GTA 5: Nine improvements we want for PS4, PC and Xbox One

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 13:50 GMT By Matt Martin

It’s already sold more than 33 million copies and generated $1 billion. But Grand Theft Auto V on next-gen still needs some work if it’s going to be the definitive version of the game.

When Sony announced at E3 last month that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V would be coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC this year, it was one of the highlights of the show. There are plenty of games getting a remake and a HD clean up for next-gen consoles – some we would never have asked for – but GTA V was always at the top of that list.

Now it’s finally happening I’m going to act more entitled than Jimmy De Santa and ask Rockstar for these big improvements…

Don’t make heist missions platform exclusive


We thought we were getting heist missions ages ago and we’re still waiting. I see a lot of people dissing Rockstar for not delivering on the promise yet, but I don’t think the good will is gone. If you’ve bothered to level to 100 I reckon you’ll come back for heist missions.

Pat wrote a piece about it last week asking what the hell was going on. The fear we have now is that one of the platform holders has signed heist content as a timed exclusive. There was a reason GTA V was shown at Sony’s press conference at E3 last month and not during rival Microsoft’s presentation…

Remember that last generation, GTA IV’s The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and the Damned came out on Xbox 360 over a year ahead of the PS3 release – a deal that reportedly cost Microsoft $50 million. There’s going to be a lot of upset players if something like that happens again.

GTA Online from day one


When Grand Theft Auto V launched last year it was a whole month later that the online portion of the game became accessible. There’s a lot of reasons to do this (delaying trade-ins of the boxed game, for example) but it more than likely allowed for extra, live technical testing. GTA Online is still an unstable beast 10 months on, but we’re hoping Rockstar is confident enough to have it ready for release day on new consoles.

No day-one online disasters


This isn’t a Rockstar problem, this is a problem that affects pretty much all online games. It can go either way – a continuous Battlefield 4 disaster or a Titanfall hiccup.

We’re at the point where we accept that there will be some issues on day one – it’s a given unfortunately – but hopefully it will only be a few stumbles rather than a complete collapse into the Los Santos gutters. The fact Rockstar coughed up half a million R$ to online 360 and PS3 players after problems last year suggests it was no surprise to the developers – if it’s got a compensation plan in place it expects to have to pay out.

Encourage modding for the PC version

Sure, GTA Online is going to get modded to hell and back and that’s cool. But it would be even cooler if Rockstar helped out where it could and didn’t try to enforce anything stupid to hinder the creativity of the user. Just, you know, continue to turn a blind eye to copyright infringing Batman mods and the entire cast of Call of Duty: Ghosts. And all the real-world cars, Corvo from Dishonored’s sword, the hair, cloth, tattoo and eyebrow textures – you get the picture.

There are people out there that are considering buying a console version to play through the game again and a PC version for the mods. Don’t put them off Rockstar, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

Let us pay for single-player DLC


Can you believe we’re asking for DLC that we pay for? I am. I can. A criticism of Grand Theft Auto V is that there hasn’t yet been any single-player content confirmed or released. GTA V for next-gen will ship with all current updates, such as the Hipster and Business updates, the new weapons, apartments and missions that have been added, but that’s all multiplayer stuff.

What we’re hoping for is single player content along the lines of The Lost and the Damned or Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare. It’s bound to happen – will there be extra single-player missions added to the initial release, or can we expect more content to come in 2015? And will it be next-gen only content to encourage 360 and PS3 players to upgrade?

Fix the online code


I don’t pretend to know technically how the game works online, but I know when it doesn’t work. There always seems to be a lot of patience and teeth grinding involved. Just joining an online game can take a couple of attempts, and trying to get in a game with your friends or Crew members can be a real ball ache. “I’ll invite you, you invite me, let’s try a private session, DON’T PRESS ANYTHING LET ME TRY THIS”.

We’d really appreciate some stability here. And don’t throw us out of a game part-way through a mission, that shit is infuriating.

Crush the bugs, unglitch the glitches


What is it with helicopters in GTA Online that makes them disappear so much? Not just from in front of your eyes, but from under the feet of the player? And why does my hat and hair disappear when I smoke a bong in my apartment? And the stutter-pause when I’m getting in someone else’s car after a liquor store hold-up – it’s kind of a crucial time, you know? It’s not in anyway game-breaking but it’s annoying. Grand Theft Auto? More like Glitch Fest Auto amirite?

Improve the character animation


We already know GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One is going to look hotter the Blaine County sun. We’ve seen the trailer for a start, and Pat has already shit himself about it. And let’s be clear: Grand Theft Auto V on last-gen consoles still looks beautiful. Fly over the city at night time, taking in the lights of the pier fairground. Wander through Stab City and check out the beautiful trash life of the bikers, or the graffiti-and-guns glamour of any number of districts in Los Santos.

But we’d also like to see the character animation improved, with clothing and hair a little less stiff. We love our online characters and great take care and time dressing and grooming them. The better they look, the better we feel and the more we’ll spend on cosmetic enhancements. We’re vain like that.

Release on time


A “Fall” release is fairly open. It’s noncommittal. The concern we have is that Rockstar almost always delays its games. In fact, we can’t think of a recent Rockstar game that has hit its original release date – GTA V itself was bumped four months from its planned release. We worry that Take-Two’s confirmation that it will release a Rockstar game before March 2015 gives the developer plenty of slippage room if it needs to change “fall 2014″ to “spring 2015″.