I fully acknowledge that this is probably 100% impossible, but hear me out.
What if we could take the Captain's hologram, remove the buzzy sound effects and holographic look, and make the Captain hologram look just like the actual Captain? So when you beam down it looks like you REALLY beamed down?
Taking it a step further. Assuming that's possible, what if we took some Creature stage files (Or GA adventure files, just something that allows fighting and socializing. Creature stage might be better tho, so my Captain could run around and eat things too...), you know, took those files and slapped 'em on the beam down feature? So you could bite and fight and socialize with the ground creatures. Of course, no nest or call mate button and such, but it'd be fun to still be mortal on the ground. As for when you die, it just cuts to the "spaceship destroyed" screen or something.
If any of this is possible at all, that'd be absolutely amazing... don't you think? Like GA without the storyline or a definite end to the adventure. Run around and fight that epic 1v1 instead of lasering it from the semi-safety of your ship.