Rockstar North art director Aaron Garbut calls it “way beyond anything we’ve done before”.
In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Rockstar North art director Aaron Garbut talked about the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V and how the world of Los Santos was vastly superior to that of any other GTA game.
“I want to stress that not only is this world huge but it’s absolutely handcrafted. Every little bit of this world has had a large number of extremely talented artists pore over it. There’s always something to discover, something weird or interesting to see or interact with.
“It’s absolutely not a massive, empty world. We’ve considered the placement of every tree. We’ve simply not copied buildings around the map or procedurally generated the terrain to pad it out. It’s all handcrafted, all unique, and we’ve gone over it all again and again and again to make sure there’s enough layering of detail that I don’t think many people will ever see everything we’ve put into the world. That in itself, though, means that most people will have different experiences.
“We used to call Liberty City a living, breathing world, but this is way beyond anything we’ve done before.”
Grand Theft Auto V also features unlimited draw distance, and if the sky-diving pictures haven’t showcased it enough, a much better vertical implementation this time around.
“The main thing we wanted to achieve was to pull off this sense of scale. The way we don’t limit the draw distance and draw the lights so far back really emphasizes this. Every single light we place in the world is stored, streamed, and laid into the map, even into the distance. The entire world draws all the time: You can fly high in the air at one corner of the map, look over the miles of city and skyscrapers, over the hills and desert to the furthest ridges of the most distant mountains. It’s all there and visible.
“That’s amazing to see. But the really cool bit is that you can see a street light in a distant town, fly toward it for kilometers until the street itself is visible and the light bulb eventually comes into view. It’s amazing. It’s a level of solidity that I’ve never seen before.
“We’ve tried to push exploration in a way that we’ve never managed before. It’s always been a feature of the game and it’s always been very much front and center in our minds when we’ve built the worlds, but we’ve just never had the ability to go as far as we’ve done this time. We’ve really pushed verticality. Most blocks are fully accessible from ground or roof, and you can climb around them and get between lots of the buildings at roof level. It adds an entirely different aspect to the game.”
Grand Theft Auto V is currently slated to release on PS3 and Xbox 360 on September 17th.