Highlights Grand Theft Auto 6 is highly anticipated and expected to be a major release after a decade-long hiatus, following the success of Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Redemption 2. The game remains mysterious, but fans hope it will innovate on the series formula and leave behind some of the more controversial features of Grand Theft Auto 5. Grand Theft Auto 6 has the opportunity to strike the right balance between realistic physics and accessibility, create a more accessible online mode, and introduce more freedom and player choice in story missions.
Likely one of the most highly anticipated upcoming releases of the entire decade, Grand Theft Auto 6 is set to end the hiatus of new main entries the series has seen for a decade. Coming after years of Grand Theft Auto Online’s undying tenure, Rockstar’s biggest title since Red Dead Redemption 2 is expected to deliver in a major way. Following up on the iconic games that came before it is no small challenge, but many fans are hopeful that Grand Theft Auto 6 will shake the gaming world when it does finally arrive.
A mysterious, mostly unaddressed topic from Rockstar since the major leaks that revealed much about the state of the game’s development at the time, Grand Theft Auto 6 remains an enigmatic prospect. While not much is known about it beyond what was leaked, the next GTA is almost certain to innovate on the series formula similarly to its predecessors. As the highly successful Grand Theft Auto 5 has grown more controversial among fans over time, however, it’s become clear that leaving several of its more maligned features behind could allow Grand Theft Auto 6 to truly shine.Simplified Physics
The more realistic “ragdoll” physics in Grand Theft Auto 4 are still seen as impressive to this day, with only the heavier driving being commonly criticized when it comes to lighter vehicles. In response to that, Grand Theft Auto 5 seems to have significantly toned down its physics across the board in several key ways. While it may have made handling while driving far more accessible to players of all skill levels and ages, the simpler physics of the fifth game can be downright immersion-breaking at the worst of times. Animations for actions like jumping out of a moving vehicle are far less realistic when compared to the fourth game, but Grand Theft Auto 6 is the perfect opportunity to find the right balance between these systems.GTA Online’s Grind
While Grand Theft Auto 5 may have launched as a critique of capitalism in modern society, a highly cynical lambasting of “the American dream”, its online component seems to have come to ironically embody these criticisms through its long-term focus on monetization. Reliant on a harsh grind that demands hours upon hours of the player’s time to keep up with new content, Grand Theft Auto Online has only become more reliant on its Shark Card microtransactions over time.
Players can only manually deliver shipments across the map or engage in endless, repetitive criminal corporate takeover missions so many times before they become bored and desire more from a series that used to be the boldest in the industry. It’s extremely unlikely that Rockstar will ditch a product as profitable as GTA Online for Grand Theft Auto 6 when it comes along, but fans can hope that the next game’s online mode will at least be far more accessible.Highly Scripted Story Missions
While the open-world crime simulation genre has always been subject to the trappings of linear mission design, Grand Theft Auto 5 has become known for leaning heavily into this trope. Holding the player’s hand far more than Grand Theft Auto 4, the fifth entry’s story missions feature a multitude of fail states easily achieved by straying even slightly from the intended path.
An early mission like “Chop” is a perfect example of this flaw, as nearly every single action the player takes throughout is practically on rails from beginning to end. With this form of linear storytelling through gameplay leaving players wondering why a cutscene couldn’t suffice, it would be smart to bring more freedom into the next game’s story. As Grand Theft Auto 6 is set to possibly continue GTA’s multiple protagonist system, making player choice matter in a real way could allow that mechanic to shine more than ever.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is in development.