The heist update highlighted Rockstar's dogged determination and belief in their own ability to such a degree that they are willing to ignore popular demand for a speedy delivery in order to provide a product worthy of holding the Rockstar title. And the result is one that did not dissapoint although as with any game with such a fan base it is largely a pyrrhic victory since the heists have gamers, myself included, obsessed not with the update but with what comes next.
So what now?
Continuing the trend in GTA IV, Rockstar will now likely return to the story of Michael, Franklin and Trevor. Those who have finished the game will however see that this could cause a problem? How will they bypass the issue of multiple choice? Force a player to repeat the ending in a certain way to continue the arc as they see fit or add another character entirely?
I personally would like to see them include different characters as I struggled to connect with GTA V's protagonists. Lamar was a struggling two bit gangster with ambition which I enjoyed but lacked the emotional depth of his nearest comparison character, Niko. Furthermore, Niko was a haunted veteran of a genocidal war whose nihilistic view point captivated us because you repeatedly saw the emotional struggle he had and felt that he often struggled with his actions but was forced to in order to protect his family. Franklin on the other hand was a just a heartless repo man turned hitman who lacked a capacity to care. Michael suffered the same fault, willing to sacrifice his friends to pursue a retired life and his struggle was somewhat degraded due to our knowledge of what he really was. And Trevor. Human stew. And yet somehow still the most compelling character.
Those guys succeeded and I would like their arc to end (although not entirely) and instead bring in a multitude of new characters or even old ones. Who would not spend money in order to play as a trio of Niko, Tommy and CJ brought together in the world of GTA V?
Back from the dead
As I said before the multiple choice ending would make it difficult, but not impossible for the GTA V protagonist's story to continue. Red Dead Redemption is probably the best game Rockstar ever did (sorry Max Payne 3) and was made better with the addition of Undead Nightmare. Now I'm not sure if there is any evidence but I like to think that GTA and Red Dead exist in the same universe and I also believe that Texas will be the setting for the next game (see paragraph below) so it would make sense (if I am right) to link the two by including zombies created by the Aztec mask on GTA V. The possibilities are endless, Trevor unknowingly pulls off a heist which gets him the mask causing an outbreak of the undead and leaving Trevor, due to his cannibalistic tendencies, in a half zombified half human state while the others are forced to deal with undead ballas. Heists could continue but are now conducted for supplies and weapons to stay alive in the new world. Most importantly this would all the while allow dead characters to be revived in some form...
I really want a zombie expansion pack because the world of GTA V is rife to be turned into a post apocolyptic look at how such a vain society collapses in on itself. And as much as I did not bond with the characters in GTA V I certainly found them entertaining and having a part zombie Trevor in my mind is just the perfect way to expand his character into the trully bizare.
Finally, leave your comments on where you think the series will head next. LC and Vice City and the top contenders most likely but I'd like to see them go elsewhere, namely Texas/New Austin. I liked Los Santos but I particuarly liked the north side of the map for it's deserts and mountains but also the characters that lived there, namely rednecks and mercenaries. Texas would provide all of these settings and all of those characters and allow an emphasis on the drug trade down there and possibly include Mexico as a partial setting due to the connection with the cartels. Furthermore I would like Texas because GTA has become a politically charged satirical view of the world and where better for Rockstar to turn their attention to than Texas?
As a final point also include what characters you'd like in the next game? A femal character would be interesting. I'd like to see an undercover cop be a character who is forced to choose either the law or his new crew resulting in a different ending or to add a Trevor like character to the mix and bring in a mercenary from Merryweather with a personality to match and with a love of explosives.