Take a trip into the virtual city of Los Santos, an almost perfect replica of Los Angeles. Play through the story as not one, not two, but three F**ked up criminals who enjoy life on the edge.
Grand Theft Auto games aren’t immensely challenging – the game is designed to basically serve up an entire city as your own personal playground, so long as you don’t mind stealing cars all the time and murdering every person in sight. But some people like to add a little challenge spice to the GTA stew by doing the impossible – actually following the law. No stealing cars, no murdering civilians, and – hell – even obey the traffic lights. It ain’t always easy, but you’ll appreciate what you got a whole lot more when you aren’t punching a guy out of his own car to get it.
Half the point of GTA games is that there is no point. They’re referred to as ‘sandbox games’ for a reason – it’s a huge sandbox designed to let you do whatever you want in it. And, for a lot of people, ‘whatever you want’ happens to be ‘make a huge mess of things’ – just like kids in an actual sandbox, except with rocket launchers and a sociopathic disregard for all life.
The real fun of GTA often comes in trying to wiggle your way out of the noose the cops are tightening around your neck. 2 stars turns to 6 stars quickly, and suddenly there’s practically an entire army hunting some low-level criminal (who does happen to have a pretty impressive arsenal in his pockets). The question is – can you escape? Can you get out of their radius for the requisite 30 seconds so that the cops can drop the 57 counts of homicide and move on to more important matters, like accidentally bumping into random cars on the road? It’s like being Houdini, if Houdini was a mass-murdering psychopath with a penchant for stealing helicopters.
Listen, there’s definitely an actual structured game lurking within every GTA game. There’s all kinds of dialogue and character interactions and missions for you to follow. Some of them are even sorta fun (some of the time). But a lot of it is tedious. Tedious and boring, especially compared to what you COULD be doing instead (blowing up things and getting into high speed chases and literally everything else). Yet there are still people who want to complete every mission and actually work their way through the storyline, no matter how many RC copters you have to navigate or how many trains you have to follow at just the right distance. And frankly, these people are the true nutjobs, not the ones who shoot up civilians for no reason.
Someone at Rare must have infiltrated the Rockstar offices at some point during the development of San Andreas, because from that point on, the games could easily be confused as some kind of Quentin Tarantino version of Banjo-Kazooie. There were packages, tags, oysters, horseshoes, and more to be collected throughout the various regions of the game. It was scaled back to (mostly) just pigeons in GTA IV, but the virtual equivalent to stamp collecting now goes hand in hand with the murderous impulses of everything else in GTA games from now on – and that’s not even including all of the cars, properties, achievements, and miscellaneous other things you can collect and categorize.
Hell, it might be more surprising if stamp collecting ISN’T a feature in GTA V.
One of the best things about GTA games is how much detail goes into them. Every nook and cranny has something interesting about it, which makes a lot of the fun of each game just exploring whatever sprawling metropolis you happen to find yourself in (and then covering it in blood and bullets). There’s a reason GTA V cost (an estimated) $265 million dollars to make – building the huge world of Los Santos and filling it with detail doesn’t come cheap, especially when you can’t just beat up pedestrians and collect their ominous glowing, floating money.
GTA is not The Sims, despite what GTA San Andreas and IV would have you believe. But, in an attempt to give you yet another thing to do in these massive games, Rockstar decided to let you start dating and forming relationships with friends and potential Hot Coffee-participators alike – relationships that had to be maintained, by taking a break from your usual bouts of nihilistic carnage to go bowling or to a bar. For some, this is an important aspect of the GTA games. For everyone else, please someone tell me how to destroy this stupid fucking cellphone.
GTA games aren’t all about gratuitous levels of crime, sex, and unspeakable violence – I mean, they totally are, but they also have some minigames you can play every now and then to convince your mom that the game’s actually about bowling or rescuing sick people in an ambulance (then go back to the crime/sex/violence stuff the second she leaves the room). Maybe you want a game that’s a fire fighter/ambulance driver simulator with some fun sports and activities to do on the side, and your best option just happens to be a game that most people play as the unholy lovechild of Rambo and Dexter.
Video games are weird. Sometimes they work like they’re supposed to, then sometimes there’s like a glitch in the system or something and you end up losing to a 10-year-old in Morocco who can’t even do long division.
It’s not like you think you’re the best gamer in the world, it’s just no one has actually beaten you fair and square yet. No, based on the feedback you’ve so generously offered every time some poser steals a win against you in some worthless piece of trash game you swear you don’t even really care about, it’s pretty clear there are really only five reasons you’ve ever lost:
Sure, you could just run the same play over and over again like that guy that just whooped your ass in Madden, or snipe from that perfect hiding spot all game like that kid that just killed you thirty times in a row in Call of Duty, but how lame is that? So lame that if it were a movie it’d be one you stop on when you’re browsing Netflix just to laugh about how much it sucks? Exactly.
And that’s the reason you lost, not because you weren’t skilled enough to stop your opponent. Please. It’s because you chose not to stoop to their level. Ever heard of a little thing called “class?”
Sure you lost, but it was the first time you’d played in over a week, what do you expect? You were rusty. Plus you weren’t even your usual team, or you were using a different gun or whatever, and you tried this new strategy that you seriously like never use. Plus you were distracted because your phone kept blowing up and you were sitting in a different chair than normal and there was a glare from the kitchen and pretty much everything about that game just seemed a little off.
Granted, a loss is a loss, this one just happens to come with an asterisk. Let’s see that same chump beat you after you’ve had a chance to warm up first.
Then it’s game on.
Obviously you get a free pass for sucking at video games if you’ve been pounding Milwaukee’s Beast with your brozers all night before you play, everyone knows that. It’s not like alcohol is going to make you better at controlling an avatar on a TV screen, now is it? Of course not. It’s not like poker or something. This isn’t bowling. It’s hand-eye coordination in its purest form, something the whole point of drinking alcohol in the first place is to specifically try and disrupt.
Who cares if you lost eighteen games of Battlefield last night? If you were too insanely slosh-faced to remember, it never even happened brah!
Funny how even with all the incredible advances in technology, they still can’t make a goddamn video game controller where the stupid buttons just do what they’re supposed to every time, can they? How the hell are you supposed to compete when the game can’t even interpret your commands? Let alone the fact the cheap ass they matched you up against had an internet connection so shoddy you had to play the whole game in slow-motion. Go figure.
Let’s face it:
Michael Jordan FERNANDO TORRES is just another basketball FOOTBALL player if you make him pass the ball every time he tries to shoot. Why should you be any different?
Turns out it’s pretty tough to pull off a victory when the video game gods decide they’re going to just hand the game over to your opponent right at the end. Who knew?
Clearly it’s not your opponent’s fault, so it’s not like you’re immature enough to take out your frustration by yelling at him through your TV screen like a crazy person even though you know he can’t hear you or anything, but it is annoying. Apparently the computer just felt the Jaguars deserved to win this game, so that’s why it let Blaine Gabbert complete a Hail Mary for a game-winning touchdown as time expired even though Peyton Manning hasn’t gone five plays without an interception all game. Because that’s totally how that situation would play out in real life.
Not like those same twists of fate ever swing in your favor or anything. No, when you randomly heave a grenade across the board and end up killing three opponents you had no idea were even in the area for a stat-boosting triple kill of doom, for example, that’s not luck.
That’s skill, baby.
- Learn How to Philosophize via Video Game (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)
- I Haven’t Owned A PlayStation In 8 Years – Then I Spent A Weekend With A PS4 (embargozone.com)
- The Video Game Childhood and Why Parents Shouldn’t Fear It! (mukeshbalani.wordpress.com)
- Game over – You lost! (tobolds.blogspot.com)