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5 features that vanished but eventually returned to the GTA series

CJ swimming and diving (Image via iGrandTheftAuto)
CJ swimming and diving (Image via iGrandTheftAuto)
Alan Sahbegovic

The GTA series has evolved drastically since its conception, leading some features to come and go throughout the generations.

Usually, a video game series adds onto its legacy as sequels are released, often leading to situations where only the most frustrating features are removed. Surprisingly, the GTA series doesn't always do this.

Instead of that, some of the features are abandoned, only to return later on in an improved state. Predictably, this means that this article will focus on five features that were removed at some point, only to be brought back later on in the series.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.


Features that went missing and came back in the GTA series

5) Swimming

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Many GTA fans associate swimming with GTA San Andreas, and for a good reason. It was the game that reintroduced swimming into the GTA franchise, especially since it was absent in GTA 3 and Vice City. However, it wasn't the game that introduced swimming to the GTA series.

Surprisingly, swimming was a mechanic introduced in GTA 1. There are notable differences between the swimming mechanics of the two titles, particularly in the duration of how long the player can swim.

4) Diving

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Speaking of swimming, diving is in a similar position. GTA San Andreas did reintroduce swimming, but it also added another feature known as diving into the GTA series. Other than GTA Liberty City Stories, swimming is present in every other game since GTA San Andreas in some capacity.

However, not all of them had diving as a feature. In fact, diving returns in GTA 5 after being last seen in GTA San Andreas.

3) Character customization

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GTA San Andreas also introduced another esteemed set of features pertaining to customization. Tattoos and haircuts are unavailable in the games between GTA San Andreas and GTA 5.

To a lesser extent, vehicle customization is also absent between GTA San Andreas and GTA 5. Otherwise, some customization options are available, like clothing, but a few games like Chinatown Wars omit it entirely.

2) HD Wanted Level System

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The HD Wanted Level System is a feature introduced in GTA 4, which was absent in Chinatown Wars before finally returning to GTA 5. Chinatown Wars returned to the classic Wanted Level system many fans were familiar with while also adding its own twist of unique features, such as ramming into police cars to disable them.

GTA 4 revamped the Wanted Level significantly. Instead of relying on a Pay 'n' Spray to get rid of a Wanted Level, players could simply escape a cone-shaped search area and stay out of sight for a while. Eventually, their Wanted Level will reset to zero as the search will be called off.

1) Robberies

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GTA Vice City introduced robberies to some fanfare before vanishing entirely for a few games. Here, players just hold a gun to a clerk and wait for them to deliver some money. Predictably, this will warrant a low to medium Wanted Level.

It returned in Vice City Stories, except the method by which this feature was executed was notably different, as players had to vandalize a store to threaten clerks.

It would then return in GTA 4, 5, and Online with some minor tweaks to the original GTA Vice City version. The most important difference in the latter two titles is how much the AI has improved since then.


Edited by Shaheen Banu

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