The GTA franchise is nothing short of a phenomenon, with multiple games in the series having sold millions of copies. It occupies a rarefied air in the gaming industry as every title in the franchise has done incredibly well - both critically and financially.
For the longest time, fans have been demanding a remaster for GTA 4, one of the most divisive games in the series. Many players want to experience the game's gritty storytelling with the polish and shine of new technology.
Gaming tech evolves pretty quickly, and a game from 2008 can start showing its age by around 2011. This has led to a high demand for remasters and remakes, and perhaps that is something Rockstar should capitalize on.
Why GTA 4 needs a remaster or remake
#1 An update on controls/engine
Nostalgia makes everything look better in retrospect. However, there are certain parts of GTA 4 that feel very uncomfortable, especially with regards to its combat, which feels clunky, non-responsive and is surprisingly very low on intensity when compared to GTA 5.
When new fans play previous games in the franchise, they are caught off-guard by just how different combat feels. An update on those controls with the new iteration of the RAGE engine would help solve a ton of those issues and help players have a far better time in the game.
#2 A visual makeover
GTA 4 remains one of the boldest creative endeavors from Rockstar Games. Its gritty and oppressive realism is not only reflected in its deeply dramatic and nuanced narrative but also in the game's visuals.
The entirety of Liberty City seems to perennially have a cloud of misery and oppression that drapes the city in a miserable shade of gray.
While that kind of desaturated color palette can be uncomfortable to some, many would appreciate the same color palette, but with today's technology. HD/4K textures and solid lighting go a long way in making games feel different, and one can imagine just how great GTA 4 can look with a visual makeover.
#3 Absence on PS4/Xbox One
If one wishes, they can choose to play the original PS2 trilogy (Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas) on their PS4s by buying them off the store. While they are technically not remasters, they serve as a decent way to experience older games in the franchise on relatively newer systems.
However, what is puzzling is that the title between the PS2 trilogy and the latest GTA 5 is missing from that console generation. This means players cannot play GTA 4 on their Xbox One, the PS4 or next-gen consoles.
In the current landscape of gaming, older games have an equally good shot at selling out as many copies as newer games. Recent remasters and remakes of games like Mafia and Resident Evil have sold incredibly well, and so can Grand Theft Auto IV.
#4 An existing fanbase
In tandem with the previous point, there already exists a huge demand for GTA 4 since many players might have missed out on the game when it came out in 2008.
GTA 4 and its two brilliant DLC expansions make for an excellent gaming experience that will probably sell incredibly well as a remaster or remake.
Fans would love nothing more than the choice of playing each game in the series from Grand Theft Auto III to Grand Theft Auto 5 on one system. As it stands, players either have to settle to play GTA 4 on their PC or the rest on their console.
#5 Still the most ambitious story in a GTA game
2010 marked a landmark year for Rockstar Games as Red Dead Redemption proved that Rockstar Games were capable of more than just wanton violence, satire and casual storytelling. It proved that the studio was capable of telling incredibly emotional, earnest and powerful stories through video games.
However, Rockstar had previously accomplished that with GTA 4. Up until its 2008 release, the GTA franchise was not characterized by earnest storytelling or deeply nuanced characters. GTA 4 quite literally flipped the script on all of that and was successful in delivering a riveting story in the game.
For the first time, violence was treated with more respect than usual, with Niko's actions having a lasting impact on the characters of the game. This kind of storytelling within the franchise should be readily available for newcomers to the series, so they can gauge just how talented the team behind the series is.