We have seen so many games released over the past few years that have been attempting to recreate the magic of the Grand Theft Auto series. It was only a couple years ago Sony tried to jump on the bandwagon with their own free-roaming game, and added a British feel to the proceedings to come up with, The Getaway. Although the game didn’t have the same impact as the GTA series due to clunky controls and serious gameplay flaws, the developers decided to go back to the drawing board and try to make a sequel. So how does the sequel measure up? Keep your eyes glued to the screen to find out now!
Well for the few of you who actually got into the last Getaway game, and enjoyed the characters in the game, I have some bad news for you. The Getaway: Black Monday goes far away from their previous storyline, trying something different to hopefully make this sequel come out more successful this time around. So do the developers find the winning formula the second time around?
So this time around there are three different characters; Mitch the stern fellow who doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, Eddie the boxer, and Sam the hacker. This is the trio in which you will be playing through obligatory confusing storyline of the game. And when I say the storyline is confusing, that’s not so much a bad thing, but I just really find it hard to summarize this storyline as it is one that does offer some very unique premises. For the most part, like the first game, The Getaway: Black Monday is a game that spends a lot of time trying to look good, and manages to look the part with its cutscenes and storyline.
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to read my first review of the original Getaway, you wouldn’t know that one of the biggest issues I had with the game was the sloppy gameplay. In my opinion, the game looked great but played terrible, spending too much time on pretty cars, and great storylines, rather then working more on the meat and potatoes of the game. Unfortunately this is again the case with Black Monday. Ok so you may be looking forward to being able to play as different characters in the game, and although the idea is there, the execution is sadly not. All three of these characters have their strengths and weaknesses, of course I liked playing with the boxer best as he does seem to have a more "brawler" approach to the deal. But to get right down to it none of these players play very well. All three characters feel kind of thrown together and all have limitations that seem to throw the game back a bit.
Most of the problems in Black Monday stems from the messy controls. One thing that games have really been getting better at over the years are in the control department, but for some reason this game just doesn’t follow that pattern. I found that when your characters are on foot, the game seems to feel like a pretty sad attempt at a third person shooter. The lock on system in the game is flawed, as it doesn’t give you enough control of which target to shoot, so you will end up just pressing buttons hoping to get your foes shot down. While the developers might be commended for attempting to inject realism into the game (by having no targeting reticules), it just doesn’t work. This is something that should have been addressed, as it was one of the bigger annoyances in the game.
Another good and bad part of Black Monday is the driving segments, which I think could have been done in a better manner as well. To get to your next destination, you can of course pause the game and hit up the map, or you can look at your blinker. I know why you would use the blinker, as of course that helps the cinematic look of the game, but for directional purposes it’s a joke. The blinker ends up causing more crashes and u-turns then are really needed for the game, making traveling a chore. They could have easily gone to a simple arrow at the top of the screen that I think would have worked much better.
Overall Black Monday is a game that had all the potential in the world, but on the execution it once again is just not there. As a note for these developers and for that matter all developers, take this game as an example that you should spend more time on the gameplay instead of letting cinematics run the show.
The one thing that was impressive about The Getaway was the visuals that used quite a bit of visual styles that made for a pretty good looking game. Well now a few years later and the age of the PS2 starting to show up, Can Black Monday make its own graphical mark once again?
Well if there was one thing that had the possibility of being above average in Black Monday, it would be the visuals, which you a very urban, grainy style that works really well for the game. With that being said the character models this year are one of the things that are showing its wear, as they really are lacking in the detail, and seem to really have no sort of detail. The other minor complaint is the lack of variety and color in the indoor environments.
Overall The Getaway: Black Monday visuals are good, not spectacular, but good enough to make for a pretty good looking game.
When a game is sloppy in the controls it almost always ends up lowering the fun value of the game as well, and that falls true with Black Monday. I mean it is really hard to have fun with this game, because it ends up being so linear that you don’t even get to experience the cities locals. Not only that but the game has some very poor mission designs that provide some boring playing times. To put this all in perspective, the game ends up playing like a game we would have loved to see at the release of the PS2, not at the last few years of the console.
This is one of those games that of course tried to put the "open ended" gameplay into play, but failed to do that, and threw in some clunky controls with it. Now of course the game isn’t that bad, but more disappointing then anything. Unless you were a diehard fan of the first, this is a game that would do just fine as a backup rental idea.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.