The Italian Job – GC – Preview

E3 2003 –
Hands On


The job in Venice was
botched. Sure, the gold was stolen, but Charlie Croker
and his gang were involved in a double-cross and
left for dead. Bad thinking on the part of the
Charlie and his gang are back in the world and hungry for
a little revenge.


The Italian Job, a pending
GameCube, PlayStation2 and Xbox release from
Eidos Interactive, is not your “based on the
movie” game. This is a racing game, pitting players against the clock and
drivers on the chaotic streets of Los Angeles.


The game features 15
missions in the story mode, 10 different vehicles and four modes of play. It
is based on the 2003 movie of the same name.


The driving mechanics of the
game will take some time to get used to. The cars are, for the most part, Mini
Coopers that have quick acceleration, but the reaction time from wheel
acrobatics to actualizing them on the streets was a little slow in the preview
demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles. (Of course, that could have been driver
reaction worn down rather than game mechanics.)


The locations are based,
more or less, on actual L.A. locales, and the courses are not linear. There
are many places that you can take your vehicle, even up ramps and across the
tops of buildings. However, errant landings or mishaps with other vehicles
will take its toll on your car. The wheels will wobble, steam will pour from
the busted radiator and smoke will billow from the damaged engine. Sooner or
later, your machine will give up the ghost.


The hairpin looms and you
must crank that wheel to make it. To facilitate the turn, you yank on the hand
brake. The car skids, the rubber marring the road and smoke rising from the
tortured tires. Release the brake and tromp on the gas and the Cooper surges


The heroes in this game are
the cars. Each car represents a character and situation from the movie. This
is an all-out race with the winner getting the big prize.


The Italian Job is a
fast-paced game with non-linear driving lanes. You can almost go anywhere on
the huge maps, though if you wish to complete the game’s missions you will
need to go from point A to point B. How you traverse the streets to get there
is up to you.


This game is smooth and
seamless and fans of mission-based race games will likely find this an
enjoyable ride.