The map of an open-world title like GTA is essential to the quality of the in-game experience. Rockstar Games has not only provided gamers with some of the most fun satire in gaming, but also a few of the most enjoyable game worlds.
Gaming audiences are quick to praise Grand Theft Auto for its satire, humor and colorful writing, but the game-making prowess often gets overshadowed. Rockstar is nothing short of the gold standard when it comes to open-world titles.
And for the next GTA game, this publisher should look at a different approach to open-world design, as many games have done.
Five reasons for Rockstar to try a smaller map for GTA 6
1) Denser map; more detail
The primary issue with an expansive map is the fact that players will only be able to experience a portion of it. The way GTA goes about including the map in the Story Mode is by having the missions take place in a variety of locations.
However, it becomes increasingly cumbersome to transport players to seemingly far-off locations for menial work, just for the sake of opening up the map to them.
The effort that goes into making an expansive and vast map would be better justified in making a well-detailed one that might be smaller in size, but packs way more content and detail.
This way, players can explore the map to their heart's content and be satisfied in the knowledge that they know each aspect of the map like the back of their hands.
2) Large portions of the map are unused
When players get hit with a gigantic map right out of the gate, it tends to have an overwhelming effect. While GTA has reveled in doing so using the seemingly large amount of content and prospects of exploration, it doesn't have that much else (case in point, GTA 5).
Games like The Witcher 3 fully utilize the large map by actually offering a considerable amount of content. Titles like GTA 5, on the other hand, do not have the quantity of content that some RPG games possess, and the map is left unutilized.
Outside of filling the area with Easter Eggs, the County area in GTA 5 serves minimal purpose, and those efforts could be better used in other aspects of the game.
3) Recall value
If players were to think back to their time in GTA Vice City, they are bound to remember specific streets and layouts of the Downtown districts. The smaller map meant that players could actually remember the city in which the game takes place.
Although the industry has moved past the days of GTA Vice City, the franchise has to stay up-to-date with trends using a decently-sized map. However, a map bigger than GTA 5 does not make much sense, as it should be in the game for more than just aesthetics and decoration.
The map should be able to add both thematically and gameplay-wise to the experience of the game. Perhaps, Rockstar needs to re-evaluate its approach to open-world maps and figure out what serves the game better, rather than just keeping up with industry standards.
4) Destructible environments
It is about time that GTA introduces some true chaos in the franchise with the inclusion of a fully-destructive environment. While an extensive map would require too much work to be rendered fully destructible, a smaller one opens up room for such a feature.
One of the favourite aspects for GTA gamers has been to lead the cops on a merry chase by causing insane amounts of havoc. This could be made several times more fun if the environments were destructible.
Imagine shooting an RPG into a concrete wall and watching it get completely obliterated. GTA, though, has experimented with certain levels of destructibility with players being able to shoot holes in walls and erode pillars and columns with gunfire.
If a smaller map means more destructibility in the environment, then that is the way Rockstar should go.
5) More interaction with the game world
Players, essentially, should be able to interact organically with the environment in open-world games. A large map presents an overwhelming challenge for them to explore, as the game has to come up with enough incentives for them to look around the in-game world, outside of missions.
The game should essentially have a map that, only by its existence, encourages a decent enough challenge as well as provide enough incentive for exploration. By this, we mean letting players interact with the game world outside of a "Yes/No" dedicated button that GTA typically has, which should be Rockstar's goal.Published 13 Oct 2020, 16:39 IST