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GTA 6: 10 Things We Want to See in the Next Grand Theft Auto

What's coming next is anyone's guess, but this is our wish-list for Grand Theft Auto 6.

by Smangaliso Simelane

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In this list, we discuss the top features and inclusions we want to see in GTA 6. It has been eight long years since the release of Grand Theft Auto V. Forever an enigma, the game has seen steady sales since its released, resulting in it becoming the second bestselling game of all time. In 2020, it sold more copies than it had since its original release in 2013, which is an almost unbelievable feat for a game that has sold over 140 million copies.

Rockstar, the developers behind the mammoth franchise, are bringing GTA V to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, promising to expand and enhance it for its second re-release. However, while some fans of the series are looking forward to playing a beloved title with next generation improvement, many more are eagerly looking forward to the game’s sequel which, presumably, would be GTA 6.

Although Rockstar has kept their lips tightly sealed regarding what they are working on, that has not stopped gamers from speculating and making predictions about what the studio has up their sleeves for the next GTA game. Hopefully, Rockstar is thinking the same way we are.

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10. Multiple Protagonists

At the time of its release in 2013, GTA V was unarguably one of the most impressive open worlds in gaming. Eight years later, it still has reasonably good claim to that label. It built on the foundation of its predecessors by presenting a sprawling fictional state filled with activities, interactive NPCs and endless opportunities to cause mayhem.

It did not just tread over the tracks of the titles that came before it, however. A host of new features came with GTA V. Easily, the most memorable was the inclusion of three protagonist which you can switch between at will.

Players have the option to play as Michael, a retired thief who has opted for a comfortable life in the suburbs of Los Santos. He is living peacefully with his beloved yet dysfunctional family when the second playable character, Trevor Phillips, re-emerges and drags him back into a life of crime. Soon, Michael returns to doing heists along with Franklin, a gangbanger from the hood.

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The varied cast of playable characters adds some very welcome variety to gameplay, as each protagonist has their own personality and perspective on Los Santos. Playing as different characters also affects gameplay because each protagonist has a unique special ability, safe house, and default vehicle.

To not have this feature in the next GTA game would feel like a massive downgrade. Furthermore, with maps as big as they are in GTA games, having multiple characters who roam different areas of the setting makes exploration far easier.

9. More Snow

Snow is a relatively rare occurrence in the GTA series. In GTA V, it appears briefly in the prologue then never again unless you are in director’s mode. There have been quite a few snow events in Grand Theft Auto Online, but those have been sparse and only on special occasions such as Christmas or April Fools.

Snow as part of the natural weather patterns of the main game would be a very appreciated feature in GTA 6. It would be extra nice if it had notable effects on the world such as causing the streets to become slippery and requiring you to throw on some snow tires. Maybe it could even be possible to build snowmen and make snow angels.

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In cases of heavy snow, there should be road closures and snow plows dispatched to clear the streets. Perhaps the players should have to shovel some snow out their driveway before they can take their car out the garage.

Of course, the addition of snow would require GTA 6 to be set in a location that receives snow. If snowfall over the entire state is not congruent with the setting, there should at least be some really tall mountains with snowy mountaintops to play in. Think of all cute snowy owls and white foxes there could be!

8. Custom Radio for Console

Traditionally, GTA games launch on console before being ported to PC a few years later. This may make it seem like console is the best place to play GTA games but that may not be necessarily true.

Playing GTA on PC gives you a certain degree of freedom that is not available on console. Most notably, it opens you up to the world of mods which can substantially alter your gaming experience. Everything from making minor quality of life changes to allowing you to play as your favorite character from a completely different game is possible.

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Playing on PC also allows you have a custom radio composed of your personal music playlists. In GTA V, this comes in the form of Self Radio, a radio station which you can access via vehicles in-game. By simply dropping your favorite songs into the correct folder on your PC, Self Radio will play them whenever you are cruising around Los Santos.

This feature is conspicuously absent from console versions of GTA V, and this is criminal. In GTA 6, this feature should be a mandatory addition. Make no mistake, GTA has some reliably good radio stations, but nothing compares to speeding down a freeway with your own playlist blaring.

7. More Buildings to Enter

It goes without saying that GTA 6’s map is going to be jaw-droppingly huge. Every GTA map prior has set the bar for how large open worlds can be. However, the games have also mostly restricted you to the outdoors.

This is largely understandable, because there are hardware limitations that must be considered. However, given the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, the increased power should be used to give us more internal environments to explore.

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Instead of just having small convenience stores to enter (and rob), there should be sprawling supermarkets and malls to explore. Suburbs should have houses that you can enter (and rob).

Being able to enter buildings would introduce plenty more hiding places when escaping from the police and would make the world feel much more real.

6. Faster Load Times

If you have played GTA V, you have probably seen the image below for minutes at a time. There is no denying that the game’s load times are excruciatingly long. Starting up the game will have you waiting for a few minutes, and switching between characters is not as snappy as most would probably like it to be.

With the growing popularity of SSDs, load times should be kept to an absolute minimum. Entering and leaving buildings should be seamless, booting up the game should take seconds and switching between protagonists (if that feature returns) should be as quick as snapping your fingers.

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Even though the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S are less than a year old, they have both had titles that have radically reduced or completely eliminated load times. Spider-Man Miles Morales is mind-blowingly fast, for example, and even a few last-gen games manage to shave seconds off their load times by running on newer consoles.

The new standard is low as possible load times and GTA 6 better meet it.

5. Less On-Rails Missions

Rockstar’s last release was Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018. Arguably, it was the studio’s magnum opus which showed off everything that has made it an industry leading studio. It features an expansive open world with more content than the day is long, and enough minor details to keep you occupied for hundreds of hours. This is strung together with a gripping story of brotherhood, loyalty and morality in the wild west.

Since its release, the game has been showered with praise and critical acclaim. As of 2021, it has the honor of being the highest rated PS4 game on Metacritic. This is not easy to understand. Every inch of it exudes quality and attention to minutiae.

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There is one common criticism that most would agree is fair. In contrast to the open world which grants you unlimited freedom to do as you please and use your imagination, main story missions are frustratingly linear. There is often a single set way of doing things and if you dare stray away from the script, you will trigger a mission fail.

This is highly annoying considering how distracting the open world can be. Something as simple as stopping to hunt while riding to a location with a fellow gang member will cause you to fail a mission.

In the next GTA game, players should have the opportunity to deal with missions however they see fit. There should be no point of the game where one feels restricted. If you want to stop a mission half-way through and return later, that should be an option. If you want to just bomb a place instead of engaging in a shootout, that should be an option too. The only boundaries should be your imagination.

4. Revamped Wanted System

One of the main attractions of GTA is the chance to live a double life as a crime-rich mogul. However, as you might guess, that kind of lifestyle will have you brushing shoulders with the law more often than you would like. When you are caught being naughty, the cops in GTA will soon be on your tail and they do not hesitate to shoot.

Although the wanted system in GTA has been great for generations, it is in sore need of some revamping lest it get stale. For starters, in-game police should be a little more reflective of real-world police. That means bribery should be possible. How about paying off the local police station to make it harder for you to acquire wanted stars?

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Secondly, GTA 6 should learn a lot from Red Dead Redemption 2’s wanted system. Losing the cops should not be as easy as escaping their sights for a few seconds. Ideally, you should have to change appearance and lay low for a while. Perhaps turn the radio on and wait until the news is not reporting about your crimes any longer.

Lastly, police and the entire wanted system should be smarter. If there are no witnesses around, there should be no wanted stars attained. Leaving evidence at the scene of the crime, however, should lead to your arrest. Most importantly, police should respond with the appropriate force to the crime. This means no more getting shot at for fender benders.

3. Wilderness to Explore

As is tradition by now, GTA games primarily take place in urban cities. That is the best place for them, because it is a prime setting for any wannabe crime overlord. However, variety is the spice of life, and GTA 6 will be vastly improved if it has areas outside of the city to explore.

The ideal situation would be some kind of wilderness that is rich with both fauna and flora. An in-depth hunting system reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption 2 would also be nice, along with the ability to go camping out in the wild. While the city is a fun place to cause mayhem in, escaping to the wilderness would be a good idea while you are waiting for your heat to die down, or when you hear your inner outdoorsman calling.

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Previous GTA games have done well with their wildernesses. San Andreas has Whetstone where you meet a host of interesting characters and can find the iconic Mount Chiliad, while GTA V has the hills of Los Santos where the wildlife is both beautiful and dangerous.

Including a wilderness to GTA 6 would be great for when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, and may provide the perfect location to introduce memorable events and characters.

2. A Serious Story

At its core, GTA is a series that satirizes some of the more comical and eccentric aspects of American culture. You would have to be blind and deaf to miss the countless jabs the franchise has taken at American politics, entertainment, and society. The satire is often presented in a zany, over-the-top fashion reminiscent of Hollywood’s maximalism.

With the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar demonstrated that they are capable of delivering games with more mature and compelling stories that do not rely on crude humor to draw an audience. Characters in the Western cowboy game were detailed and multidimensional and faced complex internal struggles.

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For GTA 6, Rockstar should ditch the silliness and opt for a more emotionally resonant story. Take the time to write believable characters with relatable motivations. Craft a story that does not revolve around placing the player in the most insane situations, but rather focuses on character building and intricate narratives.

After over a decade of GTA, it is time to show that the series has matured and is not a one-trick pony only capable of producing the same rehashed rags to riches story. With a more mature plot, GTA 6 could change the way people look at the franchise, and grant it far more mainstream respect.

1. Female Protagonist

GTA has had a mute protagonist. It has had protagonists of different races. They have also come from countries around the world. However, female characters have been noticeably absent.

Upon initial inspection, it seems obvious why this is the case. On its surface, GTA is pure male power fantasy fulfillment. It gives you access to powerful firearms and allow you unleash your rage on an unsuspecting metropolis with little to no consequence. However, after more than ten GTA games, perhaps it is time they switch up the formula.

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A female protagonist would certainly begin to make up for the franchise’s representation of women which has historically been, to put it mildly, less than respectful. Having a no-nonsense gun-slinging girl would be a novel experience that would add a new dimension to the game.

It would open up brand new clothing options, and perhaps even new ways of interacting with the world. Having a female protagonist will also breathe some new creativity into the series, as writers would have to think about how the world is perceiving and reacting to the character. It could also affect gameplay in interesting ways. How about lulling victims into a false sense of security before robbing them? And when that is done, you can still pull out your guns and go for a fun massacre.

Rockstar is a studio with an impeccable track record. Decades of consistently high quality output has made them one of the most revered developers in the gaming world. As such, anticipation is high for the next GTA game. Regardless of what the final product is, it goes without saying that it will be yet another industry defining title.

- This article was updated on June 15th, 2021

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