L.A. Noire is a fantastic film. Even better than that. A much-needed breath of fresh air in an industry that rarely takes itself seriously. But what about me? Personally? It’s only a teaser. While the main meal is being produced in some mythical laboratory where video games are born, you can nibble on a bone. Grand Theft Auto 5 is the main course. GTA3 was the first game I played on the (amazing) PS2, and it’s made me hold video games to a higher level ever since. It shattered all of the traditional game’s barriers (both figuratively and practically), raised the standard for the third-person perspective, and essentially invented the open world genre.
Now fast forward to the present day. Despite the critical and financial success of Red Dead Redemption and now L.A. Noire, I find myself anticipating the next Grand Theft Auto. Despite the fact that we may still be a year or more away from its actual release, there have been hints and speculations that it is already in production. With E3 just around the way, I figured now would be a good moment to ask: What do I want from a new Grand Theft Auto?
In a sense, there’s nothing wrong with GTA4’s multiplayer. Competitive multiplayer was fair, enjoyable, and effective. For aficionados of the franchise, the free roam option is a dream come true. It allowed you to explore the rich detail of the world with or without online players, as well as attempt to achieve completely absurd and arbitrary goals like “How many vehicles can we fit in this fast food restaurant?” or “How long can we survive holed up in this bank against cops?” and the fan favourite “How can I ruin what everyone else is trying to do by running them over?” For want of a more cliched phrase, the possibilities are limitless. It’s entertaining, but it’s not flawless. It’s entertaining, but it’s not flawless. Matchmaking and the basic online UI weren’t as user-friendly as they might have been. It was esoteric and poorly described how to unlock additional appearance components (if at all).
Will the multiplayer in GTA V be any different? It will, of course. It’ll most likely use the same infrastructure that made Red Dead Redemption’s online a smash hit. However, I believe that ignoring it is a mistake. Allow for the added functionality. Allow the designer of a free roam game to determine the world’s laws in a fluid and dynamic manner. Allow them to summon all players to a single location—these easy extra features speed up the process of creating those unforgettable moments. The pay-for-appearance system should not be abolished entirely; rather, it should be reformed. Going to a store to spend their hard-earned money on products for their avatars’ looks (through competitive multiplayer)? That stuff is devoured. Each successive DLC release enhanced the multiplayer, although I could see it being overlooked by people who didn’t take the time to explore its full potential. Remember RDR’s awesome multiplayer-centric trailers? Let’s have a taste of it.
Those who lack patience will struggle with GTA’s single-player mode. The fundamental gameplay might get tedious: go to this area and murder this person, or drive this person to this location and escape the eventual confrontation. The most common response is “blah blah and, oh yeah, kill something.” However, this was not the case with The Ballad of Gay Tony. The missions presented were among the most creative and theatrical I’ve ever seen. Because the tale was shorter and more concentrated, this was the case. When I suggest that we’d rather have a shorter, more memorable narrative than one that’s lengthier and stretched out, I think I speak for a lot of people. Is this going to happen? Most likely not. GTA is one of the most well-known IPs in the business, and when people pay $59.99 for it, they anticipate a certain level of content— an unspoken threshold that justifies their purchase. Increasing the archetypes of the missions you conduct could be a more feasible suggestion. Instead of four distinct mission versions, each with its own coat of paint.
Import/Export garages were a unique function found exclusively in Grand Theft Auto 3. They were a type of side task in which players had to locate and deliver vehicles from a list. After all of the automobiles were delivered, the player may visit the garage and choose from any of the aforementioned vehicles. It’s a basic notion that asks for a difficult effort in exchange for a nice reward. I’m not sure why this function was never brought back in any of the subsequent GTA games. And why should it end there? At the discretion of the host, enable import/export garages in free roam. Allowing players to manifest any car they please (with a reasonable cool down) given they’ve completed the job to do so in single-player could allow for some really fun and easy functionality in a free roam environment.
Relationship System (kinda)
Both GTA 4’s quirky online dating service and The Ballad of Gay Tony’s redundant and useless “booty call” side-mission (if you can call it that) entertained the idea of a relationship system, but not at a ‘not going to happen’ spoof level (as many things in GTA are), but at a level that required some thought. Now, I’m not advocating that, because GTA4 dabbled in the dating sub-genre, the sequel include a full-fledged romance option, but rather a kind of progressive affiliation levelling system with any form of organization.
There were several examples of “put out, get back” in GTA4; this could be elaborated upon. Mix in a short tale and make the prize less apparent instead of performing ‘x’ number of tasks to obtain one ‘y’ reward. Consider the little named quests in games such as Oblivion or Fallout 3. You join a certain group/club/faction, complete objectives that have an impact on it, climb through the ranks, and get access to its resources. This almost overlaps with the desire for mission diversity, but just for side-missions. Perhaps, like Club Management in TBOGT, there is no actual end to it, only a different way to generate money. To put it another way, they’re more involved side tasks.