Grand Theft Auto is a game about extremely relatable characters doing bad things. Their dark side is much darker than our own, but their problems tend to be the same: loneliness, ambition, insecurity, etc. But it’s also about stealing cars and going fast and blowing stuff up. It’s a game that makes you want to be reckless, to go out of your way to ruin things. The mindset of “what happens if I do this?” was practically invented by Rockstar’s flagship franchise. When I’m walking down the street as a deranged psychopath and there’s a rocket launcher in my pocket, I’m going to shoot the gas truck that passes by, even if it’s counterproductive. That’s just the kind of game it is. It’s fun to be reckless and destructive and the game seems to have been designed with that in mind, in almost every way. I definitely think GTA meant to embrace that side of itself.
Why, then, am I dying so often? Any time I fall into any sort of groove and stop being as careful (read: the times I’m having the most fun), I get killed in seconds. More than that, why am I constantly, nearly every mission, having to reload a checkpoint because I didn’t do EXACTLY what the game wanted me to in that instant? Drive my car too close to Bean Machine? Mission Failed. Fired my silenced gun a single time at nothing? Mission failed. I didn’t do yoga properly with my jerk wife? Mission Failed. Five times. Why? Why mission failed? Nothing would have been different. I did it all and she still said I sucked.
GTA 5 prides itself on how immersive it is, on how much freedom you have, and how real the world feels. It seems weird to me that they would leave such an important part of player agency out of the game: choice. No, I don’t want GTA to have dialogue options. I mean the choice to fail. If I fail yoga, let me. If I spook the janitor, so what? Just please don’t make restart missions over and over.
I’m dying all the time, I’m constantly having to replay parts for almost no reason and the load times are too long, and Franklin keeps flying through my windshield and dying. I’m getting punished for driving recklessly in a damn GTA game!
I don’t know if my issues with the game are choices, development oversights, or they just plain ran out of time but the rest of the game seems so polished and this stuff is just so antithetical to what GTA is all about. The gameplay and story are better than ever, near perfect. I really love it, and it’s one of the best games of the generation. These issues aren’t nearly enough to darken such a fantastic game, but when something is this close to perfect it’s hard not to see its flaws.
What do you think? Are you having the same kind of problems or do you find yourself blessed with immortality? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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