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The Great Escape
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The Great Escape
Published by: App0lly0n on 2004-04-12
Page Views: 3114
Rating: 6/10

Forty Years ago a movie called the "The Great Escape" hit the screens. It was a huge success. Still once in a while you'll see it on TV in the prime time movie slot. Which shows it still has its kick.

Now SCI entertainment has turned this great movie into a game. You take on the role of four escapees - Hilts, MacDonald, Sedgewick and Hendley - and go on a quest of freedom. The game follows movie storyline inch by inch which can be exciting or boringly 1 dimensional depending on how big a fan you are.

Gameplay:
This is all stealth except from a few parts. You are given objectives one after the other. For example on the first breakout you have to meet the commanding officer who then gives you orders to talk to the "Big X" who tells you to talk to the forger who gets you go get him some papers then you have to get them back and so forth. As you will find out, you will be sneaking the whole way though. However there are no actual meters to find out how well you are doing this like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid. Hiding in the shadows is supposed to help, as does keeping your distance from enemies, but oftentimes when you think you are in the clear, enemies spot you. Maybe it's more realistic, but this is a game, and certain measures need to be taken to ensure that the game play is balanced and fun. There are some more action-like scenes, as well as instances that involve vehicular transportation.

Whenever the situation calls for shooting and blowing things up, the game is a bit more bearable, but the surface enjoyment quickly fades. As for driving trucks or motorcycles, or even manning a gun in an airplane, the controls come in and ruin the day. The feel behind the wheels just doesn't feel right and travelling around becomes an exercise in frustration. This makes recreating some of the more exciting scenes from the movie a lot less exciting.

The way each mission begins is with a FMV cinema. Certain plot elements are revealed, and it's your job to complete the goals at hand. And while stealing an ID from a guard, getting it copied, and then returning it may sound tense and adventurous, those feelings are never there. The pacing of each mission feels off, and being a game based on a movie, you'd think some attention would be paid to how each mission plays out. Like a good movie is logically and evenly paced, a game, movie license or not, should capture that same balance. Unfortunately, The Great Escape does not. Then there comes the AI in the game.

With a game structure and design like the one in The Great Escape, a good AI system should be implemented. There is a situation in the game where you can sneak up behind a guard and strangle him. Walking clearly in his peripheral vision was not a problem. Then, punching, and then missing, did nothing to alert the guard to our presence. Other times, the extreme opposite would be true. Not something to get excited about.

Graphics:
Not what you would expect for a game coming out now. The faces of the characters are almost caricatures. Then when you go to crawl past guard the suit the character is wearing rectangular and about 10 cm thick! Also the environment especially near the edge of the forests is deplorable. Also what may be the most important aspect of graphics is all that smooth - the frame rate. As I Have a widescreen TV the frame rate drops stunningly in some parts. Something you would expect from an old PC not an Xbox.

Sound:
Fortunately, the quality of the voice acting is better than a good number of games. We're not talking Oscar-worthy performances, but the lines are delivered with just enough confidence, and camp, that they help in increasing the game's immersion, rather than becoming a distracting nuisance.

The Game play music is up building as you sneak around the castles or Ride on you motorbike trying to cross the border. The old jingle we've grown to love slips into the game frequently.

Conclusion:
The Great Escape is a game that wasn’t quite finished. But you decide if you wanted out now or like half-life 2 in a year. The movie license should have been taken better advantage of but that’s that. If you’re a Great Escape fan like me you'll look over these unfortunate aspects of the game and submerge yourself in the game. However, how long that will be for, I can't guarantee.



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The Great Escape
published by App0lly0n on 2004-04-12
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published by forahobby on 2005-11-12 03:02:45
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