Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: What do you want from GTA 6?

Readers discuss what they want from GTA 6, from a setting outside the US to a playable female character.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Grant, who asked what you want and expect from GTA 6, given rumours that it won’t be out for several years yet.

There were plenty of different suggestions, but some of the most common were a new setting and a female lead. Many were also worried that the new game might see a focus away from single-player, which most seemed to be firmly against.

The future of GTA
If there’s going to be such a massive gap between GTA 5 and 6 then the new game has to be something new. It can’t just be Vice City or San Andreas with new graphics. Problem is I’m not sure what Rockstar can really do. They’ve said multiple times before GTA has to be set in America because the whole point is that it’s a parody of the States.

So as much as you might want to see a Rockstar version of London or Tokyo I just don’t see it happening, not given how many times they’ve said they won’t do that.

The only way I can see for them to change the setting is to set it in the future. They’ve already gone in the past, with Red Dead Redemption, but they’ve never done anything sci-fi and there’s certainly plenty of potential there. Science fiction is all about reflecting the modern world and something like Judge Dredd or RoboCop’s world seems like it would be a perfect fit for Rockstar.

Somehow I can’t see them doing it though. The problem with waiting so long for a new sequel is that fans will be more resistant to trying anything new so it probably will just be Liberty City, or something similar to it, yet again.

International edition
GTA 6 really needs a new location or several. Maybe Germany or Spain. Something new to look at and non-American. New shooting mechanics would be nice too. They haven’t really changed since GTA 3 and unless you are on PC they don’t stand up to controller use unless you use the auto aim functions. On foot controls aren’t great either. I guess the only thing that worked for me in 5 was the driving. Keep that and change everything else.

Perhaps give us a guy that is forced into crime and not someone that has been involved in one way or another. A subtle decline into more and more dangerous situations. Not saying I want a Sandman from Spider-Man 3, with a sick child, but someone with a decent back story. I’m not a writer so I’m sure others can populate that.

GTA x Agent
Rockstar seem to like the espionage genre. In GTA 5 one of the missions involved flying a helicopter over a multi-storey car park and surreptitiously scanning some of the vehicles.

They also had a car which looked remarkably like an Aston Martin DB5, which was equipped with machineguns and an ejector seat. Later on, they added a white sports car which could turn into a submarine.

So I’d like to see more stuff like this. More espionage missions and more Bond cars.

I’d also like it if they put the cool military vehicles like jet fighters and nuclear submarines into missions, rather than just being things to play about with in the sandbox.

Have a great weekend.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Next gen Rockstar
The thing that excites me about GTA 6 is what the game would look like. GTA 5 is basically an Xbox 360 game and Red Dead Redemption 2 is a PlayStation 4 game, so we have no idea how much better a next gen Rockstar game would look. Considering how amazing Red Dead Redemption 2 is it should be something really amazing.

Rockstar has never been very good at gameplay particularly but in terms of designing the open worlds I don’t think there’s anyone better. All the little details and random encounters are what’s great about the game, not necessarily the action.

The stories are usually good too but I do think it’s about time they had a major female character. It’s kind of shameful they’ve gone this long without one.

Rare diversion
Assuming there’s going to be a single-player mode (and that’s not a given at this point), I’d like to see a bit more freedom and innovation in terms of gameplay and missions from GTA 6. Both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2’s missions felt quite on-rails, in that you’d go somewhere, kill a few people, and be swept in the exact direction the game wanted in order to trigger the next story point.

I personally find that lack of agency a bit jarring and immersion-breaking in that a huge, complex set piece can occur with your character seemingly along for the ride, and you as a player only having to shoot somebody now and then to stay part of it. And sometimes even if you miss your shot the enemy will die anyway because of some environmental reason like an explosion. Though it’s not just Rockstar who are guilty of this type of mission.

There was a mission in GTA 3 that sticks in my mind – that I believe other people have referenced – where you had to fight through some bodyguards and kill somebody in Chinatown before they got in their car and fled. It was quite difficult, I think maybe because they were better armed than you were. After a few failed attempts I remember stealing the target’s car and fitting it with a bomb before triggering the mission, which made it a lot easier.

Having to think about and implement my own solution felt rewarding in a way that’s rare for a Rockstar game, and it probably speaks to something about their mission structure that I remember that particular mission when I would have done it over 20 years ago.

Strange priority
If current trends are followed, the install file will likely exceed GTA 5’s, so my request is a modest one: if it has an online element similar to the current game I’d like the ability to install the single-player portion of the game only.

I know it’s a huge money-spinner for Rockstar, but not everyone cares about online gaming.

Focused goals
The best way to work out what I want from GTA 6 is probably to think about what I don’t like so much about Rockstar’s last couple of open world games. Some of that was only really determined in hindsight and because of developments in other open worlds.

When it comes to GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, there wasn’t much I’d have faulted when originally playing them. But one of the things open world games have really doubled down on over the past generation is trying to offer as much content as possible, often at the expense of quality or without thinking how that content is managed. I think so far only Zelda: Breath Of The Wild has (mostly) been successful in maintaining the balance between content that’s varied, interesting and high volume while appealing to the player’s sense of exploration, experimentation, and discovery.

In GTA and Red Dead Redemption, there’s clearly a large and diverse range of things to do and lots of nice secrets, but a lot of it exemplifies that Rockstar approach of throwing everything they can think of into the pot while not really specialising in any of it. So you try each activity once and spend a bit of time looking around and soaking in the atmosphere, then you sort of forget about things and move on without much to show for it.

In that sense, any reward for exploring and playing around in the sandbox is usually a bit superficial, unconnected to your gameplay goals and therefore not always much more than a sometimes interesting distraction.

So what I’d like to see from GTA 6 is less about advances in tech and more about improving the meaningful things you actually do in the game in terms of variety and execution, as well as how you progress by meeting compelling objectives related to as many of those activities as possible.

Managing your weapon and car inventories with permanent upgrades and more focused goals that genuinely affect how you perform would be a good start, as opposed to just throwing endless but ultimately meaningless options into a shop menu or catalogue.

In terms of the obvious things, we can probably assume everything will look more stunning and load more quickly and, for the reasons mentioned, I don’t see the point in common requests like being able to enter every building and visit every floor, etc. if the resulting content isn’t as entertaining and well-designed as it can be.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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