Without a doubt, one of the most influential franchises in gaming history is Grand Theft Auto. Specifically, Grand Theft Auto 3, and its open world sandbox model with bags of side content. While other genres are on the rise, you can still see seeds of GTA in most major AAA releases even to this day. There’s less talk about the titles before the third one, which were also open world, but in a top down style and less over-the-top. There’s been a resurgence of sorts in that style, however, with games like Retro City Rampage, the upcoming American Fugitive, and the recently released Shakedown: Hawaii. But with the latter, creator Brian Provinciano actually thinks that idea of inspiration is somewhat limiting.
Sitting down in an interview with OnlySP, Provinciano talked about various aspects of Shakedown: Hawaii– largely its pointed satire at current gaming trends mixed with a retro style. But when it came to speaking about about the influence of GTA, he said the game wasn’t really inspired by it that much, and that he sees the open-world genre as more of a medium in and of itself to build games and stories.
“Years of playing and enjoying open-world games are in my DNA, but I didn’t reference and wasn’t inspired by any in its creation,” he said. “I approached Shakedown as a blank canvas. As I wrote the story satirizing consumer life, the characters and missions simply evolved from there. As I played in the world, ideas for gameplay grew organically. For example, ‘Wow, shooting a flamethrower from a go-kart is fun! I should try to build a mission around this!’
“Grand Theft Auto III‘s impact on the open-world genre and video game industry as a whole can’t be understated. It planted the genre firmly into new territory, and I’d say that GTA III influenced the modern era of gaming as much as Super Mario Bros. influenced the 8- and 16-bit eras. However, at this point, I just see the open-world genre as a medium to build a story and game on top of.”
Shakedown: Hawaii is available now for PlayStation 4, Switch, PC, and the PlayStation Vita. A 3DS version of the game is slated to come at a later date.