In a perfect world, I'd be rich, handsome, hung like an elephant (actually, I'd rather it not be gray) and video games would cater to my every whim.
I mean, I play them, so clearly I know the intricacies of game development and what it takes to make a $1 billion franchise. Well, no, but I do know what I like: writing and venting online. Oh, and talking about video games.
Grand Theft Auto Online just never hooked me like its predecessor, the Free Mode in #GTAIV — an apt name as there wasn't a Shark Cash Card to be bought back then. Since its launch, a lot just hasn't sat right with me.
So rather than just stew in negativity, I'm going to offer up some solutions that could make #LosSantos great again!
1. Weapon Favorites
This could apply to single-player mode, too. People, myself included, enjoy a weapon wheel — they're simple, intuitive, and a breeze to use on game pads.
In #GTA the player can carry every weapon they've bought or picked up, all at once. Where they store them is anybody's guess, but I have some pretty graphic guesses in mind.
The problem is that there's of course a limit to how many slots you have on a weapon wheel, so they're naturally grouped into classes: pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, specials, etc.
With multiple guns for multiple situations it can be a hassle to bring up the weapon wheel, then use the D-pad to scroll to your favorite SMG or rocket launcher in a pinch — especially if there's a police helicopter chasing you down. It's the difference between dying and a "cool guys don't look at explosions" moment.
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If only we could favorite one gun from each class, then picking your load-out would carry some meaning. It could reinvigorate some of the death matches and it'd be a helluva lot less frustrating when you want to try out your new Street Sweeper shotgun, but first you have to scroll past your crummy old pump action!
Plus, I'm sure a lot of people have weapons they'd simply never use and so don't want them set on their wheel as their go-to choice.
It could be as simple as you clicking the right stick in the weapon wheel menu, representing the gun you'd like to lock as your favorite, or developers could even implement an option in the city's many Ammu-Nation gun stores.
2. Removing Car Insurance
This isn't The Sims, #RockstarGames! There's a fine line between realism and fun, and I personally think this crosses that line. In GTAIV we didn't have personal vehicles so it didn't matter, but in Red Dead Redemption if your horse (or donkey, or bull) died, you could immediately whistle and a replacement would arrive. You know why? Because traveling long distances on foot in these games sucks!
If I die, I respawn, and so should my ride. It's no fun to call an insurance company, then have to steal a ride to get to the other side of the map to pick it up — especially if you're up against some guys who are constantly shooting at you. It soon becomes boring. It's also no fun being charged in game money for blowing up a friend's car, when you're clearly just messing about.
You didn't put gas in the game because stopping at a garage every half hour would suck and so does calling an insurance company, so sort it out, Rockstar!
3. Adding A Battle Royale Game Mode
This is entirely a preference, but this game mode is hugely popular at the moment and I can't think of an open-world game it wouldn't work in. #H1Z1 has the brilliant King of the Kill. #DayZ was a mod for military sim Arma. Ark: Survival Evolved has "Survival of the Fittest"; even The Division is in on the action with its superb "Survival" DLC.
There's a huge appetite for this Battle Royale/Hunger Games-style game mode, and with a few tweaks to the Rockstar Editor, it would be easy to implement. All the pieces are there, we just need the puzzle maker.
You could have 30 players parachute into the game's map, armed with the knowledge that there's a small explosive device implanted in their stomachs and that they must stay within predetermined bounds on the map and fight to the death, lest their stomach bugs detonate. Then the players will have to scavenge for weapons with which to fight within the circle, which is getting ever smaller. These dwindling players are getting pushed to the middle of the map where there can be only one! Anyone caught out of bounds explodes as if a sticky bomb was on them.
This would bring people back to the game in droves. Console players are dying for this game mode, which can be seen in the popularity of The Division's "Survival" DLC and the disappointment that came with H1Z1: King of the Kill's delay on console this year.
It would be so easy to make and to subsidize the cost; players would definitely pay for the mode. I know Rockstar loves money — hell, the studio could make it so that to enter this mode in game you have to pay 50,000 in game cash, which would mean the mode could be free as with its previous DLC. This would:
- Get people playing the base game to access the mode
- Push them to purchase more of the beloved Shark Cash Cards!
4. Two-Player Heists
As I'm sure Rockstar is aware, the best way to make a huge amount of money in game without spending real cash is with heists — the problem being they're difficult to get in to. If you don't have four friends who all want to play the game, you're left playing with randoms who regularly quit, which ends the fun for everyone, and that's hardly fair. In two years, I've never once finished a heist with a random. Not once!
If they want to quit, but me and a friend are still playing, then why should the game end? Hell, make it so that all the heists can be completed by two people, as you're always split off into two anyway. Simply backfill with bots or let two players do both portions of the heist. I'd rather it take twice as long than the game end because someone got annoyed and quit when they died!
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5. A Classic FPS Controller Layout
The first-person mode added for next gen and PC is beautiful, but it's held back by third-person controls. It would be way better if you could aim down sights pulling LT, run by clicking left stick, etc.
This could also reinvigorate the game's death matches, especially with aim assist turned down or off completely, so that players must aim at each other and bring back some level of skill. There are plenty of areas in game that already make great death matches, but when combined with classic controls and my previously mentioned weapon favorites could be incredible. Hell, you could add cars and helicopters and make some great #Battlefield-style conquest game modes. Not some crappy #Tron race...
6. Anything With Zombies
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare was brilliant, but the multiplayer horde mode was rather lackluster. However, if you were to replace the NPCs with #zombies and make a mode in which like Undead Nightmare's single-player ammo is scarce but with 30 players online, you'd be onto a winner! If you called it GTA Online: Undead Nightmare, people would pay handsomely for it and flock to the game in droves!
It might sound like I'm bitter, but I just hate Shark Cards and prior to this Rockstar never released unfinished games. Hell, a lot of us bought GTAV twice, last gen and next gen. So the studio got a lot more money out of us fans, yet only seem to care about Shark Cards and arbitrary updates. Let's hope this doesn't poison the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2, set for release in late 2017. Check out the trailer below!