Thoughts on GTA V's size and scope

#1 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

Ever since the news broke out about the sheer size and ambition of GTA V, I've been thinking about how all of this can affect the quality of the final product.

I recently have been playing Sleeping Dogs, a game that doesn't have the biggest of cities to venture through. I enjoyed how focused it felt because we got to explore the character of Wei Shen properly as well as roam around a fantastic city that didn't feel either too large or too small. Since Sleeping Dogs was really well balanced in terms of what it was trying to do, I can't help but be worried about the grand plans Rockstar has for the next installment in the GTA franchise.

While GTA V's 3 protagonists and massive map sound really impressive, can Rockstar North really manage to pull it off so well without compromising the quality of the whole experience?

Since there is so much ambition behind the game, its much more likely that the game can suffer as a result. For example, one of the characters might turn out to be not as enjoyable to play as the other two. This can effectively damage the quality of the game as whole because GTA V is made around the idea of three key main charecters.

As for the game's map, how big is too big? I personally thought Red Dead Redemption had a big enough world that was filled with tons of things to do. Can Rockstar replicate that with a world almost five times the size of GTA IV?

It goes without saying that If any studio can manage to pull this off, then Rockstar North is indeed at the top of that list. I'm just wondering if this can be too much for even them to handle.

As a final note. If you are interested, I discuss the topic more in one of my youtube videos. It's basically a series in which I talk about weekly gaming news and rumors and express my thoughts on them. Check it out if you're interested:

#2 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Aslong as it keeps GTA IV's detail on every street I think it could be amazing, I think this is comparable from GTA 3 to San Andreas. With GTA IV they were working with a new engine, a crazy new physics engine and a new console, I feel they probably are way more comfortable with the engine now that they can just let loose.

With the 3 characters I'm wondering if you can switch between them at anytime, will there be missions you can do with any of them, after a few missions with one character will their story stop until you clear some missions with another character, I'm really interested in playing the Tony Soprano inspired character so I hope I'm not pissed off when I have to control another character, ugh who am I kidding Rockstar have never let me down before.

#3 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

I think it will be a nice balance of tight urban environments and sprawling countryside. Also when you think about it the size isn't ridiculously huge. Just Cause 2's map is 400 square miles whereas GTA V is what, 30-40?

What I hope they nail correctly is the transition from urban to rural though. In San Andreas it basically went from bustling city to the sticks with no suburbs in between.

#4 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

I'm not exactly worried about their ability to make what they have interesting. I'm just worried about how the fuck the thing can run properly. It'll obviously be multiple discs on 360, but after I beat it will I be able to stick with one disc? I have no idea.

#5 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

@upwarDBound said:

I think it will be a nice balance of tight urban environments and sprawling countryside. Also when you think about it the size isn't ridiculously huge. Just Cause 2's map is 400 square miles whereas GTA V is what, 30-40?

What I hope they nail correctly is the transition from urban to rural though. In San Andreas it basically went from bustling city to the sticks with no suburbs in between.

But Just Cause's world was not focused at all, it was a bunch of copy pasted stuff. It worked for that game, but it wouldn't work for a GTA game.

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

With the 3 characters I'm wondering if you can switch between them at anytime

As far as i know, yes, you can.

#6 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@upwarDBound said:

I think it will be a nice balance of tight urban environments and sprawling countryside. Also when you think about it the size isn't ridiculously huge. Just Cause 2's map is 400 square miles whereas GTA V is what, 30-40?

What I hope they nail correctly is the transition from urban to rural though. In San Andreas it basically went from bustling city to the sticks with no suburbs in between.

But Just Cause's world was not focused at all, it was a bunch of copy pasted stuff. It worked for that game, but it wouldn't work for a GTA game.

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

With the 3 characters I'm wondering if you can switch between them at anytime

As far as i know, yes, you can.

Would be so cool if you and 3 friends could all play each character at the same time in the game, doing your own missions with a few missions you would have to organize to get together to do because they all characters have to be involved. For example you are just shopping for new shirts and out side the store you hear sirens in the distance it's your mate doing one of the missions with 20 cops chasing after him, you could follow him and help out of keep on doing your thing.

#7 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@upwarDBound said:

I think it will be a nice balance of tight urban environments and sprawling countryside. Also when you think about it the size isn't ridiculously huge. Just Cause 2's map is 400 square miles whereas GTA V is what, 30-40?

What I hope they nail correctly is the transition from urban to rural though. In San Andreas it basically went from bustling city to the sticks with no suburbs in between.

But Just Cause's world was not focused at all, it was a bunch of copy pasted stuff. It worked for that game, but it wouldn't work for a GTA game.

That's still a tenth the size though based on my larger guess. Also you don't need as much detail put into the wilderness areas as you do the main city. I'd be happy to see Los Santos itself with suburbs take up a third of the map with the rest devoted to countryside and wilderness with small towns peppered in. Basically that's Los Santos fitting in the entire map of GTA San Andreas. I'll accept some copy and pasting for a sowewhat more realistically sized city.

#8 Posted by Hyunickel (30 posts) -

Yeah the ratio of open space to city seems to be one of the most important things Rockstar needs to nail.

#9 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3032 posts) -

I'm not that big of a fan of having three different characters, but otherwise I think they'll totally pull it off. San Andreas was huge and there was lots to do.

#10 Posted by Nodima (948 posts) -

Shouldn't be a problem at all. I know some people complain about the size of San Andreas but I had a hell of a time just whipping around the highways. And some of the guys from the RDR team have worked on this game, which proved that you can make a massive world that's pretty slow to travel around since all you have is horses and still feel entertained just hunting game and helping passersby on your way to the next town.

#11 Posted by Landon (4115 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

With the 3 characters I'm wondering if you can switch between them at anytime, will there be missions you can do with any of them, after a few missions with one character will their story stop until you clear some missions with another character,

I read the Gameinformer article, and you can switch between the three characters at any time. While you are playing as one character the other two will go about their lives until you switch to them. It's kinda doubles like a quick travel feature.

And there wont be any "play 3 missions with this guy, then play three missions with this guy, ect.". All three characters will go on missions together, and you switch between them in the mission. They described a scenario in which one character was robbing a bank, but you can switch to another guy to give sniper support fire.

#12 Posted by Nodima (948 posts) -

well, they'll also have solo missions, duo missions, and such mixes of the three, per the IGN interview with Houser. It'll be really interesting to see how they mix the three together. Personally, I'm hyped as fuck, but I've pretty much only play Rockstar games this generation, since a lot of the other big budget stuff appears to be counter-based crowd combat, FPS or FPS. And I'm beyond burned out on that, haven been for years. So my hype for GTAV is ceiling-less regardless.

#13 Posted by SargeGulp (235 posts) -

I prefer a tight condensed map like Vice City. Wherein it was easy to memorize the entire map and keep police chases going for ridiculous periods of time. In San Andres it felt sprawling, but for the most part thin. Big for the sake of being big but not really justifying it beyond that.

#14 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5750 posts) -

Rockstar seems like a company that has almost always been good at realizing its ambitions, so I'm sure the end result will be great.

#15 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (498 posts) -

GTA IV's map was pretty big (though not as big as San Andreas) and not one part of that map felt copy and pasted. I like Sleeping Dogs, but to me the city in that game isn't even close to the city in GTA IV so I have complete faith in Rockstar with this one.

My guess is this san andreas will be much closer modeled on the real thing. Liberty City is basically New York City with some tiny changes here and there, but to tell the truth it's probably the most realistic NYC ever put in a game, so I think we'll see realistic recreations of LA and the surrounding areas.

#16 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Do you have any idea how much manpower, time, and money has been poured into this? Do you remember the budget for GTA IV? It was massive!

And it doesn't have to be super full of content, as long as the landscape is detailed. It's gunna be awesome and I'm not worried. I'm going to have a blast taking advantage of the space and the varying terrain, especially in multiplayer.

#17 Posted by Tebbit (4435 posts) -

San Andreas felt enormous, but dense. And It's really easy to draw the comparison from the leap in size from Vice City to San Andreas, to the leap in size from GTA IV to V, both in the same generation. I think Rockstar North can pull it off again.

At the very least, they have the capacity.

#18 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1303 posts) -

Rockstar has totally earned its name for doing what they do. What usually find evident in every new Rockstar game is that they learn from their past mistakes, and keep pushing ambitious ideas. The size will not harm the focus in story or action; they got it on lock.

#19 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Landon said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

With the 3 characters I'm wondering if you can switch between them at anytime, will there be missions you can do with any of them, after a few missions with one character will their story stop until you clear some missions with another character,

I read the Gameinformer article, and you can switch between the three characters at any time. While you are playing as one character the other two will go about their lives until you switch to them. It's kinda doubles like a quick travel feature.

And there wont be any "play 3 missions with this guy, then play three missions with this guy, ect.". All three characters will go on missions together, and you switch between them in the mission. They described a scenario in which one character was robbing a bank, but you can switch to another guy to give sniper support fire.

That seems to be just for the real important missions, I have a feeling you wont even band together until several hours into the game.

#20 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4866 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

Rockstar seems like a company that has almost always been good at realizing its ambitions, so I'm sure the end result will be great.

#21 Posted by samonkeyuk (2 posts) -

Couldnt be more excited about GTA5

#22 Posted by Jawshua (238 posts) -

Bigfoot better be hidden in this world somewhere!

#23 Posted by Loyal_Dragoon (118 posts) -

@Jawshua said:

Bigfoot better be hidden in this world somewhere!

Surely they'll put up some sort of easter egg. But yeah, I'm pretty excited for this game! Really hope they can deliver on the character interactions between Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.

#24 Edited by Seppli (9769 posts) -

GTA V's scale and scope is its biggest selling point for me. Not that I needed more incentive to buy into the hype.

When I think GTA, I think world simulation. After San Andreas, GTA IV's Liberty City felt limited, despite feeling more real. Now I'll get it all in one grand package? More real, and big size? And deliver it they will - never doubt it. Rockstar has delivered the goods in the past, and they'll deliver them again - their quality worldbuilding is a known quantity. No worries here.

I just hope there's enough radio programs and licensed music to keep my ears entertained, while I joyride through the countryside - just like I used to do in GTA San Andreas. If trailer #2 is any indication, the soundtrack is going to be amazing.

#25 Posted by Imsorrymsjackson (855 posts) -

I think it will be amazing, can't wait for the size and scale of it, glad I own a console that will play it because I bet it gets nowhere near the WiiU.

#26 Posted by Scarabola (4 posts) -

Are we all aware that GTA IV's map is the same size as Red Dead Redemption's map? And that San Andreas' map size is larger than both of those maps combined.

#27 Posted by sunnyside_lakes (7 posts) -

@MideonNViscera: About disk space, with regards to the only game I know that has done this being Halo 4 (but I am sure there are others), where you have two disks, but one disk installs the multiplayer onto your Xbox HD so you can play both the campaign and multiplayer on the same disk. I would like it if GTA:V also did this, or at least gave the option to install the other disk(s) onto our HD and give us the ability to play with just one disk. It will save people who have the required HD space from having to change disks (I am not lazy, and it isn't a problem, but it would be an added luxury).

#28 Posted by Fjordson (2448 posts) -

I sort of disagree about Sleeping Dogs. Part of what made that game boring for me was the city. Felt small.

I love that they're trying to capture the massive sprawl that is LA, and not only that, but they're going to have a diversity of terrain that most open-world games don't have. A massive recreation of Los Angeles is great on its own, but there's also going to be farmlands, countryside, small backwater towns, and mountains? Awesome.

Also, it should be noted that when R* talks about GTA V being five times bigger than this game, or bigger than these two games combined or whatever, they're including the ocean floor and the vertical space. Slightly misleading really, it's not straight up five times bigger.

#29 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

They should allow players worlds to combine. So if I have a friend on my friendslist. I can be in the same world as his but still carry out my single layer missions. Imagine causing havoc inthe same world. Or you could just watch the mayhem and not be chased by the cops. Or screw up their single player story.

#30 Posted by Fattony12000 (6374 posts) -

@glyn: Online co-op throughout the main story in this game would be just about the hardest thing to pull off, in the whole entire history of the world. Which is why Rockstar have said they haven't done it for this game.

Online
#31 Edited by glyn (382 posts) -

@Fattony12000 said:

@glyn: Online co-op throughout the main story in this game would be just about the hardest thing to pull off, in the whole entire history of the world. Which is why Rockstar have said they haven't done it for this game.

Watch out dog!

#32 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver said:

@FancySoapsMan said:

Rockstar seems like a company that has almost always been good at realizing its ambitions, so I'm sure the end result will be great.

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