Rockstar is convinced that the open world in its upcoming Grand Theft Auto V will convince players to use more vehicles besides cars, including helicopters, fighter jets, or jet skis, thereby exploring more of its sights and sounds.
Even if Grand Theft Auto V takes place in a single city – Los Santos – developer Rockstar Games confirmed last week that the actual size of the open world dwarfs the ones seen in GTA IV, Red Dead Redemption, or L.A. Noire.
According to the game’s co-writer, Dan Houser, the huge open world was imagined as a real-life place that should be explored by players in all sorts of ways.
“We wanted to make a big place, as much as anything, to allow you to fly,” he told The Guardian. “A lot of the decisions, we're talking about them here on a philosophical level, but they're also practical decisions, too: we're making a game. You have to understand the medium.”
“On an obvious level we wanted somewhere big so you can fly properly - we have a lot of missions that involve flying, in helicopters or whatever, it was logical. Also, jet skis work better around LA than they would in New York.”
The open world will influence missions and Rockstar hopes to deliver a more outlandish experience, just like the ones seen in blockbuster Hollywood movies.
“We're using the environment to let us have toys we couldn't have had otherwise,” Houser added.
“And equally, we're using the story and environment to introduce missions that can be more extreme. In some ways we wanted the game to have a larger-than-life Hollywood feel; the stories we heard in LA, we wanted to capture them in the game. If the place isn't informing what we're doing, we're not using it correctly.”
Considering GTA IV already had a huge world, as did Red Dead Redemption, for example, it’s going to be hard for Rockstar to topple its previous virtual environments.