Rockstar has often experimented with RPG elements in their games, and the GTA series is no stranger to this. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was the first and only game in the series that is often categorized in the RPG genre. However, traces of roleplaying elements can be found in GTA 5, especially in its Online mode.
Meanwhile, the rise of GTA 5 RP in recent times, thanks to streamers, has resulted in mainstream appreciation of roleplaying. With this in mind, this article argues why Grand Theft Auto 6 should be modeled after roleplaying games.
Why GTA 6 should have more RPG-like features
As mentioned earlier, Rockstar has often implemented RPG mechanics in many of their games. However, their genius is that they always tend to find a unique way of incorporating these.
Bully, the Red Dead Redemption games, and GTA San Andreas all exhibit characteristics of roleplaying games, but none of them can be stereotyped. No other game from the same genre comes remotely close to the gameplay experience found in these games.
How Rockstar implemented RPG elements in their titles
Bully captures the unique experience of a high schooler in a hostile modern-day boarding school. Although clothing customization is the most obvious RPG element, the game remains memorable of certain other features. Players can attend classes, and their performance will be reflected in their marks, while relationships with NPCs will also be dependent on player actions.
GTA San Andreas goes overboard with customization, introducing the ability to control the player's body fat and muscle. This isn't just a cosmetic effect as it boils down to the physical stats of the protagonist. Skills are also affected through experience, with the protagonist getting better at driving and shooting as they keep playing.
The gang wars feature is another additional aspect that made the game even more immersive. Although there is no true NPC interaction in the game like in most RPGs, the protagonist can romance several girlfriends. Players can maintain their relationship stats with each of them, with potential rewards.
Red Dead Redemption 2 went overboard with realism by introducing RPG-like survival mechanics. However, this is a good thing as Rockstar managed to maintain a balance between fun and realism. The survival aspects of the game aren't that hard to manage, and it provides additional immersion to the game.
How GTA 6 should aim to be
Rockstar does not need to look to other developers for inspiration on RPG elements. As the above examples prove, their games have introduced subtle roleplaying characteristics that few other games have managed to create. The next title should take inspiration from these games to create something similarly unique.
Weapons and driving skills should be first and foremost on this list, and Rockstar could follow the example of Grand Theft Auto Online in regards to this. In addition, GTA 5 RP should definitely be considered as another inspiration, considering its popularity among fans.
However, some of the features found in the modded RP variant might be a little too realistic. Ordinary civilian jobs wouldn't be very interesting in a Grand Theft Auto title, apart from simple vehicle-based ones (like the Taxi Driver missions). Rockstar needs to maintain a balance between a conventional Grand Theft Auto experience and an RPG game to make this idea work.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.