Malcolm Owen On July 1, 2002 at 9:37 am

The Italian Job (Movie): A cult classic film from the UK, starring Michael Caine as Charlie Croker, a man who wants to rob the Italians of roughly £4Million of gold from the streets of Italy, and involving the use of three Minis and a crack team, pulls it off, only to have the bus go wrong at the end. A fantastic movie, and one that should be watched just for the Mini’s great run through Turin.

The Italian Job (PC): A shoddy rehash of Driver, done wrong.

Do you see the difference between the movie and the licenced game? If you don’t, I’ll explain what I mean.

You see, developers make games. Sometimes the games they make are complete rip-offs of another game, but need disguising to hide any similarities away from the lawyers. If said developers are not quite intelligent enough to make up their own stories and ideas, they will raid the film archives to try and find something they can licence, so they can use all the possible material from it, make the game look good, and also be able to sell the game on the basis of the film alone.
In this instance, the Developer (Pixelogic) and the publisher (SCI) stumbled upon The Italian Job, and quickly paid for the licence. The licence was cheap due to the film’s age, and the prestige of the film makes the licence a complete and utter bargain.
Driver, heavily influences the game they created, basically a getaway/stunt driving game. Even the front menu works like Driver’s! This also happens to be a PSX port to the PC (just like Driver!)

The game seems like it has been made on a shoestring budget to accommodate the licence. Using paper cups and bits of string that they could afford, they made something that can be contrived as a bad looking and bad sounding game. It seems to be extremely "round and fluffy" in the looks department for some reason. Maybe the almost cartoon styled visuals at some parts are there to lure those too young to remember the film except for the cars with the promise of quick driving and excitement. You get neither.

The steering on the cars could be akin to that of an ocean liner. By the time you have turned to go around the corner you want, you have almost certainly hit another car/wall/lamppost/something, thus damaged, and making the mission harder. Springy suspension doesn’t help with landing from jumps either.

The most annoying thing of the game is the guy they hired to take the voice of Michael Caine. It is, to put it bluntly, bloody crap. If I ever meet him, I hope he’s wearing a box for his sake.
An unforgivable fault within is the magical "Collision Detection", which senses collisions even when there isn’t anything to collide with! A clear jump in the air suddenly leads to landing extremely prematurely, and usually in a situation best befitting the Coyote from the Roadrunner films. Even if you collide with something that counts as an object, most of the time shards of metal will spray off your vehicle of choice, without leaving a dent on the car itself. Not even Turtlewax can help against that!

Overall, the game is pathetic. Damn the developers!


Driving Miss Daisy rather than Driver


A cheap front


Annoying impressionist.


It’s wheels have been nicked, windows smashed, radio nicked, and is barely rideable.

Comments are closed.