The Getaway

With classic PlayStation 2 action game The Getaway celebrating its 15th anniversary , the original development team has reminisced about the making of it.

For those unfamiliar with The Getaway, the game was one of the earliest to adopt the open-world, third-person format in the wake of Grand Theft Auto III’s release a year earlier, but the game was not originally envisioned as such. Instead, the original concept was for the game to be a successor to Porsche Challenge, a PlayStation One racing game exclusively featuring Porsche Boxsters. The initial idea was for players to act as getaway drivers on heists across the world, but with the decision to include an open world came a shift in focus to the action movie-styled adventure of the final game.

However, the decision to feature a completely open, 10-square-mile recreation of London created significant issues for the development team, as “there was no hard drive on the PS2 and no way to load the whole city into memory,” according to the game’s animation director, Gavin Moore. As a result, “the engine was completely rewritten to stream geometry and textures of areas that the player was close to, which was groundbreaking at the time.”

Moore also recounts the motion-capture sessions for the game, which, at the time, were among the most complex ever undertaken for a game. Meanwhile, another animator, Tara Saunders recounts the capers during the creation of the game’s live-action trailer, including surprising an unwitting van driver.

The Getaway was followed by a sequel in 2004, and a PlayStation Portable spin-off in 2006, before a second sequel was teased as one of the flagship games of the early years of the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, The Getaway 3 was cancelled—officially put on hold—in June 2008, with Sony London Studio moving to a focus on EyePet, SingStar, and, most recently, VR games, including The Playroom and the upcoming Blood and Truth.

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Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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