Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What we want to see in GTA V...

Ever since the original Grand Theft Auto (GTA) hit our screens in 1997, the series has accrued countless awards, critical acclaim and controversy. It's evolved in form and function over the past 14 years - that distinctive bird's eye view shifted to 3D, celebrities have lent their voices to the radio stations and stand-up shows, while storylines have become deeper and more elaborate. The vehicles, weapons and environments became increasingly imaginative, and attracted a legion of fans. Nudity, violence, profanity, prostitutes and, of course, the notorious Hot Coffee minigame also helped to maintain its profile and kept the games on the front pages of the newspapers.

And now, rumours have it, we’re on the verge of getting the much-anticipated fifth instalment…

Regular readers may know that we loved GTA IV: we waxed lyrical about it in our inaugural Head2Head contest, considered how it compared with Rockstar's magnum opus Red Dead Redemption, and we looked at some of the greatest ever mods. But that doesn’t stop us at Megabits coming up with a few improvements that could ensure the next instalment is even better. As always, let us know your thoughts...

Human interaction and consequences...
It's all too common in all the games to run around with guns blazing, shooting a few people and then everyone runs around screaming. A few minutes later, you stop and everyone gets back to their daily routine. It would be great if the locals had more of a day you could ruin. Roads blocked for days, shopping rolling across the pavements, people lying and crying in the streets, stealing people's wallets and using their credit cards to pay for your drinking habits. Make it real.

Better booty...
Let us just trot out the ‘living, breathing city’ chestnut and point out how enjoyable it was to explore the incredibly authentic feel of Liberty City. Enjoyable, but not entirely rewarding. Shooting pigeons and performing stunt jumps was diverting but didn’t confer any benefits on the player. Of course, there were weapons and armour dotted about here and there, but it was generally more convenient to buy whatever you needed from the gun shops. In GTA V, we’re hoping that there will be more rewards for exploring the city: hidden weapons that can’t be purchased elsewhere, better clothes, custom decals that can be applied to cars, that sort of thing.

Money, money, money...
You could earn so much money in GTA IV, but what could you do with? Spending money on food, clothes and guns, or wasting it in the casinos and in strip clubs was really not good enough. We had loads left in the bank after buying everything. Let us play the gangster, buy cars, jets, helicopters, bling, drugs, an entourage of bodyguards and loose women. Let us buy mansions, penthouses and then pimp them out. Allow us to be extravagant and buy a big tiger so we can walk down the street with it on a leash. We've got the cash, let us spend it!

Dogged coppers...
The fact that escaping the police in GTA IV was easier than it has ever been was initially one of the reasons why many of us engaged with it more than any of its predecessors: the naturally unavoidable police chases were more of an enjoyable element of the gameplay rather than a frequently recurring and frustratingly difficult obstacle. After a while, however, the ease with which the police can be evaded made it feel like there were no consequences to any of the crimes you committed. In GTA V we’re hoping things are a little tougher, but perhaps not as tough as in the old days: ideally, GTA IV’s three-star wanted level will be GTA V’s one-star, and they can work upwards from there.

Balance the gonzo with the gritty...
When we're playing as CJ Johnson in San Andreas, racing a remote control aeroplane while wearing a dress with my junk food-stuffed belly wobbling, I wish for GTA: SA to be grimmer and grittier. When I’m playing as Niko Bellic in GTA IV, scraping my girlfriend off the church steps like 110lbs of meat jelly wrapped in a bullet-holed pants-suit, I’m wishing GTA would go back to being good old gonzo fun. Hopefully GTA V will find the middle ground and mix solid storytelling, engaging characters and powerful resolutions with yelp inducing moments of mania. The Ballad of Gay Tony was a step in the right direction, what with it’s low-speed golf cart chases, pitched battles between you, a train and the LCPD’s airborne wing, and the most sadistic driving range ever. That spirit, merged with the scale and overarching mood of GTA IV will set the tone perfectly.

Wider Customisation...
Following on from the last point, GTA IV seemed like a real backwards step in terms of what you could do with your character. You could choose from one or two outfits for Niko, but it was nothing compared to the amount of variety you could put into customizing the appearance and character of CJ.



Vehicle frustrations...
There was a large selection of vehicles in the game but there was a sense that whenever you needed to boost a car in a specific part of town, most of the car types seemed to be the same, as if all the neighbours were group bulk buying at the dealership. There were also not enough planes and boats on offer. Driving itself was tricky; steering should have been a little bit tighter as it was at times incredibly frustrating, especially moving at high speed. Sometimes all you could do was smash into a wall or another car, burst into a ball of flames and catapult yourself through the windshield, after which the guy you were chasing usually drives away. GTA V should definitely look to address the driving! And what about adding some aeroplanes and tanks? Two of the most fun vehicles to drive in any open world game that offer all sorts of possibilities for carnage.

Hello? Hello? Get off the damn phone...
Perhaps one of our biggest bugbears is that damn mobile phone. It's not user friendly - especially when accessing multiplayer games - and it's irritating having to answer calls your annoying cousin who wants yet another favour! And while we’re at it, the internet usage was a bit hit and miss too – fun for a while, but ultimately time consuming and a little pointless.

Can't see me, I'm hiding...

What's with the clumsy cover system? Other games manage to make diving into cover completely seamless - look at Vanquish and good old Gears of War... Nothing is more irritating during a firefight with mobsters or the police that having to deal with a clunky cover system – sadly something that hasn’t really changed in Red Dead Redemption or LA Noire either. Either bits of you stick out, you can't get out of cover quickly enough or your visibility if rubbish, meaning you can't see the army of approaching bad guys.

Better soundtrack...
Anyone else think that GTA IV had the worst soundtrack of all the 3D GTA games? We much preferred the 1980s tunes like Video Killed The Radio Star in Vice City and all the country music from the K Rose station in SA. GTA IV felt a little too bland for our liking, so come on Rockstar – up your game!

Make it first person...

If you’ve seen the mod for GTA IV you’ll know how cool this would be. At the very least, there should be a first person option – many people have been critical of the current aiming system in GTA so this could be a possible solution… and the immersion could be superb via the first person view, like a modern day Skyrim.

Take GTA global...

Instead of trudging round the same city you could head off on a plane for various sections of the game. Experience different climates, different vehicles etc. Maybe hit some godforsaken hellhole with no amenities or electricity and lawless locals for a total change of pace, Manchester for example. At the very least… return to San Andreas!!! GTA San Andreas is among our favourite games ever. A return to San Andreas but in the current generation would probably be the pinnacle of the series. GTA: San Andreas remains a firm favourite largely due to the expanse of countryside. It really missed the mixture of urban and rural from the transition from SA to IV. So what about bringing it back - mix it up a bit. The next game should look beyond the confines of the big city.

10 comments:

First person? Please no! First person perspectives always feel like they've turned the environment into a backdrop.

agree with above - first person would be HORRIBLE for GTA

First person? Really? I'll have whatever you're smoking. Also, the soundtrack to GTA4 was incredible. Whoever wrote this clearly doesn't know what they're talking about.

I want cars with weight and tires with traction. The driving was bile-inducing in GTA4. GET RID OF EUPHORIA!!!

First person option would be fine, but not for me either. More aircraft would do it for me.

It needs more crime -- things to do after you beat the story.

I don't understand why it's not possible to rob people or sell dope, or pimp hoes.. Shouldn't GTA be more about crime, rather then flying planes?

- Saints row had robbing, taking people hostage.. but that game lacked on the pc side (terrible driving)

I agree with wider customization (but not Saints Row crazy), more to do with your money (most games need this), and more big choices. GTA 4 had some tough choices to make, but I'd like to see more in GTA V with bigger consequences and branching stories.

I would not play a 1st person GTA.

First person would not work in a GTA game. GTA IV's music wasn't that awful. But Vice City's and San Andreas's was better. I have GTA IV for PC and I have Video Killed the Radio Star for Independence FM. Also have Lonely Island-I'm on a boat which is good for boat-driving.

Agreed 1st person is a no no no,tired of playing it and doesn't fit the franchise. Agreed vehicle should have better handling seriously the handling system is not the most realistic in the game and doesn't fit with controllers and keyboard unless your buying a huge steering wheel controller that's why i applied some mods. Agreed with the consequences seriously you have an illegal possession firearms showing in the public and no one is arresting you or run from you. Totally wish they would Mafia franchise game mechanics like beating against the red light seriously they have done this with the toll booth that's why i applied some mods that is similar to that game mechanics and much better than Mafia franchise. I am gonna say that is the most realistic game and mod i ever played compare to GTA4 car handling system if Rockstar is aiming for realistic remove the crap with car handling and just add some consequences in the game like what they did with toll booth. Agreed with customization it be kinda cool they would add plastic surgery in the game aka character customization and other customization not with multiplayer only but with single player also. Agreed with the money, seriously earning money and spending money is so limited compared SA seriously why the hell Niko cannot commit burglary, pimp some women, buy cars, customize cars, buy some penthouse, hire some brutes, buy businesses like Roman and etc. Disagreed with the phone seriously Roman is made for a character to be annoying.