Rockstar Games have big plans for GTA in the latter half of 2021 but not in the way that people expected as of 2020.
During the PS5 Reveal Event, Rockstar revealed their plans for the GTA franchise in 2021, with a re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5 in an "Enhanced and Expanded" edition announced.
Furthermore, GTA Online would be made into a standalone title, independent of Grand Theft Auto 5, and will be available for purchase. The game will also be free for the first 3 months on next-gen consoles, which is a nice little treat by Rockstar.
However, players have had nearly seven years with GTA Online and know everything Rockstar have to offer. Therefore, if the developers are to drum up excitement, they will have to make some sweeping changes and additions to the game experience.
5 features Rockstar should add to GTA Online in 2021
#1 More Solo Heists
GTA Online's latest title update introduced players to the first Heist in the game that could be played solo. This means that players will no longer have to wait in matchmaking, hoping to get paired up with players of equal abilities and skill.
Perhaps Rockstar can go back and make every Heist in the game capable of being played solo. While Heists have always been a very co-op-centric experience, the slow matchmaking and massive load times tend to get in the way.
With improved hardware on next-gen consoles, much of the load times can be alleviated. However, Rockstar will have to work hard on the matchmaking as it remains one of the biggest detractors to the game.
#2 Cayo Perico available in Freemode
The entire GTA community roared in excitement when they learnt that the "entirely new location" would actually be a substantially big island. Almost immediately afterwards, they let out a collective sigh as they learnt that the island could only be explored partially during the set-up missions and the Heist itself.
It certainly seems like Rockstar have plans for the island but are not comfortable revealing them yet. As we near the release of GTA Online as a standalone title, perhaps the developers could open up the island in Freemode, outside of the Beach Party area which players can currently visit.
The Cayo Perico Island presents a great opportunity for Rockstar to expand the game experience far beyond its current state.
#3 Procedurally generated missions
This could be a totally contentious point for some, but the idea that GTA could have missions that are procedurally generated is certainly interesting.
There are quite a lot of things to do in Freemode such as VIP/CEO work but the idea of a set of missions that change every time you play them is intriguing.
RPGs and dungeon crawlers or even games like No Man's Sky have succeeded on the backs of procedurally-generated systems, and so can GTA.
It could even help solve a lot of farming/grinding issues for players and help beginners amass a lot of wealth through these missions.
#4 More Story Mode crossovers
Miguel Madrazo was the latest from the Madrazo family to make an appearance in GTA Online. Fan favorites Trevor, Ron and Lester have already made appearances in the game in the past.
Perhaps it's time to reunite the trio in GTA Online and have players take on the biggest Heist in the game along with the iconic trio from Story Mode.
This will definitely help Story Mode fans rest easy, knowing that Michael, Franklin, and Trevor are still out there causing all sorts of mayhem. One last Heist with GTA's most popular thieves will definitely go a long way in terms of fan service.
Cross-play is almost a necessity for any online multiplayer to succeed in modern gaming but GTA Online seems to have done alright without it so far.
Having said that, many groups of friends might not necessarily play the game on the same platform, so being able to play Co-Op with friends is definitely the best way to experience the game.
While it is not an absolute necessity, adding cross-play to the game will mean that Rockstar have bigger plans for the Online experience.
Getting more players to try the game should be a priority, and cross-play will definitely entice a lot of reluctant players to give the game a shot.