Someone leaked a GTA V map from a strategy guide and the entire gaming world has gone ga-ga. Comparisons have been made with other GTA titles but from what we've seen all those comps have been to say the least, unrealistic. So we commissioned a proper one.
We got our map guy to compare the GTA V with that of San Andreas. We did this because, hell, the new title from what we've seen in all the trailers and lead-in marketing returns us to those halcyon West Coast days before GTA IV's rather more dour approach in the East Coast.
So, our man comped the maps and visually matched them using key features. He warned us, "San Andreas has a pretty rectangular land mass, but as GTAV's island is not you can't just grab a ruler to compare the area of the two... but", and here comes the but, "using Photoshop's select tool on the land mass and running a pixel count, I'm coming up with numbers that show GTA V to be around 220% bigger. It's boundary is around a fifth wider and over twice as tall. On a scale or one to massive, I'd say it's f***ing huge."
This is fascinating stuff, especially if you believe such august organs as The Independent newspaper which states that, "Rockstar has previously said that Los Santos – the fictional setting of GTA 5 and a parody of Los Angeles – will be bigger than the game worlds of GTA IV, GTA: San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption combined." That stat' was in fact referring to the GameInformer splash from August.
"Looking at these two maps", our map man continues, "I just can't see this being possible. There's a stink of "Let's chuck that stat out there and see if it floats" about it. I say this because is appears to state as 'factoid' that GTA IV and RDR together must be only a little larger than the San Andreas map."
With that, he comped in the GTA IV map and concluded "GTA V is 133% bigger than the three islands of IV. This soundbite in nonsense."
He clarified that, "now in both cases I used a scale based on 'real world' features such as city blocks and similar freeway interchanges. They're obviously not feet & inches, and not all city blocks are equal, but they're key features that give the game world its scale."
So, "f*cking huge" just not as f*cking huge as the early hype and follow-up comps would have you believe.
Unless of course, a whole new area or set of areas that haven't been leaked yet! For example, the fact there's no inclusion of the faux San francisco or Las vegas could make a section that you get to by air a total possibility, as it was in San Andreas - you had to fly to Liberty City to carry out a mission.
Update: Well, some of you have indicated that you've got some problems with the scale comparison provided here. I, can see your point. I've asked the map makers and they've told me that, "at the time of creating the comparison I wasn't privy to the info that apparently the GTAV map doesn't show minor roads, and we matches scale using roads and intersections as comparable features."