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The Getaway

(prices updated 9/20 5:59 PM )

Description official descriptions

Mark Hammond is an ex-gangster who wants to forget his past and live honestly with his wife and little son. Everything goes horribly wrong when London's most vicious criminal, the organized crime boss Charlie Jolson, decides that he needs Mark's services and obtains them in a twisted and cruel way: Mark's wife is murdered, he is framed for this murder, and his child gets kidnapped.

Jolson makes it clear: unless Mark does what he orders him to do, the boy dies. Using the helpless man in his plan to bring down other criminal organizations of the city, Jolson sends Mark on suicidal missions during which Mark has three terrible choices: walk away and lose his son, get killed in a battle against overwhelming odds, or single-handedly help Jolson to get rid of his adversaries.

Once the player completes Mark Hammond's story, a new scenario opens, in which the player controls Frank Carter, a vigilante cop who won't stop until he brings Charlie Jolson to justice. Frank's scenario is parallel to Mark's, shedding more light on events that remain somewhat unexplained during Mark's scenario.

The Getaway is a hybrid of driving and third-person shooter gameplay, similar in concept to Grand Theft Auto III. London has been digitally recreated for this game, and the player can explore it freely on foot or driving a vehicle. Unlike GTA III, missions follow each other linearly, dictated by the plot. The game is more story-driven and does not have any free-roaming activities. Many of the driving sequences also have a time limit, restricting free exploration.

Each mission usually consists of a driving section, which requires the player to drive to a certain destination (sometimes chasing another vehicle or being chased by enemies), and a third-person shooter section, often with an additional driving section afterwards. Police or rival gangs will frequently pursue the protagonist. The player can hijack any car or bus from the streets, or move on foot.

Third-person shooter sequences are longer and more prominently featured than the corresponding sections of GTA III. The protagonist can perform a variety of moves: sneak, crouch, roll to the sides, etc. A few missions are completely stealth-oriented, and are failed if the player character is discovered by enemies. It is possible to use the butt of the gun as a melee weapon, and also take hostages to prevent the police from shooting at the player character.

The game's distinguishing visual feature is a total absence of visible interface and text feedback. Rather than consulting a map, the player follows the car's blinking lights to arrive at the right destination. Damage taken by the protagonist is indicated by the character bending over, walking slower, and having blood on his clothes. Health is recovered by resting (leaning against a wall); there are no health kits scattered around. The protagonist can carry only two small or one larger weapon at once.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

148 People (132 developers, 16 thanks) · View all



Average score: 76% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 47 ratings with 4 reviews)

Bloody soddin' limitations... Bollocks!

The Good
Boasting excellent production values, Getaway manages to present a believable, atmospheric world of organized crime in London. Cinematic cutscenes with excellent voice acting reveal the statement behind the game: make it as movie-like as possible. The city itself is meticulously reconstructed: every building is unique, the streets, the squares, the signs, the various types of cars, buses, and pedestrians are realistic and done in great detail.

The gameplay largely consists of two portions: driving and shooting. The driving basically involves going to the place where you have to complete your mission, and getting away from there. Often, rival gangs or police cars will chase you. They'll damage your car, but you'll always be able to steal another one. You also can just get out of the car and wander through the city. But mostly, you'll have to hurry to your next mission, where the main part of the gameplay, namely the shooting, begins. The shooting in Getaway is somewhat similar to that of Max Payne. You also control your hero while viewing him from the third person perspective. You can either auto-aim, or aim your weapon manually at a target, and can perform moves like crouching or rolling to a side.

An interesting feature gives Getaway a unique look: the game screen contains only the game world itself, nothing else. There are no health bars, no indications of weapons shortcuts or how much ammo you have left, and even no overview maps. There are no messages appearing on the screen (except subtitles for voices in cut-scenes), such as "got a bazooka" or "you have to find a silver key to open this door". There is no inventory and generally nothing you can do outside of the game screen (except pausing the game and accessing an options menu). There are also no shortcuts for weapons, because - quite realistically! - you can't carry more than one weapon in each hand, and if a weapon requires two hands to use it, then you'll drop your other weapon. So, you won't be running around with five kinds of guns, a crowbar, a shotgun, a flamethrower, and a chainsaw all together. You also won't search the environment for healing potions and ammo that are usually scattered around in shooters. Sometimes, you'll find storage rooms for weapons, and there you'll be able to find a weapon, or you'll be able to pick the weapons off the enemies' bodies, of course. But don't expect looting rooms for healing items and various ammo, because there are none.

The Bad
Getaway's biggest problem is that it sacrifices fun to its own ambitions.

Very often it tries to get rid of unrealistic features by replacing them with others, which turn to be even more unrealistic - and less entertaining. Example: "wall-lean healing". The developers decided to eliminate the old trusted concept of healing potions and ammo being scattered all over the virtual world. At first sight, it seemed like a good idea. But when the natural question arises: how will you be able to heal yourself? - the answer is: by leaning against a wall and waiting. So a gravely wounded man, all covered by blood, unable even to walk properly, will magically regain his entire health by leaning against a wall. That example alone should remind us that gameplay conventions were created with a reason.

Getaway strives to be a tight story-driven experience, but since it still uses a basic GTA formula for its gameplay, the comparison is inevitable. And while Getaway is undeniably more "artsy" than GTA games and has a better narrative, its gameplay is quite far from being the all-consuming, addictive fun GTA games became famous for. The ambition to be cinematic made the creators of the game throw out a lot of pure video game-related stuff: free-roaming, shopping, mini-games, optional missions, non-linear mission structure - none of that was implemented, presumably because this way the game would have a tighter narrative, become more like a movie.

And that, ultimately, is a design mistake - because video games should not strive to be movies. The strength of a game lies in its gameplay, and if it is neglected in favor of anything else, the game loses.

The Bottom Line
Getaway tried to become a more serious, more edgy, more realistic GTA - and it succeeded in everything except what matters most: gameplay. Fairly solid, but lengthy and uninspired shooting sequences coupled with awkward driving and constant limitations makes it a lesser game even though it could have been, perhaps, a better movie.

PlayStation 2 · by Unicorn Lynx (180491) · 2016

F***ing Charlie!

The Good
This thing is like a movie. They made it in such a way that there is only the action, only the story on the screen. No indicators, no map, nothing. It's very special, other games haven't done it.

The voices are so fitting! Every character has a special voice. Like Charlie, who has a hoarse voice. The actors are good.

The gameplay is pretty interesting, there are some nice levels, like Charlie's house. There are some very original elements, like the ability to lean on the wall and rest, this is actually pretty realistic, a person surely must restore some health when resting! It's not less realistic than medicines being everywhere just because you need them.

There are some nice details, like for example, when you are hurt, you really look that way, you run very slowly, it looks really like a person who was hurt.

There are more interesting parts, like hiding behind a corner, just press X and you'll stand right near the wall, then you'll be able to suddenly jump out and shoot, and then go back again.

Story is great. First, it is a story-driven game, it is focused on story. More than San Andreas, for example. We want to play this game for the story. We never forget, not for a moment, about it. Why is it good? Because we can really feel what the main character feels. We can understand why he does what he does in the game. We can have compassion for him. Also, there are some unexpected parts, like when that policeman appears for the first time.

Graphics are so good, like a real movie! Also better than "San Andreas".

The Bad
I'm telling you, I hate those traffic jams, I hate, hate, HATE them! And this police... po-li-ce! I hate them! They always arrest me, only because I went in the opposite direction on a one-way street! So what?! The police shoots at me just because I drove in a wrong direction? What kind of a police is that?! And by the way, I hate those one-way streets, too.

You can't see your own health. You just see your blood on your clothes. Sometimes you can't see when you're going to die!

You'll have a partner in some missions. Sometimes I accidentally hit her, and then she begins to beat me till I die! Is she crazy?!

The missions are also too similar, driving, shooting, driving, shooting, they are all the same. And you can't do other things outside of the story, like drive taxis, which was so fun in San Andreas.

The Bottom Line
Because of the story, the game is worth playing. But it's not perfect in gameplay. People who like gameplay more should better play GTA games, but people who care more for story should play "Getaway".

PlayStation 2 · by Melody (48) · 2007

Charlie is a c*nt.

The Good
Everything. Well, almost. But where to start? The seriousness of the game compared to GTA, almost reaching a dark aura at moments is the first thing that comes to mind. But then there is the British accent, specially the many ones you can find in London, recreated perfectly, due to the game being casted with professional actors. Oh, and the fact that unlike GTA all the vehicles avaliable to use in the game are fully licensed. One enjoys just chilling in a good'ol Rover 75 or going like hell in a Bedford Opel Kadett as if there is no tomorrow.

The Bad
The controls are basically fucked up at some moments, specially in the missions in which you have, in one way or another, to hide, whether it is behind a wall or walking without being seen. Also the buttons for changing weapons take a bit of time to remember. But overall this does not in anyway ruin the gaming experience.

Whenever you are in a chase, you better watch that the other cars on the road do not decide to, suddenly, crash into you. Are this guys paid by the police or what? Like, come on, the chase with the police is not their busniess.

The Bottom Line
A more realistic GTA, like Mafia or The Godfather, set in Europe, to be precise in one of my favourite countries, the United Kingdom. Could it have created a new genre called crime/police simulator? I think the answer could well be yes.

PlayStation 2 · by Carles Carlos (23) · 2022

[ View all 4 player reviews ]



The game took almost three years to make. The development team recreated 40 square kilometers (about 25 square miles) of central London, in which the game is based. Over 500,000 images were taken by the developers of the London streets and locations featured in the game.


The game did not feature any on-screen indicators as to how much health, ammo, or time you had left:

When you got shot/hurt in the game, your character would bleed through their clothing and limp, holding their chests. The amount of blood on your clothes and speed you moved at indicated how much damage you'd sustained. When you rested against a wall (there are no health kits in the game), you regained your health.

Your character could use 2 pistols or 1 machine gun/shotgun at a time. When the machine gun/shotgun emptied out, your character would drop the empty gun and pull out their pistol(s). When you ran low on pistol ammo, your character would drop one pistol, indicating that you were running low on ammo and that you need to find ammo fast!

On timed driving missions, the in-game music would indicate how much time you had left to finish your mission. The music got more and more urgent as the mission progressed until you either finished the level or passed the time limit and it was time to try again.

An interesting little touch in the driving missions, instead of an arrow on screen telling you which way to go, as with Crazy Taxi, before you came up to an intersection, the indicators on the car would flash telling you whether you needed to go left or right. If no indicators were flashing, you were headed in the right direction. If you were headed in the opposite direction, one would flash until you turned 180 degrees. When you got to where you were supposed to be going, both would flash (your hazard lights) to indicate you should stop, exit the car and explore.


The Getaway was initially rated as MA15+ (restricted for ages below 15) by the OFLC (Australian rating organization) for medium violence level. Five weeks later, the OFLC revised their initial rating. While still being classified as MA15+, it was now for high violence level. But that’s not all. Only 5 days after the revision, on November 27, 2002, the game was revised a second time. Now the rating classification changed, from MA15+ to RC (Refused Classification). That means: from this day on, it is illegal to exhibit, rent or sell this game in Australia. This includes adults, because the Computer Game part of the OFLC is lacking a true Adult-Only category, such a category is only in the two other parts (Film and Publications) available.


On August 31, 2003 has The Getaway (PS2) won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Information also contributed by Xoleras

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 8241


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, 64er.

Game added January 25th, 2003. Last modified May 26th, 2023.