We’ve seen it time and time again – a game comes out in first or third person and a skilled modder gets into the code and rewires the camera to switch things around. Seems simple, right?
Rockstar doesn’t do simple.
IGN had the chance to check out the upcoming refresh of Rockstar’s newest Grand Theft Auto and not only is the rumored first person mode real, it has a lot going for it.
“We’ve always been interested in it, but it’s never really been an option for us,” said GTAV‘s Animation Director Rob Nelson. The iteration of Grand Theft Auto V that hit the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last year was a masterpiece from a technical standpoint, squeezing just about every ounce out of the nearly ten year old consoles. The team, according to Nelson, was “constantly fighting about what we could have and what we could still push in… what areas you could steal memory back from.”
With the new consoles, that’s not the worry it once was, and the team has the room for the work they were missing out on.
“You have to change pretty much everything,” says Nelson about the new perspective the game offers. When you switch to first person, “all those animations are new,” engineered to fit with the camera change.
To make first person play feel like a part of the game and not just a mod, the team has built in elements like car dashboards, unique to each model, with working dials and radio station readouts. Helmets restrict your view the way they might in real life.
The control scheme, too, can be changed to better fit the first person experience, and things like aim assist and the way the camera handles taking cover can be adjusted as well.
What initially seemed like a flawed idea is starting to look like a good reason to pick Rockstar’s blockbuster up for a second time.
Grand Theft Auto V releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Nov. 18 and PC on January 27, 2015.