E3 2003: The Italian Job: Hands-on impressions
A cult classic from 1969, The Italian Job is a great heist movie with loads of great car chase scenes. Itís no wonder that the movie is being remade with some of todayís up and coming stars like Mark Whalberg, and itís even less of a surprise that itís also being made into a game for the Playstation 2.
I started off my time with Italian Job by hopping in one of the three Miniís available and selecting to follow the story of the game. Each scene opens with a narrative that explains the gist of what youíll need to do once you take control, after which I was given the keys, along with some objectives that had to be accomplished within a certain time frame. The first mission had me racing to a bank in under a minute while avoiding cops.
The driving physics in the game are pretty tight and realistic, but could use some additional tweaks. Itís pretty hard to power slide with any real efficiency, and even a small collision that normally wouldnít slow you down a bit bring you almost to a halt. Other than that, though, the cars handled well and were a total blast to drive.
The only real problem was the way the map navigation worked. They would give you a goal and a tough time limit, but they also gave you a map. This map simply had a green dot showing where my eventual destination would be, and never really indicated how close I was go my goal. The map is definitely one area that really needs some work.
Graphically, Italian Job looks good, but thereís some room for improvement. The backgrounds are a bit bland, and thereís never really a whole lot on screen at any given time. The cars looked pretty good, but the traffic was pretty light, and there were never more than 2-3 cars on screen at one time.
Italian Job is looking pretty good so far, but it has a ways to go. Weíll post more on this game as it becomes available, so keep your eyes peeled.
5/15/2003 Ryan Hartmann