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5 features in GTA 5 that were absent in GTA 4

GTA 4 lacked a military presence (Image via Sportskeeda)
GTA 4 lacked a military presence (Image via Sportskeeda)
Danny Sahbegovic
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GTA 4 removed several features that GTA 5 eventually brought back.

At the time of release, GTA 4 was considered the best game in the series, and some players still hold onto this opinion. It was a gripping drama with a hyperfocus on realism, which was very different from the standard GTA experience. However, not every change was for the best.

GTA 4 got rid of many popular features from the previous games. The issue, obviously, did not sit well with some fans. Rockstar heard their complaints and brought some back for GTA 5.

Essentially, Rockstar had a new direction for the series. GTA 5 was less like GTA 4, and more like GTA San Andreas. Fans have widely approved of the changes that were introduced in successive games.


5 in-game features that have made it into GTA 5, after their absence from GTA 4

1) Buying properties

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Niko Bellic is very similar to Claude from GTA 3. They only had revenge in mind. Players aren't able to buy properties like they could in Vice City and San Andreas. Niko was simply a hitman, and had no particular use for business.

GTA 5 is all about the pursuit of the American dollar, and thus, it makes thematic sense to buy properties. All three protagonists have their own selection to choose from. Each of the properties correlate with the specific character's personality.


2) Vehicle customization

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Vehicle customization is one of the main highlights for GTA San Andreas. However, GTA 4 got rid of this popular feature. It didn't match the tone or setting, since Niko Bellic wasn't much of a sports car enthusiast.

There is a stronger focus on vehicles in GTA 5. Players can go back to modding their personal favorites. There are more customization features than were ever present in previous games. With GTA Online too, Rockstar regularly releases new vehicles and options for varied customizations.


3) Arcade driving physics

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Driving is one of the most criticized aspects of GTA 4. Players often describe it as moving a slow boat across the sea. Unlike previous games, players can't make sharp turns that easily, especially since GTA 4 was meant to be realistic.

Of course, driving physics was a major point of contention. Some players found it too difficult to drive. GTA 5 sought to rectify this with a return to arcade physics, which offers a much faster, and better, driving experience. Since the game has a major focus on vehicles, improving car physics was a tremendously good decision.


4) Traditional military tanks

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Most GTA titles use the military at higher wanted levels. Players know they're in trouble when tanks are sent after them. GTA 4 got rid of this feature for the sake of realism. Instead, they use FIB and NOOSE operatives. The only tank in the game is the APC, which appears in DLC content.

Some fans lamented Rockstar's decision. They prefer action that is completely over the top. GTA 5 doesn't use the six-star system. However, the military does make its return. There is even a restricted area in Fort Zancudo.


5) The ability to pilot planes

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GTA 4 has a noticeable absence of flying airplanes. They are all over the airport, but players cannot operate them.

Despite common misconceptions, this is not due to 9/11. GTA 4 lacks this feature for a very specific reason. The Liberty City map is simply too small. Players have no reason to use a plane when they have helicopters. There is also no room to land their airplanes.

GTA 5 uses the biggest map in the entire series. As a result, players can use planes to their heart's content. With the presence of different aircrafts, fans have a gala time with piloting planes across the entire map. And of course, doing stunts on a plane never gets old for GTA 5 fans.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.


Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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