Grand Theft Auto V arrives this week amid much fan fare, acclaim and longing. Many gamers have been waiting for Rockstar North’s latest open world offering for months. Perhaps even years if you want to track back to the moment they finished GTA IV.
It is, to say the least, a major release in the gaming world.
But I don’t get it.
There is something about the GTA series which has never truly gripped me. San Andreas and GTA IV both had healthy runs in my disc tray; but neither took me to the lofty heights so many place the franchise at.
It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that I don’t like about the GTA games. It should have all of the ingredients which so often excite me. But I just find myself getting bored with it.
It has a huge open world; something that made me love Fallout 3, Skyrim et al.
It has qualities of the RPG and action adventure genres, perhaps not unlike another favourite of mine – Mass Effect.
You can lazily amble around the city or go head long in to a shoot out; providing food for any gaming mood as a result. You can race around in a high end sports car, take to the skies or cruise around aimlessly.
But it just doesn’t do it for me.
Part of the issue I had with GTA IV was that I found almost all of the characters so dislikable. Niko felt almost like a stereotype; whilst his irritating cousin, tedious ‘friends’ and annoying ‘love interests’ simply made things all the more of a turn off.
But in general, the franchise’s open worlds failed to inspire whilst ‘combat’ just grates on me after a few missions. Where the OTT world of Crackdown drew me in, GTA pushed me away and it’s weird quirks further alienated me – see the meme at the start of this blog for a prime example.
The fusion of ‘real world’ and ‘anything goes gaming world’ just doesn’t work for this humble human being.
So here I stand. The man in the minority; the gamer who doesn’t like GTA.
World – judge me as you will.