Without Leslie Benzies, the three-dimensional Grand Theft Auto titles we came to love in the first half of the 2000s would most likely not have been created.
Benzies’ name might not spring to mind, so we’ll tell you that the former president of Rockstar North left Rockstar in 2016. By 2017, he’d already set up his studio, and even then, it looked like he might be groping his way towards virtual, augmented reality as the former producer of the 3D Grand Theft Auto games. The game, Everywhere, was announced about five years ago, and the first pictures have surfaced on Reddit, and we should mention here that these could be fake photos, as they are from unofficial sources!
On a segment of the official website of Benzies’ studio, Build A Rocket Boy, a description of the content and style of Everywhere appears. It reads, “In the near future, technology has brought humanity to the precipice of a world shifting change. Some want to use this technology to advantage only themselves and those who want to use it to help all humankind. Will we look to the stars? Or stare only at our feet? Will we be inspired? Or live in fear? There’s a war between good and evil in men’s and women’s hearts. Everything is changing. And there’s no going back. It’s a game. It’s a community. It’s a new world. The storm is on the horizon. And it is only the beginning of EVERYWHERE.”
The community section also mentions: “You, the player, are integral to the creation, growth and future of EVERYWHERE. Our journey together begins when you register with EVERYWHERE. In time, your player will evolve through website and in-game challenges, and your place in EVERYWHERE will become clear.”
The job listings include a job opening for Everywhere animators who would create immersive, premium cutscenes. The combat designer would implement mechanics and weapons under Unreal Engine 4 (…5?). A level designer would be responsible for arenas and even racing courses. In terms of characters, it’s a realistic direction, while the images are more cartoonish.
It feels a bit like Fortnite and the metaverse.