The Italian Job

Overview

There have been several summer blockbusters making their way from the big screen onto the gaming market. They range from the disappointingly mediocre (Enter The Matrix) to surprisingly decent (The Hulk). I personally was not a very big fan of the movie but still could see some potential in the movie being turned into a pretty good game. Well the curse of movies turning into bad games has plagued another game and it’s The Italian Job, which falls straight from the get go.

Gameplay

Eidos and Climax had a tough job ahead of them making a mission based racing title like the Italian Job. Recently two excellent titles (Midtown Madness 3 & Midnight Club 2) have just been released and were both very good titles. They both have internet support and they both were a lot of fun to play. Then we come to the Italian Job a mission based racing title with no online capabilities and very limited gameplay. You can probably already see where I am going with this one.

The Italian Job has nice list of game modes to choose from including Story Mode, Circuit Racing, Stunt Driving, and Free Roam. All the modes are pretty self explanatory and really don’t vary a whole lot.

For those of you have yet to see the movie yet then you will get a brief taste of it in the Story Mode of the game. The story mode basically shortens the movie to make it into a game. There are several cut scenes that take place before each objective to let you in on what is going on. The only problem with these cut scenes are that they are extremely bland and boring and fail to capture any of the movie’s true glory. Once you get into the game you will find that the objectives are just so bland and boring that you will have trouble staying interested. The normal objective is you trying to make it from place to place in the certain amount of time. Now this is fine for some of the missions but when a high percentage of the missions are as bland as this it is really hard to care.

There is really nothing in the story mode to keep you interested. There is not much variety in the objectives and when there is, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference because the next mission you will just have to beat the clock again. There are also times where the cops get in the mix and this just seems totally uninspired. The cops don’t bring anything to the table really, and just seem to be more of an annoyance instead of something to stop you.

With the story mode being as bland and pointless as it is, you would probably hope for something more exciting in the rest of the game modes. The stunt mode is actually probably the most fun you will have in the game being able to go through tight streets and big jumps there is at least some fun to be had in this mode. The multiplayer has its ups and downs, but it does provide some interesting elements to keep you and your friend interested. It is still just a shame that there wasn’t any online support for the game, because that might have helped out taking off some of the importance of the story mode and transferring it to the other modes.

The one thing that really hurts The Italian Job in the end is not the game itself, but rather how the game was designed. The missions could have been more interesting and if there had been more reason to play through the game then this would have been a good title. But with the boring missions and the lack of an interesting storyline there is really no reason why you would want to play through this.

Graphics

For those of you who have seen the movie, one of the greatest things about the movie is not the plot per say but how cool it is to watch those Mini’s ride all over LA at very high speeds. The special effects in the movie were quite good, and they were a blast to watch. Now we move to the game which is basically the total opposite, a game in which is very bland and boring also looks very bland and boring.

There is just something about The Italian Job that just didn’t sit well right from the get go of the game. The environments in the game don’t look overly great because they don’t seem very detailed and there isn’t much going on in them. They don’t look awful but they have that look that just makes you think that they could have done a much nicer job with the game.

The vehicles throughout the game (mainly the Mini Coopers) run along the same line as the vehicles. They are not overly bad with some detail but there is just something about them that makes them look pretty poor. There are a lot of jaggies around the vehicles that really give the game a lower graphical appeal. The graphics of the game seemed rushed and pretty poor. There are a lot better looking racing titles on the PS2.

Fun Factor

When you think of arcade style racers such as The Italian Job you would think there strongest point would be there Fun Factor. Well in fact this is probably the worst section of the review for the game. With the repetitive nature of the objectives in the story mode and the lack of any interesting game modes there is just really not much fun to be had. The stunt and multiplayer modes help from letting the fun factor dive down to far, but they are just not enough to hide the game from its faults.

Overall

Everything in The Italian Job we have seen before, and we have seen it done much better then here. The whole game seems to have been rushed quite a bit and there isn’t enough interesting elements in the game to pull it’s self together. Unless you’re an Italian Job fanatic there are better games out there for you already.

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.