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GTA 6: What Rockstar needs to fix about the series' game structure

Image credits: gta5mods
Image credits: gta5mods
Rahul Bhushan
ANALYST
Modified 06 Nov 2020, 15:59 IST
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There have been game franchises that have peaked and steadily fallen out and faded into obscurity eventually, but that has not been the case with GTA. From bursting onto the scene in the late 90s to its subsequent mainstream explosion in the 2000s with GTA 3, the series has been steadily climbing in popularity for the better part of two decades.

With each new release, a newer generation of players is introduced to the GTA franchise, and the series continues to flourish. However, underneath all the satire, the commercial success, and the over-the-top criminal adventures, GTA is, first and foremost, a game.

These titles have been relatively robust, with an attention-to-detail in the game world that other open-world titles can only aspire to. But if players were to pay close attention, the game structure hasn't evolved all that much since GTA 3.

What Rockstar can fix in the game structure for GTA 6

Game structure essentially refers to the core gameplay loop of a title that the player is engaged in through its playtime. Essentially, this is what the game structure for a standard GTA offering is like:

  1. Go to a mission waypoint
  2. Drive/walk with ally to mission location
  3. Complete mission
  4. Repeat

With little variation as to what actually happens in these missions, the core structure of almost every task is the same in every GTA title. The franchise pats itself on the back for innovation in multiple areas, such as multiple protagonists, more extensive and detailed open-worlds, and excellent writing.

However, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. If the next GTA game is to be truly groundbreaking and innovative, there must be serious changes to the core game structure.

No freedom in gameplay

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During a standard mission in GTA 5, for example, the player has to stick to a strict path to complete the task. Any slight deviation will result in an instant "Mission Failed" screen.

This is in stark contrast to the rest of the game, where the player can do whatever they want in the massive and liberating open-world. This makes every GTA game feel restrictive during the mission sections.

This is perfectly illustrated in great detail by a brilliant video essay by NakeyJakey.

If Rockstar looks into this aspect, the conflicting open-world structure and the linear path of a mission, which are currently in direct conflict with each other, will be changed. Hence, players will be able to freely approach a task in any way they want.

Published 06 Nov 2020, 15:59 IST
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