Grand Theft Auto V set a new bar for open-world games with its incredibly realistic rendition of Los Angeles and a cast of deranged characters. Rockstar’s crime adventure has given gamers nearly endless options to let gamers feel like they’re actually a part of GTA 5’s chaotic universe. But there’s one Red Dead Redemption 2 feature that GTA 6 desperately needs to incorporate it in order to elevate the experience and make it more lifelike than ever before.
Rockstar should give GTA 6 its own eating system that influences a character's health and stamina like it did for Arthur Morgan in RDR 2. Food is nothing more than an afterthought in GTA 5, where the only option to grab a snack is at a convenient store while the many Burger Shot and Cluckin’ Bell joints across Los Santos are completely inaccessible.
Now that GTA 6 is reportedly in development, it’s time for Rockstar to rethink how GTA players relate to food, specifically allowing them to boost stats and change their appearance based on diet. Something similar was present in GTA: San Andreas, but a next-gen game should take things to the next level.
RDR 2’s eating system lets players maintain their base Health, Stamina, and Dead Eye gauges which would in-turn increase each stat’s regeneration rate. Eating too much or too little would also alter Arthur’s weight, which would also result in specific bonuses and drawbacks. For example, heavy players could take more hits, but slim players could run for longer distances.
GTA 6 could easily riff on this concept and let players have further control over how they want to play their character. But RDR 2 is all about survival and feeding Arthur with anything players can scrap together, while the GTA franchise is all about excess. To make GTA 6’s eating system fit the script, Rockstar could take some hints from Sega’s Yakuza 6: The Song of Life.
The PlayStation 4 exclusive has a highly intricate hunger system that lets players purchase different kinds of foods that each have their own status effects. Rockstar could rework this concept and make it so each of GTA 6’s restaurants serves specific types of food items that players need to seek if they want specific stat boosts.
An eating system like Yakuza 6’s would have been perfect for GTA 5, but the rumored scale of GTA 6 could take this concept to the next level. The unconfirmed but most circulated batch of GTA 6 rumors — the so-called “Project Americas” leaks — claimed it will take place across multiple cities.
The leaks stated that GTA 6 could be set in some of the franchise’s most iconic areas, like Liberty City and Vice City, as well as a handful of new Latin American-inspired locations. If that’s the case, Rockstar could make it so players can only get certain types of foods in specific locations or even have gamers hunt down a legendary food truck for a specific stat boost.
While this is all just speculation for now, the GTA franchise is no stranger to more intricate hunger systems. Eating was a necessity in GTA: San Andreas, where players had to feed the protagonist Carl once every 72 in-game hours or risk starving him. He would also gain weight if players overfed him, so a similar mechanic in GTA 6 seems feasible. San Andreas tracks fat level and muscle strength separately, so working out at a gym also influenced that stat progression of a character. Could a more enhanced version of that same system return in the next entry?
Let’s hope GTA 6 brings back a more refined version of eating in the next installment.
GTA 6 is reportedly in development.