Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of Grand Theft Auto 3, several prominent game developers and studio heads reflected on the sandbox crime simulator’s influence on the games industry as a whole. Insomniac Games Head of Creative Strategy Brian Hastings reveals that the open world mechanics of GTA 3 influenced the gadgets and exploration of the Ratchet & Clank series. Capcom director Koshi Nakanishi also notes that Resident Evil 7 may have been born at least in part thanks to GTA 3.
“GTA III was the first game where you really made your own fun,” Hastings states. Up until the release of GTA 3, Hastings says most games were about killing enemies and solving puzzles. However, GTA 3 allowed players to choose what exactly they wanted to do, and how they wanted to do it. “That led me to reimagine how exploration and open-ended gadget and weapon usage in Ratchet & Clank could allow players to find their own fun and approach the gameplay in their own creative ways.” Similarly, PlayStation London Studio Head Tara Saunders says GTA 3 was “one of the first major shifts in self-directed play in game design.”
Several prominent Capcom directors also offer their own stories. Monster Hunter World director Yuya Tokuda says that GTA 3 “set the standard” for immersion-focused game design seen in modern AAA titles. Devil May Cry 5 director Hideaki Itsuno recalls how he was impressed at Grand Theft Auto 3’s ability to utilize PS2 capabilities at a time when his team was struggling to make a single-path game. Resident Evil 7 director Koshi Nakanishi was also impressed by the game’s scale, so much so that he decided to do the exact opposite. That “small, narrow, and dense horror game” eventually became Resident Evil 7.
I remember thinking ‘how did they make this kind of game on PS2?’ Not only from a gameplay point of view, but also from a technical point of view. In response to the subsequent development of open-world games, I decided to do the exact opposite and make a small, narrow, dense horror game, and Resident Evil 7 was born. In a way, Resident Evil 7 may have been born because of GTA III. Thank you and congratulations on the 20th anniversary of GTA III.
Many more notable developers from big-name studios such as Deathloop‘s Arkane Lyon, Days Gone‘s Bend Studios, and Control‘s Remedy also talked about the influence GTA 3 had on their own careers. Grand Theft Auto 3—as well as Vice City and San Andreas—is set to release in the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy collection on December 7, 2021.[Source: PlayStation Blog]
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