There are four playable characters in the game each with a special ability. They include MacDonald, who can speak German to pass himself off as a guard; Hendley, who can pick pockets to get papers, keys, etc.; Hilts, who can pick locks to get into buildings; and Sedgwick, who can fix mechanical devices. Captain "Virgil" Hilts is American with an attitude. Hendley is an American who joined the RAF Eagle Squadron before the US joined the war. The other characters are citizens of Great Britain or the British Empire: MacDonald is Scottish and Sedgwick is Australian. There are 18 levels in the game, most of which have fictional tasks and attacks, most of which did not happen in the movie. The plot-line follows that of the film of the same name, except there are also levels featuring some of the characters first captures and early escape attempts, as well as a changed ending where all four playable characters escape in the end, whereas in the film, only Sedgwick escapes, Hendley and Hilts are recaptured, and MacDonald is executed. Also, despite the cover showing Hilts with a gun hiding from a guard in the camp, this never occurs in the game or film.
Sound bites of Steve McQueen as Hilts were taken from the film and used in the game, famous lines such as "250", "Walking down the road" and "20 feet short" were used to recreate iconic scenes from the film. Two sounds bites of McQueen replying "Yeah" were also used to respond in the affirmative when talking to other characters.