Last night, as I was plowing through the citizens of Liberty City, a thought suddenly reminded me about the impending release of Grand Theft Auto V. Details about Rockstar’s next foray into the world of violence, sex, and high speed chases may be fairly nonexistent, but that didn’t stop me from nitpicking all of the things about GTA IV that I I’d like to see changed or removed for the 5th installment of the controversial series.
As you traverse the streets of Liberty City, you get accustomed to certain vehicles, learning their every nuance to the point of being able to speed through the congested city with little need to slow down. One vehicle in particular, though, has never given players that luxury, no matter how many times they’ve hop back on after being tossed 30 ft across gravel and asphalt from it. Motorcycles in the Grand Theft Auto series have never played a huge part, and that seems to be for the reason that they are impossible to stay on. Unless your finger is constantly hovering over the left trigger, you’re going to find that high speeds in the two wheeler will lead to imminent death. In the next Grand Theft game, it would be a nice touch to actually be able to drive with the wind blowing through your characters hair for an extended period of time. Of course it makes sense that you’d be thrown from the vehicle in any crash scenario, but if the handling were tweaked just a bit and the controls were tighter, these pains-in-the-ass wouldn’t be as such.
Grand Theft Auto may not be considered a straight up shooter, but there is certainly plenty of time spent with your character’s finger pressed on the trigger. In GTA IV, there was a minor increase in the quality of aiming, but it still left plenty to be desired – and left plenty for GTA V to try to improve on. Everything about GTA IV’s gunplay came off as very “sticky”. At times, it was rather difficult to get the curser to move from one target to the next when utilizing auto-aim and the cover system was sometimes more of a hassle then a life-saving gameplay mechanic should be. Since most gamer’s probably spend the bulk of their time wreaking havoc on the city’s streets, it only seems logical for the firefights to be as fluid as in a standard third person shooter.
One of the biggest gripes I’ve had about the GTA series is that if you don’t stick with the story long enough, you won’t unlock the entirety of the somewhat large and potentially diverse map. At the start of the game, only a portion of the world is unlocked, leaving the rest to be guarded by a random “6-star” wanted level trigger or a demolished bridge. What if, rather than limiting where the gamer goes to, the developer creates a dynamic world that changes as the story goes on. Give players access to the large metropolis from the start and simply change the layout and certain aspects as the story progresses. Where there may be a construction site at the start of the game, have a tall high rise take its place and become the setting for a high stakes action segment later on in the game. The quality of life in different areas could change depending on your actions. If you spend a bulk of your time robbing businesses and breaking out into random firefights in a specific area, that area should start to deteriorate. If the environment is ever changing, though it may not change the quality of the game itself, gamer’s will still get that feeling that there is something to work towards without that strangling feeling of limitations bothering them from the start. Maybe even to break it up a bit, make an area accessible only by boat or arial vehicle while a bridge is being repaired. Just anything but illogically closed off portions of the map. Cities turn to slims, your actions dictate the state of cities.
Anybody that’s ever lived in a city knows that it’s not just the people that give the city its life. Buildings play a big part in giving certain cities their life. In GTA, they are nothing more than place holders that keep you from cutting straight across rural areas. They have no substance, no life – no actual purpose. When you drive into a building, it should show. While you shouldn’t be able to drive through every structure, it would be a nice touch for the buildings in GTA to show damage. Throw in a few structures that can be driven through to make your time in the big city feel all the more destructive.
We may have plenty of time before GTA V even gets a release date, so there is still plenty of time for us to gripe, bitch, moan, and speculate what the newest entry in the series will include. If you could reach out to Rockstar North, what would you want included in the 5th entry of this dynamic series?