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Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Next for Grand Theft Auto?

Most of us have played Grand Theft Auto V and have beaten its offline storyline. Many of us are now enjoying life after the story, waiting for the DLC(s), and enjoying the online play. The next likely project for Rockstar is another Red Dead game as many have speculated, probably a sequel to Max Payne, and maybe a third title in there somewhere, and finally a Grand Theft Auto VI / 6. Really, this game is far down the road, like four years away, but it's what many of us fans are still looking forward to.

The series really got big when GTA landed on PlayStation 2 with Grand Theft Auto III. Nostalgia overcomes many of us when we hear this title. Vice City came next and San Andreas followed. Following San Andreas were a few minor titles released for handhelds such as the Stories mini series which returned to Vice City and Liberty City, and an additional title that was released for Nintendo DS then for PlayStation Portable (PSP) which was Chinatown Wars. The next major release became that of IV which returned gamers to the streets of Liberty City with an entirely rebuilt engine. The most recent major release was V which was released a month ago. This title returned to the hood many of us grew up on in San Andreas. Both games featured the names from the old titles' cities but the maps had major changes.

What most fans expect to take place is for the series to return to Vice City with its revamped Rage engine. It is unlikely that we will see many differences between that game's engine and this one unless it is released on new hardware we are not yet familiar with.

Other changes expected to take place would involve new activities included into the game. Many fans were disappointed in the most recent release as it didn't open the series up as it should have. Granted, the game was released on outdated hardware that couldn't support all that we ask for such as a larger map and the ability to open any door of any building. These two are features are likely to be seen in the next release supposing that the new hardware will have vastly improved equipment.

What is unlikely to change is the same humor and unnecessary violence that we've all come to know and love. We can expect to meet newer, more controversial characters and new story that will keep us on edge for a few more hours.

Many of us hope that we see a return of the new Grand Theft Auto Online addition. Not only that, we would like to see some changes to it such as better connectivity between players, more options for players, and a better currency system. Certainly not least of all, we would love to see it released at the same time as the actual game with little to no major bugs, which is unlikely as we've seen happen across various consoles and publishers' titles for newly released games.

Speaking of GTA Online, we may see a minor release of this as a stand-alone title. I would say that if Rockstar saw positive, profitable results from this release, we can expect to see some sort of additions or stand-alone title featuring an online (only?) story.

The other changes that we are bound to see, mostly within the engine itself, will be revealed in Rockstar's next games unrelated to the GTA series. Grand Theft Auto V was built using many elements used in the most recent Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne games. Those games, themselves, were built using lots of elements from the GTA IV release. I suspect that Rockstar would like to create an entirely new series separate from these other games that we may see in the upcoming four years (considering that most major GTAs had about four years between them). This game, if released, may also give us some additional insight into what GTA VI will look like.

Depending on the reception GTA V produces over the next year, we will also begin to see how Rockstar takes ideas into consideration for a future release. Some of the beefs people had with this title will be addressed in the next and some of the changes that users enjoyed will more than likely be added into the newer title.

Thinking of the map itself, could it be possible that the newer title will include all previously visited locations or maybe even introduce players to a new one? I say that the latter is doubtful as Rockstar is leaning on nostalgia amongst its current fanbase, most of whom grew up playing in the streets of Liberty City and San Andreas. Vice City is sure to be next just given their previous choices. Including all locations at once may be an idea but highly unlikely due to hardware restraints. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (I assume these will be the consoles the title will be released on) don't seem to have enough power at the moment to handle all of that information. But who knows? Maybe Rockstar will find a way or those two consoles will find ways of adding necessary hardware to emulate the game's massive amount of data. Rockstar could also go the route of adding the additional necessary information on a secondary disc (if discs are to be used at all) or provide gamers with additional hardware which is another unlikely as gamers don't typically like the higher costs.

What sort of things would you like to see in the next GTA release? What kinds of things do you think will be seen by us in this game?

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