Grand Theft Auto has always been a flagship franchise in gaming. After all, it's the granddaddy of all 3D open world games; no other developers tried such a bold move before GTA 3 came along. As such, every new version of GTA simply had to one-up its predecessors by introducing new features and leaving out old ones that hold back its full potential.
Some of these features (regardless of whether they are good or bad) have been a staple in the franchise. Others, however, are newly introduced, but seem half-baked or tacked-on. Fans know what they want in a Grand Theft Auto game: we've been playing GTA for 22 years now. Our usual expectations, then, are for developers to introduce some new or fresh things while scrapping others that drag the game down. Here are some things we'd definitely love to see in the new games (and some others we'd be happy to see the back of).
10 NEED: More Interactive Buildings
The big city trope is a tried and tested formula. However, that in itself is fast becoming a problem in video games these days. Often, the buildings are just for show, and most of them you can't even interact with. GTA V is guilty of this, which can be quite disappointing. In fact, even GTA: San Andreas from 2004 had more interactive buildings you can enter than GTA V.
As such, we do hope to see a livelier city in GTA VI (especially with the help of better gaming hardware in the future). It makes the city feel less artificial, and also introduces vertical traversal (that doesn't involve vehicles) in an open world game.
9 DON'T WANT: 'Map Filler' Areas
In GTA V, it's not just the buildings that are used as a filler to make the city look bigger than it actually is. The mountains, hills, and deserts are also used to bloat the map, to make it appear that there were more areas to play in. The worst part is that they're mostly empty and devoid of secrets or easter eggs, making exploration quite pointless.
We'd rather they do away with such a facade and make most areas of the game more interesting, even if that means getting a smaller map. As long as you always find something to do when you get to locations (other than taking in-game selfies), it's an improvement.
8 NEED: Throwback Character Cameos
Of course, GTA's map and city only constitutes part of the experience. Characters are another huge element of the game, adding flavor and color to the open-world formula. More than that, they are the reason to finish the story.
Thankfully, the previous GTA titles have interesting characters in spades, voiced by outstanding actors to boot. We just hope they bring some of them back, either as a homage or plot device. Some of them are downright irreplaceable, and so well-written that they warrant appearances in future titles. Besides, bringing back old characters has been a long-standing GTA tradition.
7 DON'T WANT: Terrible A.I.
Wreaking havoc in GTA games is quite easy, and you don't even have to use cheat codes sometimes. Merely taking advantage of the rather outdated A.I. of the game is enough.
Sadly, such bad A.I. also affects your companions and friends in-game, which can be problematic in the middle of missions. Who could forget the notorious rage-inducing train mission from GTA: San Andreas? That mission could have been more manageable if only the A.I. was more polished. Even in GTA V, we are still plagued with a similarly poor A.I., which hasn't really improved much from the previous titles.
6 NEED: Stealth (Done Well) And Stealth Missions
Alright, so this feature we hope to see might only be possible if the A.I. improved immensely in GTA VI. Stealth missions are something completely lacking in GTA V, which is weird because GTA: San Andreas (which is also set in Los Santos) gave you plenty of opportunities to use its rough but functional stealth mechanics. Basically, GTA V had somewhat of a gameplay downgrade.
The poorly-implemented "stealth" in GTA V and the lack of stealth missions make the story progression quite monotonous. Therefore, adding more variety to mission types by introducing better stealth mechanics is one of the few ways to increase GTA games' replay value. Apart from that, they provide a much-needed break from the usual run-and-gun missions.
5 DON'T WANT: Mundane Minigames
Bicycle, yoga, tennis, stock investment, and golf, those are the most prominent minigames in GTA V. Why? Just why? As in, why do yoga in a game when it's something you should be doing in real life? Apart from golf, most minigames in GTA V are just plain unimaginative; they're usually the activities you avoid doing in real life, and now you have to do them in a game?
By comparison, some of the older GTA titles had better minigames, like the lowrider challenge in GTA: San Andreas or even the vigilante, ambulance, or firefighter missions which are present in pre-2005 GTA titles (but somehow absent in GTA V). Hopefully, we get something better in GTA VI.
4 NEED: Male And Female Protagonists
The main thing that GTA V did differently from the other games (apart from the multiplayer) is introduce three protagonists. It lead to a fresher narrative (though not necessarily a better story), but some people felt that three might have been too many. Two would have easily done the job, and why not make it both a male and a female protagonist we can select?
It could be similar to Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's approach, but each character could have their own distinct path or story instead of following the same one. They can even make it an undercover buddy cop drama, similar to Point Break (but with a female Keanu instead). Or perhaps Out of Sight, featuring J.Lo as a cop and George Clooney as a bank robber. The possibilities are limitless, as is the replay value.
3 DON'T WANT: A Contemporary Setting
One of the biggest problems with GTA V is that it felt a little soulless, lacking that charm that other blast-from-the-past GTA games had. Of course, our current modern culture is probably to blame for that, since that's what GTA V was inspired by. So, arguably, contemporary GTA settings are not that interesting-- we already live in the modern era (and are probably fed up with it too).
Rockstar Games might want to take a look back at the colorful past for some inspirations or ideas for the next GTA. After all, nostalgia can be powerful. Just think of the brilliant soundtrack the game could have.
2 NEED: A Return To Vice City?
Now, here's a fun fact: Vice City is the only GTA locale left that hasn't been remade to current-generation standards. We already have both Liberty City and Los Santos. Hence, the next logical step for Rockstar Games would be (probably, hopefully, maybe): Vice City, the neon heaven imitation of Miami.
Since Vice City is technically set somewhere in the fictional equivalent of Florida, it would also be a prime setting for some absurd missions and minigames. Other than that, revisiting the most unreal era of modern history, the 1980s, is bound to be a treat.
1 DON'T WANT: Shark Cards
One of GTA V's biggest selling points was its online feature, which ushered players into a chaotic free-for-all cityfor the first time in the series. Nevertheless, it did come with a somewhat insulting caveat: Rockstar heavily monetized GTA Online, GTA V's online component. The result of such a monetization scheme? Shark Cards for GTA Online, essentially microtransactions.
These cards are expensive in-game boosts (paid for with real money) that give your characters a significant advantage over others that don't purchase them. You basically pay to skip some parts of the game. In a free-to-play game, this would have been so much more acceptable. However, GTA V is a full-priced game. Here's hoping that Rockstar comes up with a better or less aggressive scheme for future GTA titles.