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GTA 5 is two years old. Now what?

TIME : 2015-12-10 14:16:14
Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshotGrand Theft Auto 5 screenshot

GTA 5 has been out for two years today. Two years. Can you believe that? You can't, can you? You're probably looking around now, doing a 'huh' face, running a quick mental calculation to see just how far you are from death, remembering where you were in 2013, who you were with, what's changed since then. Two years.

In the PS2 days, a two-year gap between games was the longest possible wait: Vice City launched a year after GTA III in 2002, before San Andreas landed in 2004. In space year 2015, however, it looks as if we won't be seeing any 'new' content – in terms of a whole new game or single-player DLC for the current instalment – for a while at least. This, in part, is due to the popularity of GTA Online: why crank out side stories when thousands of people are doing exactly that every single day anyway, in a mode that is actually far more flexible and dynamic than the offline experience?

Well, good point. But let's not let that deter us from a bit of daydreaming on the subject of campaign DLC, because despite the free-form mayhem and unlimited potential for craziness that GTA Online offers, there's still merit in Rockstar putting together another round of single-player stuff. With that in mind, here's what I'd like to see in the next six months to a year (or two or perhaps twenty) while we wait for news on GTA 6.

Assassination Missions

You are...Damian 'John' Fashanu, hitman for the mob. Unlike most hitmen 'John' isn't tired of being a contract killer: he loves fucking people up. He doesn't want to 'get out', or lead a 'real life'. That's not for Fash. This life is as real as it gets, barrelling around the city, taking on contracts, slotting people's grills, using the power of his dread karate, being a fucking prick, heading home to read some Hemingway while wearing some form of simply unfathomable shellsuit atrocity, that sort of thing.

Right. Not sure what happened there, but the point is that there's a reason one of the very first mods people make for GTA games are assassination missions. They enable near endless missions, and mission types, harnessing GTA's strengths (emergent play/fucking around) while giving players the run of a city they know well. Like most assassins probably would. Damian 'John' Fashanu definitely would.

A different time period

GTA really hit the big time when it flashed back to the 80s in Vice City, and while the last two main games have been contemporarily set, there's surely enough scope for another period piece within Rockstars rendition of Los Angeles.

'Like what', you say, braying, demanding an answer. 'They've already done LA Noire! And Red Dead? Now what, you fucking DICK?' Well, quite. My vote goes for the 70s. Yes, this is seen as the lazy person's answer to the 'next GTA' question, but hear me out. Firstly, the soundtrack is already there. No need to worry about anything but licensing, and given Rockstar's connections and cash that's easily solved.

Now, you may be rolling your eyes, going 'the 70s? Bringing up the music? Really? What is this, DRIVER PARALLEL LINES?' Good point. But GTA doesn't always have to have career crims as its leads. Given the close ties between the City of Angels and cinema, why not have the main character as a struggling actor desperate to make it in the New Hollywood era? GTA 5 featured an ageing movie producer calling in favours: show his rise to power. Get caricatures or composites of Francis Coppola, Hal Ashby, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, all those guys to flit in and out of proceedings, much like Dennis Hopper's character in Vice City. Make it a dating simulator starring Warren Beatty. Pool parties. Rising stars and falling icons. Ridiculous. Boogie Nights starring Marlon Brando.

With the storyline sorted, then, changes would have to be made to the city itself, and its inhabitants, and said changes would be fascinating. Gaudy 70s billboards, mad psychedelic fonts/typefaces looming out at you on Sunset, insane colour schemes powering out of shop fronts, brown EVERYWHERE, cars so big and with headlights and grills which make them look like confused boats, people wearing satin LA Kings jackets, that sort of thing. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

A woman who's not an idiot/a figure of fun/a whore

GTA 5 has many strengths, but its portrayal of women isn't one of them (and before you start moaning about its portrayal of men, please direct yourself into the nearest bin). It would be nice to get a perspective on Los Santos that's not directly fuelled by grasping men and their many, many vices, and indeed seeing a woman attempt to crack the male-dominated industry which is crime in Rockstar's games could be very interesting. And if that doesn't happen, then let's at least have some support characters who aren't simply there to be berated/prized/mocked/killed for, yeah?

Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot

More money, more problems

How much money have you got in GTA5? Did you game the stock market, or rescue the investor who gives you the heads-up on which stock to put all your money into? Or did you simply accumulate vast wealth as a result of the story, carefully weighing up the pros and cons of each heist before going Full Gecko and greedily taking whatever you could possibly get?

Either way, you probably ended the game with a lot of cash. And what can you do with it? Buy a golf course. Boring. Again, GTA Online leads the way in this regard, offering plentiful housing, cars, and other toys to spend your blood money on. (Modders have done the right thing and imported some of this into the single-player game, of course.) I'd love to see a GTA where you play as a bored billionaire, toying with the markets, using various businesses as fronts and buying vast swathes of LA, fighting gang wars and rival greed-hounds as you do so. Less like the Godfather II, more like Vice City Stories: basically make it a Devon Weston simulator. Bored billionaire seeks mayhem and money to keep from going totally insane. Ah, it could just work.