Hello, bloggers and gamers of Game Informer!  Again, school and other things have kept me from posting this blog yesterday.  I'm still trying to change plans and such with new things coming up.  Anyway, this week was another no-brainer for me.  While coming up with the concept for this series, I had come up with a few blog ideas already.  I decided to touch up on my favorite series, and since the Grand Theft Auto series is definitely one of them, here it is.

       The problem came in which quality to choose.  There are so many great things about the series that it was hard to choose what really blew me away the most.  Then I thought, "Duh, it's the game worlds."

       This map is the thing that blew my mind.  Sure, Grand Theft Auto III was the first game in the series that I played.  And sure, it was awesome.  But this map absolutely blew my mind.  I didn't know that PlayStation 2 was capable of this detail and quantity, and the graphics were great for their time.  There was so much to do and see and explore, and all of this was mixed with a fantastic story, characters, gameplay, and customization system.  Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was no-doubt one of the greatest games in its generation and is one of the greatest games of all time.  And yes, I knew that map better than my own city.  Remembered it like the back of my hand.

       When you think of other games that have large worlds with a lot to do and see, what do you think of?  The Elder Scrolls?  Just Cause 2?  Mercenaries, maybe?  These, plus many more, are all games that give you a lot to do in a lot of space, so what's the difference?  What makes Grand Theft Auto's worlds so unique?  Despite going places no other developers have dared to go to (into a car with a prostitute, for example), Rockstar has created the most living and breathing worlds I have ever seen.  I've always had that small feeling that I'm a part of this huge world where there's other people freely living out their own lives along with me.  The little details, like a car chase or a fire, show the length that Rockstar will go to to make the worlds as much like a real city as possible.

       Speaking of little details, expansive game worlds usually look great from afar.  Take games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas.  Both of these worlds look great from afar, but they don't really have that effect from close up.  Small details, like buildings, don't leave you in awe, but what I've found from playing the Grand Theft Auto series is that I am just as impressed by the big pictures as I am by the small ones.  I was just as impressed in San Andreas by the view from a jet as I was by the views from the street.  There is so much tedious detail put into every square-inch of the world that there is just as much to see from the top of Mount Chiliad as there is from your stolen car.  Grand Theft Auto V is a great example of this.  I was peacefully waiting for a taxi as Franklin when I noticed something that left me in awe.  I was looking up at a convoluted part of the interstate with many sections.  There was plenty of traffic up there and some traffic where I was standing.  It was sunny, and I could see far into the distance.  But what impressed me the most in this scene.  Despite all that, I could see little particles of dust and lent floating through the air.  That kind of detail is amazing to me.

       This picture shows another quality of the world that I love.  Our favorite silent criminal, Claude, is just standing on top of a car that's flying through the air towards the airport in Grand Theft Auto 3's Liberty City.  Normal?  No, but who cares?  It's Grand Theft Auto, and one of the greatest things about the series is that it lets you invent your own fun.  Sure, you could spend hours doing the varied and fun mission, or you could do this to kill time.  The ability of these worlds to completely distract you at first and then completely snowball you into five-star wanted level and a high-speed chase with the police is unbelievable, and it's one of the greatest feats that Rockstar has been able to pull off.

        I consider Rockstar to be one of the most innovative developers of all time.  Why?  Because, with nearly every game, Rockstar has attempted (and, very often, succeeded) at making their games bigger and better.  Whether it was purchasing houses and businesses, leveling up your character, or an entire state as a game world, Rockstar has been able to consistently make its games better.  In the slew of long-running, repetitive game series (Call of Duty) coming every year, Rockstar, at the cost of several years of production, has made quality video games for years.  Few other games have been able to pull off the amount of innovation in the games that make up the Grand Theft Auto series.  That's the reason Rockstar made a profit from Grand Theft Auto V off of pre-orders alone and made one billion dollars in three days.  It's the reason I was anticipating Grand Theft Auto V for at least two months straight.  I trust in Rockstar's ability to make fantastic games.

       Okay, so that's it for this week.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get a schedule together that will actually involve the day these posts are supposed to be up.  Comment on my work or anything else.  Respectfully share your opinions and other games or series that blew your mind.  And as always, thanks for reading!