GTA 3 inspired the greatest Resident Evil game of all time

Claude Speed in GTA 3
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The long-awaited Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition remaster is launching very soon, but fans are already celebrating the franchise for a different reason. 20 years ago, Grand Theft Auto 3 was released, and fans and developers alike are sharing their memories of the game.

As part of a PlayStation Blog post sharing memories about GTA 3, Koshi Nakanishi, a director at Capcom, explained how the vast scope of the game was an unlikely source of inspiration for one of Resident Evil's most terrifying and well-received entries, Resident Evil 7.

"I remember thinking ‘how did they make this kind of game on PS2?’ Not only from a gameplay point of view but also from a technical point of view," Nakanishi-san recalls. 

"In response to the subsequent development of open-world games, I decided to do the exact opposite and make a small, narrow, dense horror game, and Resident Evil 7 was born. In a way, Resident Evil 7 may have been born because of GTA III."

GTA 3's incredible scale and freedom also inspired other video game creatives to pursue new creative endeavors, giving players much more control over how they wanted to play than ever before.

Brian Hastings, Head of Creative Strategy at Insomniac Games, said that GTA 3 completely changed his perspective about what made up a fun game, proving you don't just need to follow the designer's well-laid-out path. 

"GTA III was the first game where you really made your own fun. That led me to reimagine how exploration and open-ended gadget and weapon usage in Ratchet & Clank could allow players to find their own fun and approach the gameplay in their own creative ways.”

Opinion: creativity generates more creativity

You'll often hear gaming fans and critics bemoan the release of successive sequels and remakes because they don't bring anything new to the table – that the release allows developers to creatively stagnate. When you read comments like the ones above, you can start to see that they may have a point.

If GTA 3 hadn't been this huge push forward in terms of what video games can achieve then the creatives behind our favorite games (from Resident Evil to Control and Deathloop) might never have been inspired to create what we have today.

Sequels and remakes aren't inherently a bad thing. GTA 3 and God of War (2018) showed that with the right mindset you can teach an old dog new tricks and create a masterpiece – but an over-reliance on the familiar can limit what video games can achieve.

Hopefully, these GTA 3 celebrations can remind some developers and publishers that innovation doesn't just have to come from smaller indie studios – that AAA games can lead from the front and help inspire the next generation of video game creators.

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.