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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Eidos Interactive
DEVELOPER:
Climax
GENRE: Driving
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
June 30, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
The Italian Job

 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on May 29, 2003

First Impressions: It just might be good if they leave Marky-Mark out of the picture.


Car chases have always enchanted audiences in a way that other action scenes simply can't. The speed, the intensity, and the constant feeling that one bad turn could send our heroes into his or her early death never cease to captivate us. In the hands of good directors, movies like Ronin, Matrix: Reloaded, and Terminator 2 showed us just how exciting movie chases can be, as they're portrayals of cars careening down a vast valley of pavement kept us on the edge of our seats, and at the peak of excitement and entertainment.

Hoping to put players in the control of this massive adrenaline rush (and make some money while they were at it) many developers began developing games based around putting gamers in the control of movie car chases. Driver, The Getaway, Grand Theft Auto 3 all did this and did it well, and for their efforts the publishers of these titles were met with gigantic sales.

As with any genre that produces big sales in this industry, we are starting to see a rash of new titles based around the ?virtual car chase? idea. Not that this is a bad thing, as many of these new titles are showing promise.

One such title is The Italian Job from developer Climax Development and publisher Eidos. The title is not based on the 1969 Italy-based Michael Caine film (which was created in video game format for the PlayStation), but instead it is based on the upcoming movie remake starring Mark Wahlberg and Edward Norton.

The game's storyline centers on the character Charlie Croker, who is played by Mark Wahlberg in the movie. Charlie, being a master of performing heists, decides he's going to pull of his best one yet. The target: An Italian safe holding gold bullion and lots of it. In order to pull this heist off, Charlie has to hire the help of a man named Steve (played by Edward Norton in the movie) in order to pull it off.

The heist works and for a brief time Charlie Croker thinks the whole deal's over. In typical organized crime movie style however, Charlie is double-crossed by Steve, who takes all of the money made off of the heist and runs back to San Francisco. In order to get his money back Charlie heads to San Francisco with new accomplice Stella (played by Charlize Theron). Together the two devise a plan to catch Steve by leading him into the streets of San Francisco, where all hell will break loose, and the whole matter will end once and for all.

In order to go through the game's plot and see if Charlie Croker does indeed get his stolen cash back at the end (if this lame ass plot really interests you that is), you'll have to drive around the 12 vehicles included in the game. Other than the Mini Cooper S featured on the cover, the game will also allow you to drive a muscle car, a surveillance car, police cruiser, armored transport, and a rental van. These cars are displayed in the game at a beautiful 60 frames per second.

The game will feature 15 linear missions, 7 stunt missions, 10 circuit races, and some multiplayer head-to-head modes just to appease those who can only justify their gaming skills by beating someone else, then gently reminding them (?I beat yo ass sucka!) Your reward for completing these missions will be the ability to watch film clips from the movie, if you want to that is. Some of us aren't really into watching Mark Wahlberg's ?acting.?

Final Thoughts
At this point The Italian Job is showing some promise to be a rather fun straightforward car chase title. As of this time, The Italian Job is scheduled to hit the Xbox June 30, 2003.


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