Rockstar Games teased more about Grand Theft Auto Online's upcoming Cayo Perico Heist DLC during the 2020 Game Awards Thursday night. The all-new area will launch on December 15 and let players sneak onto a drug kingpin's island to rob him blind.
Fans of GTA 5 have taken this announcement to be a hint that a Vice City-themed GTA 6 could soon be announced, seeing as the long-awaited title has been reported to be in "early development."
The GTA Online teaser came a day after the long-awaited launch of CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, which seemed like a clear effort to keep GTA 5 gamers interested in Los Santos and out of Night City. But Rockstar could learn a thing from Cyberpunk 2077's launch to give players a more unique experience with GTA 6's eventual single and multiplayer modes.
Cyberpunk 2077 can be played in vastly different ways by players depending on the perks they choose to spend their experience points on. Gamers can choose to play as sneaky hackers who sabotage their enemies and assassinate them when they least expect it, or they can opt for a running-and-gunning mercenary that takes every fight head-on.
GTA 5's three protagonists had slightly differing abilities that made them stand out, but GTA Online's combat is nearly identical across the board despite the game's stat bonuses. Adopting a unique perk system that allows players to unlock game-changing abilities, like the Cold Blood perk, that gives players a number of momentary stat bonuses after killing an enemy.
GTA 6 should encourage players to specialize in a certain kind of playstyle and let them mix and match these district abilities to truly distinguish each playthrough as its own. Rockstar could start with something as basic as weapon archetype bonuses, which would let gamers choose their favorite kind of weapon and improve their damage, reload time, and recoil for each archetype.
This could be taken even further by having players work towards highly specialized capabilities. For example, there could be a Demolitionist skill tree that first boosts your damage with explosives in general but eventually will let you mod or craft specialized grenades and bombs that can only be made by characters with that ability.
Rockstar could also make a skill tree for more melee-focused characters that improve damage with bats and knives but also allows those characters to pull off acrobatics to close the gap between their opponents.
A change like this would require some major changes to GTA 5's existing stat system, but seeing as GTA 5 and GTA Online is coming to next-generation consoles it would appear the Rockstar will be taking its sweet time with its next open-world adventure.
There's plenty of time to overhaul the current GTA character system into something more customizable like Cyberpunk 2077's perk system.
GTA 6 is reportedly in early development.