When GTA 3 came out, there was no need for an explanation of the open-world format--the idea was fresh, new, and exciting in and of itself. Now, open-world games have been done to death. Rockstar should change the game in a way that brings significance back to the concept. For as beautiful as GTA 5’s San Andreas is, a lot of the trappings that come with an open-world design are no longer necessary to achieve what Rockstar is going for, in terms of gameplay or storytelling.
Take, for example, the mission design: GTA 5’s heists go a long way in finally providing a great use of the open world in gameplay terms, but there are still plenty of missions that involve, say, shoot-outs in uninspired locations or prolonged driving trips across the city. They feel unnecessary and old, and in a game like this, it seems odd that Rockstar would still resort to padding out game time with uninteresting gameplay just to give you something to do.