Review by DDevil

"Another average film tie in"

Another year, another set of (late) summer blockbuster films, and unfortunately another set of uninspired cash in games. So far so pessimistic, but will The Italian Job change my mind?

Well, no to be honest, this is a game with a few nice touches but fails to inspire me on any level. Let’s look at the game structure to begin with; you’ve got your standard story mode which consists of many “get to x place and pick up y” with the occasional “dodge the police and maybe some bad guys” task working its way in. It’s all very samey and boring as you might expect. It is very short too, for an average gamer its not going to take any more that 5 or so hours to complete. If you can be bothered that is.

Then there is checkpoint mode, one or two players in a checkpoint race… Round and round and SNORE... Next! Stunt mode is better, playing like a cut down version of Stuntman right down to the mess-up/restart game play. Stunt mode is probably the best part of the game showing off the quite nice physics in the game. Finally the Free-roam mode does exactly what is says on the tin, nothing special at all. Top it all off with all sorts of extras like film stills and concept art as “rewards” and you’ve got the entirety of the game.

The graphics are reasonable and do their job, but like the rest of the game fail to inspire. The sound on the other hand is terrible with a boring narration and the world’s worst engine noises grating rapidly. Play a CD in the background instead, you’ll be glad you did. The game does handle nicely though, and I would very much doubt anyone could find fault with the controls.

The way it plays definitely is the highlight of the game. With a bit of practice you'll be flying round L.A. performing handbrake turns and driving round tight corners on two wheels. It is such a shame the rest of the game just gives a pure feeling of apathy!

I think the best way to sum it up is to say this: Remember the PSX and PC game based on the original Italian Job? Well, it’s just the same, only the new version has nicer graphics. It is otherwise structured identically and very nearly plays the same, and that fact almost scares me.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/26/03


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