The main problem with Rockstar North is that they don't know when to stop. It's known that best way to perfection is through evolution, but they seem to not understand that fact. Instead they're trying to base everything on instant changes from left to right, which leads them nowhere, leaving them confused.
Up to 2004 we had one city in every game (I am going to exclude GTA 1 in that debate), which could be bigger or smaller, dark or sunny, full of high rised buildings or flat. Both LC and VC were detailed and despite their flaws, they became legendary and beloved (just look how many people still love LC from GTA III). Everything was working perfectly up to the point when R* decided to take different approach. Did they choose to give us one big city with some small ones? Or maybe two medium ones? No, instead they launched full scale attack givings us three big cities. Result was quite easy to predict on dated PS2 hardware - cities were empty, dull and lacked any kind of details that made LC and VC so great. It doesn't matter if there were three of them if not a single one was good enough to have its own game. After some time R* learn it was a mistake and they said that three cities were a bit too much and that they should make smaller number of them, but more detailed and interesting.
Then IV came out and R* changed approach again to more realistic. Before you jumped on me that it was bad move, I am going to say otherwise. GTASA started alienating people. The dragon of hate was still weak, but he was slowly raising its head. I know people (normal players), who played SA for a while coming back to VC, because it was not their piece of cake. They simply didn't like jetpacks, dildos, RPG elements and couple of things that were clouding the real GTA (III and VC). R* had no choice but to go back to save the series and it was lose-lose situation for them anyway. Since all people want more and better, what could be brought to take over SA? Even more cities, UFOs, laser weapons? SA was venturing into dangerous ground turning into SR, but skipping the first two parts and going straight to TT (dildo as a weapon, green goos, James Bond stuff). There were two choices - make game as based on the basics as possible (like VC) and alienate people or make SA 2 and alienate people. Of course, transition to new generation made this decision a bit easier.
And then V came out, which is the example of R* lack of evolution. They basically threw out everything that was good in IV and decided to make some monster, being not loved child of SA or IV, which is not good as any of them. Which is even worse they didn't take a step back, they made a whole leap, adding things dated back to Super Nintendo (cheat system) and mixing every part of their previous games (abilities from RDR and MP, weapon wheel, driving from MCLA - although it was better there), which is not exact way to success. Another mistake of theirs is the protagonists system. Up to the point we had one (again GTA 1 doesn't count), but here they decided to make something different. Do we have two of them? Of course not, we needed three, but the result is exactly the same as in SA. None of them is interesting and none of them is good enough to have its own game.
Perfect way to build V would be evolve from IV. People were moaning about driving - fix it instead of throwing away (TBoGT got almost perfect physics), missions were repetitive - let's make amount of them so small, people will end it before dinner, people doesn't like cheats (lack of stupid ones) which were available in phone for quick use - let's use system from SNES and add two new cheats.
If R* have exist and a house renovation company I wouldn't let them near my house. Sure there is problem here and there, but with them I could end up with home that is bigger than the last one, but the doors are not opening ( and I have to crawl through the window) and there is no heating, but maybe it will be fixed soon...