Game Theory

GTA 6 needs to adopt this simple but immersive AC Valhalla feature

GTA 5 was cutting-edge for 2013, but now Rockstar could learn a few things from its competition.

Grand Theft Auto 6 is reportedly in the works, and fans of the debaucherous crime franchise have been dreaming up ways Rockstar Games could enhance the hotly anticipated follow-up to GTA 5. Everything from more explorable interiors to customizable pets have been requested.

Rockstar certainly won't cut any corners when it comes to pushing what has been its most successful game series of all-time into the generation of gaming. But the company could make one simple change that's already been included in recently released titles, Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Ghost of Tsushima, a minimalistic heads-up display and mission trackers.

Rockstar Games has yet to even confirm the game's existence, which throws a firm release date estimation into total chaos. Could it be surprise-released in 2021? Probably not. 2022 or 2023 is our best estimation, so we're left to dream up what it might look like in the meantime.

The 'GTA 5' HUD was already cutting-edge for its time, but more recent releases have shown how Rockstar can improve 'GTA 6's HUD in the future.Rockstar Games

GTA 5 already had a minimally intrusive HUD that made it one of the most immersive open-world experiences in the last decade. But taking that design a step further and working to reduce the size of GTA 6's minimap and how random world events are encountered could seriously level up how engrossing the series is.

The main use of the GTA 5 mini-map is to navigate through the winding streets of Los Santos and finding points of interest that are marked by icons. Instead of a mini-map, GTA 6 should use a riff on Ghost of Tsushima's Guiding Wind feature as opposed to less cinematic waypoint icons or mini-map pathways.

'Ghost of Tsushima's Guiding Winds take the place of a mini map.Sucker Punch Productions

Each vehicle you step into could have a built-in GPS system that visually notifies the player when to turn by overlaying a subtle glow on the road or with an audio cue like a real-life GPS system would. A similar concept can be used to replace icons for stores and stranger encounters, à la Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Instead of direct quest markers, Ubisoft makes use of beacons that highlight areas with treasure or secrets. GTA 6 could do something similar but make sue of the character's sense, for example, if you're near a gun shop the protagonist could hear and see sound waves emanating from an adjacent shooting range.

Beacons could be another way 'GTA 6' could eliminate its mini map.Ubisoft

The same thing could be done for smell, like if the protagonist smells a waft of weed in the air and has to track down the source. Thanks to the newly added adaptive triggers and improved haptic feedback on the DualSense PS5 controller, Rockstar could also experiment with feel. For example, if the protagonist walks over a loose manhole cover the DualSense could vibrate a little differently to let the player know a secret sewage area can be explored.

There are plenty of more nuanced details that Rockstar could experiment with to move away from traditional maps and quest icons that could make GTA 6 feel like a monumental leap from any other installment in the franchise.

GTA 6 is in early development.

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