The upcoming Grand Theft Auto 5 hails the return of the industry's most controversial but beloved series, bringing with it a host of new interesting features, particularly the inclusion of three playable characters and multiplayer crews that add cross-title functionality between GTA 5 and games like Max Payne 3. But with a delay at hand and a few extra months to bide our time, it's time to whip out the old wishlist of what we'd like to see in this upcoming installment, from a return to the old, to an embracing of the new. Read on to find out the five things we most want to see in GTA 5.
5. Bring Back Body Maintenance
One of the best parts of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the ability to change the lead character's appearance, not just by going to stores and buying new items for CJ's warddrobe, but also by having him work out or go to restaurants. The frequency of the work outs and how much food you made him eat would in turn affect his body type. Not only was it a good way to pass the time between missions and learn new melee fight moves in the city's many gyms, but it was also a brief but educational lesson in personal diet and body maintenance. It would be interesting to see them not only bring this feature back for GTA V, but also flesh it out a bit more, perhaps make it so the character can't aim as well or run as fast when they're hungry, or reduce their overall stamina if they don't build strength and cardio over the course of the game.
4. Multiple Mission Options
For all its open world sandbox features, the Grand Theft Auto series itself is actually quite linear. The missions can only be solved in the way they were intended, which is good if you keep failing at a particular quest but annoying if you like options. Why can't there be more than one method? Perhaps let some parts of the mission be skipped if the player finds a work-around, or allow them to sneak instead of shoot their way through a heist if the motivation strikes them. Maybe they could even pose two or more methods of solving a mission to the player, and have a slightly different outcome based on what they choose.
3. Improved Pedestrian AI
The pedestrians of Grand Theft Auto, long the tragic victims of drive-bys and robberies at random, and constant witnesses to many hooker-related crimes, are among its most important features: it's much more satisfying to crash your Stallion into a wall if a nearby crowd will scatter and scream obscenities as you fly by. But you can't say they're the most intelligent bunch, most just milling around aimlessly while occasionally spouting off a line from their pre-set dialogues. Sure things have gotten better with each installation over the years, but it still doesn't quite live up to its potential.
I think it would be interesting to give the NPCs a daily routine, like in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. It wouldn't have to be too elaborate, but at least seeing them leave their homes, go to work, get lunch, do their shopping, and return home for the day would be a vast improvement.
2. Improved Open World Features, Interactive Scenery
The appeal of Grand Theft Auto as a series undoubtedly lies at least somewhat in the open world sandbox features, the ability to walk around and create havoc at random both serving as an amusement to the player in their off time, and a great way to find superior weapons or armor for free.
It seems there's more they could do with this though. Running from the cops was fun, but how much better would it be with an improved climb system that let you use drainpipes to reach roofs, or hop over cars parkour-style? Even better, how about interactive scenery that you can use as a weapon, Madworld-style? Let the player ironically rip a STOP sign out of the ground or rip a piece of piping off a wall and store them away for melee.
Or what about destructable environments? No no, now I'm getting carried away.
1. Drug Dealing
Something about Grand Theft Auto's over the top brand of complete depravity seems incomplete somehow without drug dealing. A solid feature of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the handheld title that first debuted on DS and later was ported to PSP and iOS, drug dealing was a compelling reason to make the return to the series' top-down view roots, providing a steady source of income and a lesson in criminal economics. Fifty drug dealers could be found across the city, each sending regular messages to let the player know when they were buying or selling at a good rate. Neighborhood gangs only sold specific drugs, forcing you to make the decision if hustling across several parts of town was worth the extra $50,000 in personal profit. If Rockstar combined this with the turf wars from San Andreas, it'd be like a whole additional game in and of itself. I think it'd be among the best moves they could make.