I have a confession, I can be a bit of a sheep when it comes to games, I tell myself I won’t be buying something and within three days of release I buy it anyway.
Nothing proves this point more than Grand Theft Auto V. I loved GTA 3 and San Andreas but IV left me cold, it was too long and drawn out and I loathed the characters so I promised myself I wouldn’t buy V and guess what? Yes, dear reader you’re right, I ended up buying it within a week of it coming out and guess what else? I don’t like it!
Now I’m guessing you’re in a bit of shock right now “he doesn’t like GTA V, everyone loves GTA V, he’s either jesting or insane!” but it’s true, I am the one person in the world who finds the whole thing as tedious as you can get in a game, please though let me explain why.
For one thing, I struggle these days to enjoy games when the characters are such b#@tards, perhaps because I’m older and a parent but I want a little more from my characters. John Marsden from Rockstar North’s Red Dead Redemption was such a joy to play because he was such a likeable chap; same with Joel from the Last of Us, but Trever? I don’t think so. It’s not the violence either; I loved the Last of Us and that game features a teenage girl who stabs people in the neck so I’m hardly put off by the odd drive by.
Rockstar North have also made the game huge, woo hoo, but let me tell you this, size is not everything, trust me on that one, and the sheer scale of GTA V is both overwhelming and disappointing, yeah they’ve made it enormous but most of it is miles and miles of nothing or buildings you can’t get into, so really it’s just filler and I don’t want to spend my now premium gaming time spending fifteen minutes driving from one point to another to set up a mission to then do it all again if I fail, sorry, but boring.
The game is also maddening with its side quests, you hear someone scream as you’re driving about trying to start a mission, so you stop, get out and go to their aid but half the time you’ve missed the chance because you’re two seconds too late; thanks for that.
My final point about the game is why make it so big with so many NPCs if you can’t really engage with any of them? Most of the people just wander about and there doesn’t seem to be any way that you can get involved with them, not unless Rockstar want you to and that’s not really sandbox for me, which is a shame because I really wanted to love the game but I just don’t.
I do have high hopes for the online version, I love the idea that I’ll be able to hook up with my friends and rob banks and hoodwink rascals (I think) and perhaps even foil others in their attempts to be criminal masterminds but not if I have to drive ten miles to do it.