The Top 7... things Grand Theft Auto IV needs

The official trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV is only a few days away as of this writing, and publisher Rockstar has promised that it won't just be some infuriatingly quick teaser. Instead, it'll offer up the first substantial look into what the game is all about, and internet speculation over what that might be has kicked the rumor mill into high gear.

We've got our own theories on what the game might be like, ranging from a futuristic dystopia with flying cars to a college-crime romp starring Bully's Jimmy Hopkins, but that's just idle speculation. Whatever the trailer brings, though, there are certain things the game will simply need to do if it's going to be the quantum leap promised by that big Roman numeral. It's been a while since GTA: San Andreas hit, after all, and since then several of the series' imitators have made improvements on its aging formula. In the interest of keeping GTA fresh and relevant, here's what we suggest:

7. Better aiming

This one's the obvious no-brainer. Everyone hates the aiming in GTA. Everyone. Even dogs hate the aiming, and when dogs look at TVs they just see indistinct gray blobs drifting around. Ever since 2001's GTAIII, getting into gunfights has been a headache, thanks to a targeting system has a habit of locking onto harmless pedestrians while ignoring the heavily armed gang-bangers riddling you with bullets.

Enough is enough. We enjoy harming little old ladies as much as anyone, but when angry lumps of raw firepower come looking for you, your aim needs priorities. Improvements have been made in recent games, and Rockstar tried to get around the problem by adding FPS-style aiming, but it's still not as elegant or responsive as this:

Above: C'mon, Rockstar, you can do this better than The Godfather

The Godfather practically perfected targeting - not only does it almost always lock onto gun-toting enemies before random civilians, but it gives players rapid, no-nonsense control over exactly where they want to shoot their enemies. Want to try for a disarm, so you can force them into a fistfight? How about an instant-kill headshot, or a debilitating bullet to the kneecap? GTA offers no such control, at least not without changing your aim style. But there's no reason it couldn't, and given that Godfather set this particular bar over a year ago, we fully expect GTAIV to vault right over it.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.