Give us ambient challenges, and drug-dealing
Aside from improved controls and a proper checkpoint system, there are other more interesting things we'd like GTA 5 to borrow from its predecessors. No doubt lots of people would like to see the game pinching the MotionScan technology used for LA Noire, but we're not so bothered about that. Those ultra-realistic faces work in a comparatively straight affair like Noire, but the satirical GTA could easily get away with the slightly more stylised look adopted by both the last game and Red Dead Redemption. As it stands, it looks as if the tech may make it in after all: the casting ads supposedly demanded headshot photos to accompany all applications, and it's hard to know why this would be important if the actors are only being commissioned for voiceover work.
If we're talking about features from older Rockstar games, we'd rather the devs pinched a couple of others: the drug-dealing mini-game from the wonderful GTA: Chinatown Wars. Even after we finished the main game, we spent ages zipping about the city, selling our illegal wares; an expanded take on this could be a major time sink. The original Dope Wars, on which the mode was based, was as addictive as the substances you were supposed to be selling, and this could be as equally compelling. Think online leaderboards, with worldwide glory for the most successful pushers. If Rockstar can work out a way of fitting the mechanics into the game's multiplayer modes, so much the better.
Finally, we'd also like the next GTA 5 to pinch the ambient challenges from Red Dead Redemption. They were an excellent way to encourage players to explore their environment, and they had a neat difficulty curve - starting off with simple feats, and eventually daring you to take down grizzly bears with nothing but a toothpick (well, a knife). For all the flak its taken over the years, GTA 4's in-game mobile phone was an impressive accomplishment; the big problem was that it tried to force you into doing things. The ambient challenges in Red Dead appealed to your gamer's ego, offering neat rewards for your persistence. GTA 5 would do well to copy this approach.