Grand Theft Auto 6 Can Make Melee No Longer Useless

Grand Theft Auto 6 Can Make Melee No Longer Useless

In Grand Theft Auto, violence is as common to the series as controversy. Although they may not be as gory as something like Mortal Kombat, a gunfight happens almost every mission, and the player character is required to leave a trail of bodies in their wake. But if there’s one major change that could be made in Grand Theft Auto 6, it’s a much better melee combat system compared to previous games.

Although Grand Theft Auto has plenty of exciting missions, melee combat only shows up a handful of times in each game, and it usually feels like an obstacle rather than a feature. Better melee is an opportunity that GTA has missed out on repeatedly, and it’s the most obvious mechanic GTA 6 can fix.


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Grand Theft Auto 6 Should Fix The Clunky Pace Of GTA’s Melee

Screenshot from the GTA IV expansion The Lost and Damned.

Since almost every mission in the Grand Theft Auto series erupts into violence at some point, the game’s combat mechanics should be finely polished because the player is going to get a lot of use from them. Although gunplay has remained consistently functional, melee combat always feels like an afterthought, both in usefulness and functionality.

In the Grand Theft Auto games, melee combat is almost always slow and clunky, and somehow seems to exaggerate these qualities in moments where the player is forced to use it, similar to GTA: San Andreas‘ Supply Lines mission and its aircraft controls. It often shows up early in games before the player has ready access to guns, implying it’s best used as an early-game option only. That the player can buy more expensive melee weapons suggests otherwise, however. Unfortunately, though, melee is simply too slow to use against enemies with guns, and awkward in forced melee segments, leaving it without a useful niche in-game despite some GTA titles offering a selection of melee weapons.

Melee may be a common mechanic in the Grand Theft Auto titles, but it has never managed to be useful. Between awkward timing and slow attacks, it almost never feels worth the effort of getting in close for combat, not even when the game requires it. It virtually always feels like the worst option available, so GTA has never given players any reason to expect anything from it without some serious upgrades. While Rockstar is making improvements in writing women, it could also take steps to do the same with the games’ melee system.

GTA 6 Should Give Players A Reason To Use Melee

Trevor from Grand Theft Auto 5, looking angry.

Outside of very few circumstances, attempting melee in Grand Theft Auto is pointless unless the player is deliberately trying to challenge themselves. When virtually every enemy has a gun, trying to get in close necessitates taking plenty of damage in return. Even if the player were to do so, melee offers no perks that wouldn’t make shooting the enemy anyway more efficient. In order to make melee combat less useless, GTA 6 should introduce some perks to make it worthwhile.

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One idea could be to give melee weapons traits that would make them worth equipping. For example, a baseball bat or crowbar could knock down enemies, letting the player temporarily neutralize a threat or go for a guaranteed kill. While revelations thus far about GTA 6 haven’t included such things, they would be a valid feature to hope for. Likewise, GTA 6 should add a few situations with enemies who don’t have guns, giving players more reasons to experiment with melee. For example, a mission could take place in an area where gunshots would set off an alarm, so they need to either stealth-kill enemies or fight them quietly in order to make it through.

Making melee weapons more useful would be one of the best ways to make players consider using them in Grand Theft Auto 6. If the player can gain a definite benefit from fighting in melee, then the game’s options open up further, which is exactly what a sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto should do in the first place. GTA 6 will be different from past games, and hopefully, better melee options will be a part of that.

Other Sandbox Games Are Far Ahead Of GTA Regarding Melee Combat

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition Combat Better Than GTA 5

One thing that should encourage Rockstar to make improvements to Grand Theft Auto 6‘s melee mechanics is the fact that its competitors in the genre are already leaps and bounds ahead of them. While Grand Theft Auto fails to impress time and time again in its combat, other games have proven that melee fighting can mix well with sandbox-style gameplay. GTA needs a niche for its melee combat, and it may be worth looking at other games to see the possibilities.

Watch Dogs: Legion is a much more slow-paced game than GTA, but its melee mechanics are quick and responsive, with the helpful addition of instant knockouts from behind. Another example is the most polished GTA clone, Sleeping Dogs, which was more or less entirely built around its melee combat, featuring plenty of combos, grapple moves, and environmental finishers. Even Saints’ Row, which didn’t stand out much in terms of melee either, at least has fast, satisfying melee attacks as well as running takedowns. Each of these games has something special about its melee combat that makes it worth trying. In comparison, GTA‘s melee is weak and unsatisfying.

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Despite being the biggest sandbox series in gaming, Grand Theft Auto‘s melee is far and away the weakest among its peers. Even with combat being a major part of every game in the series, it feels like melee never got any real development. With other games in the genre managing to make melee feel satisfying and distinctive, Grand Theft Auto has no excuse to not do the same. GTA 6 can learn from other sandbox games and find its own flavor of melee combat.

Melee has been one of the weakest aspects of nearly every Grand Theft Auto game in the series. Despite each game adding more content than the last, melee has never improved in any notable fashion, continuing to be a disappointing weak link. Grand Theft Auto 6 needs to finally give the series’ melee combat some identity, lest it continue as the series’ biggest disappointment.

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Source: Rockstar/YouTube