What makes it GTA?
Open world with sidemissions, collectibles and easter eggs, plus effective storyline.
What characteristics must remain for it to be GTA?
Taking control of protagonist, who is a 100% criminal, one man army, grade A maniac, who's working as a cab driver, fireman, paramedic when he's not on a drug dealing or contract killing mission.
What adds and/or takes away from how "GTA" it is?
Storyline. It's really interesting to start as a small-time criminal and work your way up in the world of organized crime, ending up as a top dog, crime lord. Or at least very rich retired hitman.
Setting. That what's cool about 3D Era. With plot set in 80's and 90's, representing atmosphere of that time. It would be awesome to see next GTA set in 70's, 80's, 90's.
Map. IMO, GTA Game should feature map that would be 99% concrete jugle, with scyscrappers, industrial and inner city areas. Look at GTA 4 Liberty City and Aldreny, I could literary spend ours exploring this map over and over again.
Sidemissions. Gang warfare, business takeover, contract killings, car lists, asset missions, favors, random charcters, races. Ect.
Open world activities. Collectibles, different mini-games, like pool, darts, card games, casinos and stuff like that.
Graphic violence. Nuff said.
Multiple protagonists. IMO, that breaks GTA canon and makes imposible to figure on one character fully, taking away some aspects of their history and personality.
Setting. Imagine next GTA set in 2021 or even in future. Eeeek.
Military jets, jet packs, hi-tec, sci-fi bullsh*t. Shiiieeet.
Map. The way I see it, when 50-70% of the map are desert, woods or f*ckin' vietnamese jungle it really f*cks up your game. I mean, such areas are great for hunting ghosts, bigfoots, leatherfaces, aliens, hippies, cows and squirrels, but when I realize that instead of this square mile empty area it could be some awesome inner city areas full of gang violence, drugs and stuff like that It feels kinda sad.
Sidemissions and activities. Some of them really f*ck up the concept of GTA Game. Yoga? Umm... I'm here to move keys of coke and kill people for money, not to practice yoga.
At what point would it cease to be GTA?
In my opinion, if the next GTA game will go in the direction of GTA 5 we will have a full right to whine about GTA series decline and get nostalgic. Here are few examples of the great series that went into decline. Strictly my opinion. The first one is Saints Row series. Yeah, first two games weretrue Saints Row series. Then I saw SR3 an like "Well, lots of bullsh*t here, but seems it's not so bad". And then Saints Row 4... Nuff said.
The other example is Call of Duty Series. We saw pretty damn good World War 2 shooters, Black Ops 1 was pretty damn good too, and then we get the party spoiled by Advanced Warfare sci-fi bullsh*t. The whole concept got f*cked. Still, upcoming WW2 thing looks as promising revival of the series.
Also, what would your IDEAL GTA game be? Theme, scope, possibilities etc. What would be the ceiling for crazy content in your game? The setting is not so important here.
Setting in some major east coast city, like Liberty City, Aldreny State (full recreation of New Jersey from South to North, Atlantic City including), or some new cities, never used before, based on Philadelphia or Baltimore.
- Setting in 70's-80's-90's, with organized crime storyline (Cosa Nostra, Irish mob, Black mafia, ect.)
- Strong and dramatic storyline, with only one character as protagonist, who will rise through ranks in his organization
- Character development during the game, based on player choices
- Gameplaying features unlocked step by step, depending on player achivments during the storyline and side missions, like organizing small crew, developing it into bigger gang, recruiting and commanding troops, stuff like that
- Features like setting up legal or illegal ventures or taking it over from the rival gangs, developing business.
- Money laundering feature, as neccessary part for setting up legitimate business and legally buing stuff
- Big variety of clothing, hairstyles and stuff like that to represent decade style
- Lots of Lincolns and Cadillacs as a choice of vehicle
- Good fighting system
- Great variety of melee weapons (making melee weapons the main weapon in the begging of storyline)
- Vietnam war era weapons, from American Colt M1911 to M60, to trophies, like AKM's and RPK's.
- More graphic violence, like dismemberment, detail exit wounds and stuff like that