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  • (western guitar music)

  • - [Narrator] With Red Dead Redemption Two on the horizon,

  • many gamers are excited to see

  • what Rockstar will deliver this time.

  • It's been over eight years since the original

  • Red Dead Redemption and that game

  • is still looked upon as a masterpiece.

  • And it's actually my personal favorite

  • single player game of all time.

  • But as I was watching the release footage

  • of the upcoming Red Dead Redemption Two,

  • I began to think about something.

  • It seems as if every single one of Rockstar's games

  • have massive open worlds, and every single one of these

  • open world games are absolutely amazing and outstanding.

  • While open world games are pretty much everywhere

  • these days, most of them are pretty disappointing and empty.

  • But Rockstar on the other hand,

  • oh no, their worlds are better than my world.

  • Yeah, I'd rather live in the peaceful and safe Vice City

  • than where I am right now.

  • It looks like a great place and I'm kind of thinking

  • that it's based off of somewhere else in real life,

  • maybe like San Antonio or Paris or something,

  • I really don't know.

  • Anyways, the point is, Rockstar games

  • have a certain charm and feel to them, and it's honestly

  • something I can only get from Rockstar games.

  • There could be a variety of causes

  • that make me feel so great when I play these games.

  • It could be the fact that I love being able

  • to recreate the way that I act in real life.

  • It could be that I like the massive skies.

  • But I really don't think that's the case.

  • Deep down I know that the real reason why I love these games

  • is because of the true open world experience.

  • Rockstar's worlds, like I said,

  • are the best open worlds of any games.

  • The consistency is almost always there and every new release

  • has a world that is better than the last.

  • So what exactly is so good about these worlds?

  • What is it that makes these games the way they are?

  • I'll go ahead and start from the very beginning.

  • Many open world games have a little bit of life

  • when you're playing them.

  • Like how FarCry enemies will jump out of their cars

  • and yell stuff at you,

  • how Fallout games have cool little side quests

  • that actually make sense,

  • and of course how Mass Effect Andromeda

  • had a super realistic flying animation when you're trying

  • to walk around on the ground and you just started flying.

  • Wait what?

  • Oh, that wasn't intentional?

  • What I'm saying here is that some of these games

  • do a pretty decent job at adding life into their world.

  • But many of them lack consistency

  • and only do it in certain areas of their world.

  • Diamond City in Fallout Four, Novigrad in The Witcher Three,

  • and New Vegas and New Vegas are all great examples

  • of places that do it right.

  • Those locations tend to have a sense of life

  • and feel like a realistic place in a realistic world.

  • Now, Rockstar doesn't just do this in some locations,

  • they take the same approach

  • in every single aspect of their maps.

  • In order to identify life in a video game world,

  • we're gonna have to take a look at what creates this life.

  • Now, there are three things, movement,

  • realistic settings, and differences in scenery.

  • Rockstar worlds have all three of these things

  • and that's what makes them feel so lively.

  • Movement, this is the factor that many games have

  • but don't do correctly.

  • In order for an open world to feel alive,

  • there needs to be some sort of movement and activities

  • in the area that there are other people.

  • And basically every single open world game

  • in the Grand Theft Auto series, this is done perfectly.

  • The NPC's move around about their daily business

  • and they don't make you stick out like a sore thumb.

  • Traffic flows freely and realistically,

  • planes fly around in the sky,

  • waves push boats and stuff just feels natural.

  • The day and night cycle is perfect and the constant changes

  • in lighting and the progression of time of day

  • helps to make the world feel

  • like it's in constant motion and growth.

  • The ambulances moving around helping the old man

  • that just got ran over by some dude

  • in a really nice supercar, add to the effect by making

  • the world actually feel like a functioning society.

  • Things move and they move

  • extremely realistically and smoothly.

  • And honestly, it just feels right.

  • It's not like we have a Fallout Four settlement on our hands

  • where the stupid old lady just moves from chair to chair

  • and people walk around in circles and get in the way.

  • This is an example of pointless movement,

  • but it's not like that with Rockstar games.

  • All of the people who are moving about their daily business

  • seem to have some sort of purpose and these NPC's

  • and this interaction is one of the factors

  • that helps to make this game feel alive.

  • Second of all is the realistic settings in Rockstar worlds.

  • If you take a look at Red Dead Redemption,

  • you can see this first hand.

  • The entire map is separated into different zones

  • and each zone smoothly transitions into the next.

  • There's a nice variation in areas

  • and it keeps the world from getting boring.

  • I personally feel as if this was a big problem

  • with Assassin's Creed British edition.

  • The entire world just felt like

  • the exact same thing, copied and pasted,

  • and it totally killed the exploration in the game.

  • But when I say realistic settings I don't mean

  • something that would be possible in real life.

  • Obviously some games aren't set in real life,

  • so I don't wanna be the guy who's like,

  • according to my calculations, this isn't possible.

  • That's not what I mean by this.

  • What I mean is that the locations in a good game world

  • and definitely all Rockstar ones, seem to fit the theme

  • of the time and place that they are set in.

  • In Red Dead Redemption, everything from the flooring

  • in the houses to the sketchy docks at Thieves Landing

  • are covered in the same western grit and grime.

  • It really helps to keep the feel of the world consistent

  • and it adds to the overall life of the worlds.

  • And this leads me into my third point,

  • the differences in scenery.

  • I kinda already mentioned it, but it's a thing

  • that is required for a good open world game.

  • Like I said with Assassin's Creed, The Syndicate Project,

  • if everything feels the same,

  • what is the point of exploring?

  • And if you take a look at every Rockstar game ever,

  • you would notice that absolutely none

  • of the locations feel the same.

  • In Vice City for example, you can feel the difference

  • between the rich estates on the canals,

  • the massive beaches on the east coast,

  • and the slummy shops in the interior of the island.

  • In Bully for example, the map starts out

  • with rustic mountains, cuts through a modern city,

  • and then ends with some luxurious Victorian style mansions.

  • And the same thing goes for basically

  • every other Rockstar world.

  • So the worlds are alive and we've determined that already.

  • But there's another quality about Rockstar's worlds

  • that makes them stand out from other games,

  • an dit was admitted by Rob Nelson himself.

  • You probably don't recognize the name,

  • but trust me, he's an important dude

  • who's a big part of Rockstar games.

  • Anyways, this guy stated that the studio tend to keep

  • an important quality in mind when designing their worlds,

  • and that is the fact that they want the world

  • to feel independent of the player.

  • They wanna make their games feel as if the world

  • continues to exist and be alive

  • even when the player isn't in the game.

  • As stated by IGN, many games are developed

  • around the player, and make the games seem as if

  • everything revolves around them.

  • In games like Skyrim, shopkeepers arrive

  • and seem as if they're basically waiting for you,

  • they just stand around and wait until you buy something

  • or if you're me, until you steal everything.

  • But Rockstar games aren't like that.

  • The way they design their open worlds

  • is to show that society still exists

  • and still functions even if the player isn't around.

  • NPC's still go about their daily business,

  • trains drive around the map on their own schedule,

  • and the world still continues even if you aren't around.

  • This is shown strongly with Michael in GTA5.

  • Even when you don't play as him,

  • you still realize that he has a family

  • and has aspects of life that he has to deal with.

  • When you switch from character to character

  • you can come back to any of them

  • and see what's going on and what they're doing.

  • They still exist and they still do stuff,

  • even if you aren't around to do it for them.

  • In a good open world, the world needs to exist

  • and the player just needs to play a part in it.

  • Or in other words the world can't revolve around the player.

  • While these are important, there's one final thing

  • that makes Rockstar games stand out to me in particular,

  • and it's the sounds.

  • Sounds are taken for granted in video games,

  • and not a lot of people realize

  • the power that they truly hold.

  • Like, imagine taking a good game that has good sounds

  • and replacing all of the footsteps

  • with Squidward from Spongebob walking.

  • Okay, honestly that sounds like a really good idea

  • now that I think about it.

  • (Squidward stepping))

  • anyways, the sounds in Rockstar games

  • help to make the worlds into what they truly are.

  • In GTA you can hear cars honking,

  • people walking down the street talking on their cell phones,

  • the hum of machinery, and differences in sound

  • depending on what you step on.

  • For example, if you break a window,

  • and then walk over the ground below where you broke it,

  • you will hear the crunching of glass underneath your feet.

  • These things are freaking awesome,

  • and without them the game worlds would feel much different.

  • And the soundtracks really contribute

  • to the feeling of the world as well.

  • When roaming the wild west in Red Dead,

  • you can hear the western style music

  • that makes you feel like you're really there,

  • and in GTA, the action music that appears

  • when you're in a gunfight makes it even more intense.

  • And the ambient noise helps to set the mood as well,

  • whe you can hear the crickets chirping

  • and the wind blowing in Red Dead,

  • and you can hear the waves crashing on the beach in GTA.

  • These sounds make the sensory experience even more realistic

  • and without them, the worlds wouldn't have the same vibe.

  • But it's honestly the attention to detail that defines

  • a Rockstar game, and a Rockstar world for me.

  • It's all the little things that yo don't really think of

  • that add up to contribute to these worlds

  • in a manner that makes them outstanding.

  • It's the fact that you can get in your car in GTA

  • and change the radio station

  • to whatever mood you are feeling.

  • It's the fact that in Red Dead Redemption,

  • you can ride your horse through the open world

  • and find a group of people who've been attacked

  • by bandits and need your help.

  • It's the fact that Rockstar takes the time

  • to make the sun rays reflect off the paint of your car,

  • your feet bend when you're walking down a curb,

  • and your character sink into the mud

  • as you're walking in the marsh.

  • There are literally hundreds if not thousands

  • of little things that are done

  • in Rockstar games to have this effect.

  • And when put together it creates something truly amazing.

  • God dang it Rockstar, you're making me cry.

  • It's refreshing to have a company

  • that truly cares about the games they release.

  • Red Dead Redemption Two has been in development

  • for eight years and they still pushed back the release date

  • in order to perfect some things in the game.

  • With studios like Activate My Noose, and Electronic Atrophy