I'm going to babble my ass off about different but similar topic altogether.
Idk about beam.ng but one of my weekly hobby is to watch couple of guys doing GTA5 youtubes where they bicker and smack talk like a group of little kids playing video games. Yuppp. Welcome to adult life. But it's really great. I thought the most alluring thing about GTA really is the environmental thing.
There is a new sandbox-type of Ghost Recon or whatever coming out, but the thing I really want is how cool the nature looks in it. "This is it folks." I mutter occasionally under my breath when watching somebody playing it.
Far Cry was really like the GTA of first-person shooters. Far Cry was really about immersing yourself into random trophical routes and figuring out how to minimize any contact with anyone. Maybe it's the true loner freak survivalist game...? "We don't take strangers kiiiindly round heeeere.". Far Cry 2 was super disappointing. MGS 3 was also great. Total environmental simulationists, all hail.
GTA3 was really big thing in youth, in a sense that my favourite leisure would be randomly drive in that game.. while listening to the then-new 80's music from the GTA3 radio... and just sort of explore big urban wastes of nothing. Completely novel. Imagine if the ridicilous wastes of cut-and-paste Deus Ex, Turok and Unreal Tournament - texture wall Urban Decay... was made into environmental sandbox simulation? --> Deus Ex looks exhilirated. Doom 1 background panoramas and the precious few "outdoor secret paths" looks ultra-grateful. Special mention to the Wolfenstein 3D shareware maps initial "outdoor" and the ridicilous Windows 95 Golf -coloured "outdoor" map from the Wolfenstein 3D Expansion. I feel PC88 and Wolfenstein were secretly handshaking at the parties.
Somehow I cannot stop thinking of that girl- I mean Final Boss- I mean Leisure Suit Larry and other DOS-era adventure games when thinking of this topic. I'm probably thinking of Leisure Suit Larry 6's ultra-perfect vision of contained tropical nature. If I don't stop myself, I will ineventually drifting to Mario 64 or Mario Kart's nature simulation etc etc, so I better stop here and continue my post:
Maybe an affection for night walks in desolated urban or otherwise places came from GTA3. . . ? ("Did I ever not leave the facility airvent in real life ... ?" -> "Nevermore. Nevermore. Nevermore." says random black crow.)
In effect, one is exploring ONE SELF in relation in space and time, when not exploring nature's beauty but human artificial space. Perhaps we are, in effect, exploring the archives and organization of human brain in macroscope.
I haven't seen other GTA's (save Miami City or whatever, which was also cool but not really urban existentialism. I get that another part is driving the sunnier-than-reality - side of things but really...), that sort of captured that weird kind of urban realism.
It's just the right kind of game to start driving in during in-game night, while listening to weird 80's assorted songs. Drive from a stunt, watch stunt camera. Lazily. Aimlessly. Drive into random inner wards of some wack-ass brutalist-styled stronghold-tenements. Drive into a fountain, drive out. Drive into and marvel random facilities and warehourses. Drive into random harbour. Drive down the pier. Drop car into water. Walk into night. Get on the subway. Watch buildings. Watch burning barrells. Do weird lanky and janky jerks and movements with your character. Have a habit to dissociate and watch over yourself in real life... in GTA3 camera mode. (Must give respects to Return to Krondor for this shit, daaaaym).
I was always wondering what's the allure for normal guys to randomly drive around in cars, but I guess I can get it now:
There was this really great rally simulator called "Rally Trophy". Let's not beat around the bush folks: it was really a "countryside and countryside road simulator". Whoops, I went too fast over that hill, now my car lazily flips over. Friendly voice yaks and warns about the turns of the road. You feel like randomly driving into the big hills and large expanses of wheat fields.
Maybe it's a man's veiled desire for nature and resulting spirituality, that can only express itself socially acceptably in a form of fascination with car...? Gary Numan's "Cars" expanded into 100-page university thesis.
I guess also the new survival game hilariously falls into this niche (wow. I love backpacks. What a sweet, sweet, swwwweeet tent in the middle of nowhere. Look at those grills. It's a random church!).
Why can't the gamers just REALIZE that the answer to their ALL DEEPEST SECRETS could be found in the ultra-accurate nature simulations (and facility vent)...?
Cicada you ever checked out... My Summer Car? (super disappointed that the creator didn't go all the Japanese Romance Manga -way with the hilarious name. IKE! IKE! Mai Summer Car wa to Prince)