Calling ‘time’ on GTA V

I really REALLY don’t like GTA V.  Before you go bananas and scream abuse, let me just get this straight: GTA V is a great game.  Everything about the production is absolutely top-notch.  The little details that the internet has collectively circle-jerked over are, admittedly, nothing short of jaw-dropping.  The voice acting for the most part is Hollywood blockbuster quality.  The graphics are stunning.  The gameplay improves on everything Rockstar has done in the past, and then some.  There is no debating that Rockstar have done a bang-up job with this game and it (for the most part) deserves every kilogram of praise lumped upon it by the enthusiast press and the general gaming populous. 

And I appreciate everything it does right.  The game itself plays like the GTA of your dreams did, with characters having a weight to them while still remaining agile and athletic, and cars having realistic-esque physics that don’t let that old chestnut inertia ruin every car chase through busy traffic.  Shooting received a similarly demonstrable facelift that finally brings GTA close to on par with where every other game has been for the past decade. Basically GTA V lives up to all of its promises, its lofty ambition and certainly is a worthy entry into a very versatile and ever-green popular series.

So why am I not enjoying GTA V?  If I can see how great the game is, why has my personal experience with the game largely been one of wanting a mission to end so I can turn the game off?  Every minute I spend with the game I am thinking about what other games I could be playing and the problem is the open-world structure of the game just doesn’t have the lure or the claws to grab me and hold my interest.  The characters are abhorrent, the story (from what I’ve experienced) contrived and the open world absolutely unnecessary.  Its presentation as a parody and satire is just constantly at odds with its attempts at presenting an edgy and adult piece of storytelling, resulting in something that comes across as either intentionally schizophrenic or just poorly planned.  These factors combined have resulted in a game that I not only am not enjoying, but began to actually actively hate spending time with.  Sure maybe its a time and place thing.  Maybe in three, six, twelves months I’ll change my tune and join the collective global orgasm over this great piece of interactive entertainment.

For now though  it is time to call ‘time’ on GTA V.  A great game.  A milestone.  A game I just didn’t enjoy very much.



  1. Interesting! I won’t rush out an spend my hard-earned cash on it just yet then…

    The last GTA game I played was Vice City (a shocking statistic, I know), and I’ve had San Andreas and Vice City Stories sat on my shelf for years now, waiting to be played. But I’m just not sure whether I’ll ever find the time to play them.

    Question: should I just ditch them and go straight to GTA V? Or is it worth delving back in time and giving them a go?

    1. Honestly I’d perhaps go straight to GTA V if you’re interested and dip your toes back into the older ones later if you feel the need. San Andreas is my personal fave, but I haven’t played it in years so I can’t comment on how it has held up. Vice City Stories was great and impressive as a PSP game, but not sure how it would fare as a console game these days.

      You have a DS so definitely play Chinatown Wars if you can pick it up cheap.

      And as a bonus quest I’ll tell you to play Red Dead Redemption because its great!

      1. Cool, I might just go straight to Red Dead Redemption, it sounds amazing. I’m getting stuck into The Last Story at the moment though, which is really good. Once that’s done, a trip to the Wild West might be in order…

      2. Good choice! Grab the Undead Nightmare expansion too – I ALMOST liked it more than the main game.

        I am yet to pick up The Last Story but I’ve heard its pretty spectacular. I still have Xenoblade Chronicles screaming at me to play it

      3. I really want to play Xenoblade Chronicles – it’s shot up in price now though. Still, once I finish The Last Story I might treat myself to a copy! Pandora’s Tower seems worth a look too – might as well play all of the Wii’s last great RPGs…

  2. Oh, and I downloaded Undead Nightmares in the Rockstar sale a few weeks back – I’ve heard it’s great!

  3. I’m taking my time (only at 25% completion so far), but am enjoying it mildly. A lot of the missions are rather boring or predictable, but I like watching the three protagonists interacting, especially Michael and Trevor.

    1. I agree on the mission thing, even though they are more multi-layered and interesting than previous games. That’s great that you enjoy the character interaction. I appreciate it, absolutely, but never really felt any sort of affinity toward the characters and found inconsistency in their motivation.

      The thing I loved about Red Dead was Marston seemed sincere in primary motivation and seemed to always feel bad if he had to do anything generally out of principle to get there.

  4. I was really fond of the older GTA games (by older, I mean III to San Andreas), because the missions were really quick, and the cities small, so it was never long to reach your destination. That’s what kills me about open world games nowadays. They are so focused on large environments which just means 80% of your time is spent going from point A to point B. The older GTAs didn’t have this problem, and on top of that, they had SIMPLE mission objects. Go here and kill this man. Ok, Done. Next mission: Go here and steal this car. No problem. Done. The simpler the objective, the more creative you can be when performing it as well. Scripted missions in open world games nowadays take away that fun of experimentation.

    1. Yeah post mortems of open world games like GTA aren’t favourable simply because the formula is so transparent. Drive, cutscene, mission, cutscene. When any one of those blows out timewise or is lacking in quality it’s even more obvious.

Leave a Reply