GTA 5 Enhanced Proves GTA 6 Needs To Revamp Gunplay | Screen Rant

The new enhanced next-gen port of Grand Theft Auto 5 is pretty to look at, but aspects of its gameplay have started to age, with gunplay a particular area GTA 6 should improve on. The lack of maneuverability in GTA 5 can be a bit of an issue during combat, with Michael, Franklin, Trevor, and the player character in GTA Online often struggling to mount cover. Factor in some floaty firearm gameplay, which is a step down compared to Red Dead Redemption 2's snappy and more intuitive combat system, and shooting in GTA 5 can often prove to be frustrating. Given the series' focus on action, shooting mechanics in GTA 6 need to be much improved, and lean more into the gameplay of RDR2 instead of GTA 5.

The latest edition of GTA 5 brought a host of visual and performance upgrades to the game, which initially released in 2013 before being upgraded to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014. While the flashier graphics are a step-up and new DualSense features help make driving feel more immersive, the shortcomings of GTA 5's simplistic combat system have been laid bare by over nine years of industry innovation. The game is still stellar, but when compared to more recent third-person action titles - as well as Rockstar's own Red Dead Redemption 2GTA 5 feels lacking in comparison. Animations don't possess the same level of polish as RDR2, and even though there's a greater variety of weapons in GTA 5, none feel as unique or as fun to use.

Related: GTA 5 Next-Gen Review: Here We Go Again

While there isn't a shortage of exciting set-pieces in GTA 5, gunplay is simple and repetitive. Whereas targeting individual body parts in Red Dead Redemption 2 would lead to unique reactions from enemies - be that a neck shot causing an enemy to collapse and bleed out, or a hand shot causing them to drop their gun - enemies in GTA 5 all tend to react in the same way, ragdolling to the floor after taking shots to the body, before immediately getting back up. As with RDR2, the easiest way to dispatch enemies is to lock on and then move the cursor upward to get an instant headshot. However, because the guns employed by RDR2's Van der Linde Gang all varied greatly in performance, boasting different weapon spreads and fire rates, this didn't get repetitive. There were certainly versatile weapons in the game, such as the Lancaster repeater, but combat wasn't a simple process of aiming at an enemy and moving upward to get a headshot in every scenario.

As far as combat is concerned, GTA 6 needs to improve upon several elements of GTA 5. First off is weapon variety. Although GTA 5 featured a large arsenal for players to employ, these weapons varied little in application. Assault rifles behave similarly to SMGs, while handguns differ little apart from fire rate. The only truly unique weapons in GTA 5 are sniper rifles, as they lack auto-aim. In any case, GTA 6 needs to look at RDR2 and make sure that guns are varied. A greater variety of recoil patterns and fire rates would help differentiate assault rifles and SMGs, as would greater weapon customization in general.

On top of changing weapon behavior to be more in line with what was seen in Red Dead Redemption 2GTA 6 could also introduce a dual-wielding mechanic. The ability to wield two revolvers at once in RDR2 was a welcome change to gameplay, and implementing that same feature in GTA 6's more modern arsenal would maybe invoke memories of the sleek gunplay seen in Max Payne 3. Tweaks to both GTA 5's cover system and enemy AI could also mix up encounters; cover destruction in RDR2 encouraged players to move during combat, and enemies could also tackle Arthur Morgan or John Marston to the ground. Combat was scrappier and more intuitive, which was further enhanced by realistic enemy AI and bullet impact.

Removing the unrestricted weapon wheel of GTA 5 would also encourage more careful weapon selection, help an arsenal feel more unique, and prevent the player from becoming an overpowered jack-of-all-trades. Although RDR2 frequently over-equipped the player throughout its story, defaulting Arthur to wielding two primary weapons on top of two sidearms, the fact that every weapon wasn't instantly accessible did encourage greater patience in combat. Ultimately, for all that GTA 5 features an array of brilliant set-pieces, the sense of threat is diminished by the fact any of the three protagonists can produce a rocket launcher or minigun from their pocket. That's obviously a part of GTA's charming sandbox-style gameplay, but it can get boring if the player has answers for every encounter before they've even happened.

Related: Why Rockstar Waited So Long To Announce GTA 6

Changing the limitless weapon wheel wouldn't mean that GTA would have to remove its more indulgent weapons, however. By making cars more like RDR2's horses, GTA 6 could let the player maintain a mobile arsenal from their own personal car. Being confronted with an armored police vehicle or helicopter and having to make a dash for a vehicle to retrieve an RPG or grenade launcher could add an extra level of tension to gameplay. Likewise, being ambushed by an enemy with nothing but a sidearm could add further danger and threat to a given encounter - especially if, like in Red Dead Redemption 2, the player had been neglecting to clean their chosen firearm.

GTA 5 is still ultimately a great game, but its shooting mechanics can't compete with many of the other action titles that have released over the last decade - Red Dead Redemption 2 being one of them. Taking inspiration from both that game and Max Payne 3 would help GTA 6's shooting mechanics become a step-up over its predecessor, with a better cover system and weapon variety two key areas to focus on. Grand Theft Auto 5 is a classic open-world title, but if GTA 6 is going to take the series forward, weapon combat should be its top priority.

Next: What GTA 6's Release Date Could Be Now That It's Officially Confirmed

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