In terms of replayability, the GTA series offers players a few missions where they can approach the situation differently.
Most GTA missions follow a set pattern: go from Point A to Point B, kill someone, sometimes collect something, then leave the area. It's a simple formula for the series, but it works. Rockstar does break up the monotony every now and then, however. Certain missions have variations to the gameplay experience.
Players often have two choices: go in with guns blazing or sneak in stealthily. There are missions with alternate routes a player can take, such as a unique kill method or avoiding conflict altogether. With a distinct point-of-view, players can tackle specific tasks quite differently.
5 GTA missions alternative gameplay
#5 - Final Interview (GTA 4)
Niko Bellic is tasked with a high-profile assassination by the slimeball police commissioner Francis McReary. In the mission Final Interview, Niko dresses up for an appointment with Tom Goldberg, an enemy of McReary. In one of the worst job interviews in history, Niko kills his would-be employer right then and there.
Normally, a gunshot would alert the attention of the security detail, forcing Niko to shoot his way out. However, players can opt for a silent approach with their trusty knife. If Goldberg is killed in this manner, Niko can retrieve the files and simply walk out without anymore bloodshed.
#4 - Gray Imports (GTA San Andreas)
Gray Imports is a San Andreas mission where CJ has to interrupt a deal between the Ballas and Russians. There was a huge shootout within the warehouse, with crates providing defensive cover for the player. A secret feature is found in the missions where CJ can make it easier for himself.
In the middle of the warehouse, there is a large crate with a hook that holds it up. Once CJ shoots down the chain, the heavy crate will fall and kill one of the enemy combatants, while putting another one in position for an easy kill.
#3 - Explosive Situation (GTA San Andreas)
Upon his arrival in Las Venturas, CJ tries his luck by robbing a mafia-owned casino. To do so, he needs to perform a series of setup missions. One of these involves dangerous explosives, which he finds in the quarry. During the mission Explosive Situation, CJ has to pick up a few dynamite sticks under a time limit.
However, players can ignore the detonation sequence altogether. With a sniper rifle, they can scope out the person holding the trigger. He can be found at the bottom of the quarry, right on top of a light blue platform.
If they shoot him successfully, the explosives are no longer rigged to go off. If done correctly, the player is now free to finish the mission without any time limits. Most players never realize this since it's easy to miss.
#2 - Lure (GTA 4)
Not to be confused with the San Andreas mission of the same name, Lure is where Niko had to assassinate a target with a sniper rifle. However, the player had to figure out how to get to the target. They had the option of sniping him from the rooftops or chasing him outside in good old GTA fashion.
Players with their trigger fingers on the sniper can bring him close to a window. There are a few methods, such as calling him through his personal number to get him near the phone. They can also shoot out the satellite dish, forcing the target to fix his television and get right into position for a kill shot.
Niko can also lure the target outside of his safehouse by causing multiple disturbances at once, such as a grenade explosion near the window. If the player is not quick enough to kill the target before he enters his vehicle, a chase ensues.
#1 - Heists (GTA 5 and Online)
GTA 5 and GTA Online further expanded on heists from previous games, making it a core gameplay mechanic. In terms of strategic planning, these heists provide the most variety for GTA series missions. There are six major heists in GTA 5, while there are eight in GTA Online (three exclusive to enhanced versions).
Heist missions force players to carefully think about their crew setup. Not only do they need the right people for the job, there are different approaches for each mission. For example, the Diamond Casino Heist allows players to either go in silently, maintain an aggressive stance, or play the long con.
There is also variety in vehicle and weapon choices, depending on the route a player takes. Infiltration requires patience and skill, along with teamwork. Everyone needs to be mindful of the payouts, since every member takes a specific cut. It's up to the leader to properly divide everything among the team.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.