GTA 5: A World of Its Own

James Donald Fredson 2019-02-05

Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 5 is one of the latest titles in a video game franchises that have sold over 75 million copies. In 2016, it also had the privilege of being the sixth best-selling game across all formats. Six years after GTA 5’s release, it still ranks in the top ten best sellers.

 You may be wonder how this has continued to happen. On apparent reason is GTA is one of the most acclaimed, successful game franchises of all time. The best reviews come from the fact that the game contains a beautiful and vast open-world environment, witty narrative humor, and various sub-quests, side missions, and secrets that give the world longevity.

 Typically, games can be placed into three categories which are free roaming, sandbox, and open world. GTA 5 has been called all three by some. These terms are used interchangeably, but actually should be used as a way to highlight the differences between game design, games, and mechanics.

 This highlighting of the differences is crucial because it is one of the best ways to define games. If you are told GTA 5 is a sandbox game, you may decide you would prefer an open world game. This interchanging of the three worlds would lead you away from an amazing open world game.

 Before a discussion of GTA 5’s open-world gaming is held, you probably should have a clear understanding of the other two terms.

Free Roaming

To understand the definition of free roaming, you must have a non-linear approach to the game. Free roaming games almost always happen in an open world environment. However, the degree you are allowed to free roam can significantly differ between games.

Most open world games limit the amount of free-roaming allowed at the beginning of the game. The trick is to unlock a variety of more significant parts of the world by advancing through the storyline. An example of this is in GTA Vice City when the bridge is closed because of damage from a storm.

Every current open world game allows the player to roam to a particular degree freely. It would defeat the purpose if an open world game required you to stay on a specific path. All of this is necessary to understand because it makes it clear that the free-roaming term associated with gameplay with the open world design rather than a game genre.

Open World
Sandbox

Many times the term sandbox can be extremely confusing because it is used for open world games that have little to do with sandbox. Sandbox play allows the player to create his or her own story within the game. It also means the player can choose to be anyone.

If a person wanted to explain sandbox, he or she would say it is concerned with the story of a video game, gameplay, and the design of a level. Unlike free roaming, sandbox tells a lot about a game, so it can be considered a separate genre of play.

A particular style of games such as GTA 5 should not be considered sandbox games by definition. This fact is true because you are assigned to be a criminal in the game and you do not have any choice in the matter. The game must be completed within the limits of your given character.

An excellent example of a sandbox game is a game that does not have a storyline, an objective, and the world within the game can be shaped as far as the mechanics of the game allows. Some games can change mods and become sandbox games.

GTA 5 is an example of this style of a sandbox. With GTA 5 online, you can create a character and set goals which gives GTA 5 a sandbox variant. However, even though you can still play well as a taxi driver, GTA 5 will continue to push you towards illegal and explosive activities while playing.

Open World

Ultima would be the first example of a game with an open world concept. This game allowed players to explore an open fantasy world. Just three short years later in 1984, Elite was released. It was a game which allowed the player to explore an entire open galaxy.

These styles of games completely broke away from the standard linear level design of the time. GTA 5 is the latest in a long series of open world games. What is an open world game? It can be defined as a game that lacks invisible barriers.

These barriers can typically be found in the different levels and loading screens between the different areas of the game. These barriers also often stand on the opposite side to the standard linear level design. All of this means when a game is called an open world, it is concerned with the level design of the game.

GTA 5 is the perfect concept of an open world game because it allows the player to roam and explore a massive level without any limits. It is essential to understand that at the end of most open world games, there are still barriers. Now, that an understanding of these three different styles has occurred, it is possible to label GTA 5 as open world and free roaming.

Everything is possible
GTA 5 

A multitude of players has examined and analyzed every inch of GTA 5. This game has three protagonists in the city of Los Santos. This exciting city is said to be larger than the worlds of GTA 4, San Andreas, and Red Dead Redemption all together with room to spare. 

This area includes the interior and exterior play spaces. For example, the beachfront of Los Santos has an incredibly detailed ocean floor for you to explore. This detail is one of the items that make the open world of GTA 5 so extraordinary. 

The ocean floor is an area that will typically go unnoticed which also makes Rockstar’s decision a testimony to their stunning open world concept. Rockstar also has included a dense urban environment similar to Liberty City in GTA 4. 

The enormous wilderness expanse available in GTA 5 may remind some players of Red Dead Redemption’s frontiers. The thing to remember when making comparisons is the open world of GTA 5 is much larger than these other games. 

With the variety of available open world environments in GTA 5, you are immersed. These beautiful worlds allow the user to escape from the mundane and enjoy what is offered by the game. The longer a player explores, the more exotic and unique locales the game has to offer. 

It also offers a multitude amount of missions without requiring an excessive amount of backtracking. If you want to collect missed items or complete side missions, an open world game like GTA 5 is the ideal choice. So, if you're going to explore one of the best concepts of open-world gaming, you should try GTA 5. 

The Donald of all ducks :-)

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