack - corrupt police officer and head of the Flying Squad, revealed to have been working with Jolson for ten years and is later killed by Hammond in Snow Hill Police Station on the order of Charlie Jolson. Voiced by Mick Oliver.


  • Big Walter - A low-ranking member of the Bethnal Green Mob. Killed by Frank Carter in the Mission: "Do the world a Favour". Voiced by Jason Parker.


Gangs

  • The Collins Crew - a Sohomarker-based criminal organisation led by Nick Collins. After Nick's death aboard the Sol Vita, his brother 'Jimmer' takes over as the boss as seen in The Getaway: Black Monday.


  • The 14K Triad - a Chinese organisation led by Shan Chu Lee and based in both Hyde Parkmarker and Chinatownmarker. Shan Chu later dies in the game finale aboard the Sol Vita.


  • The Bethnal Green Mob - led by Charlie Jolson and was once the largest and most successful gang in London and wants to destroy all the other gangs, being The Yardies, Collins Crew and the 14 K Triad. Charlie along with his mob are destroyed on the Sol Vita when it explodes.


  • The Yardies - a group of Jamaican drug dealers led by Jamahl. Seen to have a huge rivalry with the Triads after Mark frames each group for anothers actions. Jamahl and the majority of his gang survived the explosion aboard the Sol Vita.


Soundtrack

The game's soundtrack is complimented by a title song and cutscene soundtrack which can only be described as a jazzy and unmistakably "gangster" sound, performed by the London Session Orchestra while portions of the soundtrack were written by Shawn Lee, who would later compose music for another sandbox-style game, Bully. The story unfolds through the well-scripted, acted and detailed cutscenes mentioned above, with the player assuming control of the currently selected character after each cutscene.

Controversy

One alteration that Team SOHO had to make was the removal of a vehicle and phone box logos which appeared in the initial release of the game. During one of Hammond's missions, a British Telecommunications (BT) van is used in a mission in which Hammond must kill the driver and take the van to assassinate a corrupt police officer. BT complained that it "did not want [its] name and livery associated with the violent scenes" in the game, and was worried that it "might incite attacks on [its] engineers." Although the initial release of the game was not recalled, subsequent production was amended to remove the offending details.

References

  1. [1] Gangster video game upsets BT - BBC News, 2 January 2003


http://www.igcd.net/movie.php?id=330323

External links




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