The Great Escape - Xbox

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Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: SCi Soft. Co.: SCi
Publishers: Gotham Games (US)
Released: 25 Jul 2003 (US)
29 Aug 2003 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Memory Unit


Perhaps a new trend is emerging in video games in the form of classic film spin-offs. After all, we've had the concept of game/film licences since the 8-bit days and there must be hundreds of classics with game potential, so why not? The Italian Job is just around the corner and this week sees the arrival of The Great Escape, a stealth-em-up based on the 1960s WWII masterpiece, complete with faithfully-rendered digital Steve McQueen.

The game itself places players in command of four unique soldiers - each with their own skills, strengths and stories - through capture, escape and vengeance in the heart of the evil Nazi empire. Stylistically, The Great Escape is, at heart, based around the currently-popular third-person stealth adventure idea, but there are also plenty of other aspects, such as much less covert combat sequences and the inclusion of a large array of authentic vehicles, all which lend a bit of variety to the proceedings.

There are 20 levels in total, set across a wide variety of European locales, such as an ancient Teutonic castle, an active Luftwaffe airfield and, of course, the famous Stalag Luft prison camp. It's not all just about escaping either, as the plot expands upon that of the film, detailing events prior to the escape, as well as subsequent incidents afterwards. As such, early levels feature events leading up to the characters' capture and later ones tread a path through Europe as the lads embark upon a quest for freedom.

As far as game concepts go, The Great Escape is a nice idea. The game faithfully recreates the atmosphere and suspense of the film, delivering an involving and entertaining stealth adventure. If anything, the control method can be a little cumbersome, but give it time and you'll soon get used to it.

If this new trend is set to continue then we could well be able to expect some more pretty cool gaming ideas in the near future.