I understand there have been several topics about wanted level systems in GTA games, however this topic is mostly about reviewing the progression of the systems from title to title, and also about the new system in GTA V.
My biggest concern is that this once famed mechanic in GTA games is being dumbed down.
In GTA V, from my experience, the wanted level system seems to be almost identical to the one in GTA IV, with the omission of the FIB, and the addition of police officers wearing bullet-proof vests from three stars onwards and SWAT teams repelling from helicopters like in games prior to GTA IV. The maximum wanted level was changed to five stars for the first time, from the historic six that has been the case since the very first games in the franchise.
I found this new system highly disappointing - not only does it fail to show any progress, it in fact constitutes a major step back.
For a GTA game with strong military themes in a lot of missions, and
The game also had definitive police weapons such as the night-stick and taser, however no law enforcement ever carry either.
The wanted level system was, in my opinion at least, one of the things that set GTA apart from all other games. I remember first being drawn to, and fascinated by, GTA when I first saw and played GTA 2 at a friend's house, and being amazed at how you can get black FBI cars, and later even the army, chasing after you. The nearest game I had was Driver 1, and the fact that you can get the FBI and army chasing after you in this other game (despite it being 2D) amazed me.
Going on rampages against the law, and figuring out new ways to survive for the longest time has long been one of my favourite out of mission activities in GTA, especially to blow off some steam.
For the next GTA, I'd want to see the wanted level system completely overhauled with far more detail and realism.
Ideally, fighting the law should result in siege situations, like with the Waco Ranch. The FBI/FIB should be used to try to negotiate with you (can be made into a fun mini-game), the SWAT/NOOSE used to raid your position, and regular cops used to set up a perimeter to surround your location.
If you manage to still survive all that, it can either go to the Army or Intelligence Agencies. The army will send in squads, tanks and helicopter gunships to kill you, while the intelligence agencies will send elite agents and assassins after you, as well as paying gangs, hitmen, death sqauds and mercenaries to kill you.
Anyway, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on wanted level systems in GTA.
Does anyone else value this integral part of the GTA series as much as me, or do you guys view it as an unimportant peripheral detail that can be over-looked in favour of other game aspects?
Also, what direction would you like to see this system heading?
A very realistic, detailed system that makes you feel like you're in the next breaking-news armed siege, or just something to get you gunned down by cops if you attract too much attention?