The thing is, GTA wants to be "Dramatic", but the problem is that GTA is not a drama. It's a comedy that occasionally has dramatic elements. It's similar to scrubs, in a way.
While the 3 protagonists of GTA V were slightly less serious than niko, the problem is that they were still really serious. Or at least, the game wanted me to take them seriously. Trevor and Michael's drama, Franklin's ambitions, the organizations that want to exploit and control out of that.
But GTA V doesn't want me to take it's world seriously. So we have this serious as all get out crime drama going on in the same state as billboards that say "E-cola: Deliciously Infectious!", not to mention in the same game that came from the roots of "Blowing stuff up is fun, let's have a right laugh!" and still has those mechanics, and even put special abilities for the protagonists on top of those mechanics.
I'm about to mention a massive target around here, so heads up. Say what you will about Saint's Row, but even with the earth being blown to bits in the last one, it never, for one second, wants you tot take it seriously. The second game had some "Dramatic" moments, but it's clear they were lifted from action movies so the game could let you live out your fantasies of being a big star, and 3 and 4 wanted to be more like comic books. So the characters became parodies along with their worlds. Some said that reduced their depth, but I don't agree. Sure, they're silly, that's the point. Saint's Row is a silly, silly series, and that's what makes it great.
GTA doesn't want to admit it with it's courting of controversy, but it too is a very silly series. Even GTA V. I mean, for f*ck's sake, after the jewelry store heist it expects me to be concerned about the FIB, but later on in the game we're pretty much shooting hordes of government and PMC agents, and the game wants me to think lester and Dave Norton can silence all questions about it.
You know what, though? That would be fine. I've played games with superpowers in them for god's sake, I can suspend my disbelief in service of a good time. But GTA V has all this drama and history between the characters and it wants me to take it so seriously. But I don't play the funny haha shoot the cops game to take it seriously, and furthermore, you have super hackers, special abilities, satirical soft drink companies, satirical companies for everything else, and endless satire on the radio, but I'm supposed to get all serious and teary eyed every time a dramatic rescue or drama between the characters happens? Uh, no. Besides which, they're miserable the whole game. Michael is about as happy in his suburban family life as he is trapped in the desert with a cannibal canadian meth dealer and professional heister. Franklin doesn't even smile when he has a mansion. Trevor only smiles when he's on meth, and otherwise hates everything.
So I'm supposed to take this image comics in the 90's "Grim and Gritty" story seriously, and I think the characters were made to be miserable so I'd take the story seriously, but we've still got super hackers and one man armies and police departments so forgetful they make new york in ghostbusters look like it has a photographic memory. Furthermore, it wants me to get invested in a story where the characters never grow beyond being miserable, sarcastic pricks.
The point is that for the next game, rockstar should go all in on satire. Forget the drama, I know it appeals to some people, but it just causes tonal whiplash in a series best known for being that game where you find out how long a hood gangster or a miami mafia boss in a hawaiian T-shirt can last against SWAT teams and the military while listening to rock on the radio or a talk radio station where funny men make the jokey jokes. Have the protagonists enjoy themselves for god's sake, this isn't edgar allen poe or the godfather, it's GTA. The punk rock shoot the cops drive dangerously do drugs off a stripper's titties mature rated motherf*cker of the games industry. It's not a drama, it's a fun action movie. You ever watch Hot Fuzz? That's what GTA should be. Hell, you ever play GTA Vice City? That's what GTA should be.