It’s here. The Second Coming. The Happening. The Rapture.
GTA V. Here at last. Grab a pew, roll a blunt and prepare for the most exhilarating ride of your life.
The average man will see 27,375 days before shitting his pants and dying. He’ll live through birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and christenings. None will be as special as 17/11/13 however. None will be remembered as fondly in years to come. Tuesday 17th September was the day when the transition finally happened. It’s the date when we officially went from half digital (immersed in smartphones, smartwatches and Google Glass) to full digital. Because from the moment you step inside the world of Los Santos, you can wave goodbye to the existence you laughably once referred to as ‘real life’.
Pets, jobs, partners, responsibilities? Aye, they can all get to fuck.
That was then. This is now and you’ve got a new life to be getting on with. Three lives in fact, for GTA V allows you to switch between Michael, Franklin and Trevor at the push of a button. (The D-pad to be precise.) Three lives filled with pets, jobs, partners, responsibilities and…what was it again? Ah yes, ULTRA VIOLENCE.
The first rule about sequels is that everything has to be bigger. Bigger, better and more badass. If Spinal Tap was to be remade today, you can bet the amps would go up to 12. How do you improve on a game as great as GTA IV? Simple: you give the public what they want – more of everything.
Moar explosions, moar titties, moar N-bombs, moar gore.
Awesome as these ingredients are, they do not automatically make for an awesome game. After all, Hollywood’s been CGI-ing chebs and explosions into movies for years and yet they keep getting shitter.
Thankfully, GTA V is nothing like Hollywood. It’s not different because it’s a video game. It’s different because it doesn’t suck. It doesn’t suck because it gives you something that Hollywood can’t: it gives you a plot. And three-dimensional characters. And dialogue you can believe in. Jokes you can laugh at. Violence you can revel in. Or fap to, depending on your mood.
Hell, GTA V even gives you the ability to be a dog so you can sniff out other dogs and fuck them. In the ass. That never happened in Bolt.
GTA V review
Let’s get one thing out of the way: it’s impossible to review this game without using the word epic, so let’s just say it now: GTA V is epic. In fact it’s Epic. No, fuck that, it’s EPIC. It’s EPIC TIMES A MILLION.
But this piece isn’t about sucking GTA’s dick, great as it admittedly tastes. Sure, the game is as epic as a black panther riding a manatee into the hydrogen sea of Jupiter while wearing papal robes and a fedora. But there’s no point in stating the obvious, because you already know that GTA is mind-blowingly epic.
There are two types of people reading this review: those who have yet to buy GTA V and those who are agitatedly killing time in between checking the doormat for the goddamn postman to deliver.
If you’ve already unwrapped yours, pinned the map of Los Santos & Blaine County to the wall and gone full digital, you won’t be reading this shit. You’ll be playing GTA V. For those who’ve yet to experience the righteous gameplay however this review can serve as a spoiler-free taster of the spaghetti fest that awaits.
I know it’s good. You know it’s good. So instead of expending pages on its smooth rendering, subtle textures and immersive environment, let’s skip the ball-fondling and cut to the punchline:
GTA V is great. It’s all the things you wanted it to be. But….
(cos there’s always a but)
If you are serious about tackling this game (and let’s face it, no one ever dived into GTA half-heartedly), there’s something you should know…
GTA V: A Warning
This game will suck you in. It will steal your life. You will lose your job. You will lose your girlfriend. And the best bit? You won’t even care. Cos you’ll be playing GTA V. Screw the cat. It can feed itself. Food? Domino’s. Toilet breaks? Piss bottles. Sleep? Sleep is for losers. Grab a lump of base from Silk Road. It’s not like there’s anything else you can spend those bitcoins on.
With most games, it’s possible to cram in playing time whilst still masquerading as a semi-responsible adult in real life. With GTA V, that’s simply not possible. It’s not that you want to neglect your loved ones; it’s just that GTA V takes priority. The game is a demanding mistress – even more demanding than the one who’s currently bombarding you with unrequited texts and unanswered calls.
“You’re a dick.”
“I’m coming for my stuff.”
“ANSWER THE GODDAMN DOOR. I KNOW YOU’RE IN. I CAN HEAR YOU PLAYING THAT STUPID GAME!”
Girls don’t understand. For some reason, they fail to grasp the level of commitment it takes to play GTA V. For starters, you’ve gotta look after three guys. Dress them. Feed them. Sate the throbbing in their loins with a quick nosh behind a dumpster.
But it doesn’t just end there. With each character, there are complex business and personal relationships to maintain. You have your own smartphone complete with apps to download in the game. You have your own social media profile – in the game. There’s food to eat, shots to down, hair to style and strippers to fondle – in the game.
Upon completion of the game’s 69 missions, players ought to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement. They should receive a Man of the Year award. A promissory note guaranteeing six months’ paid paternity leave. Cos if you can keep Trevor alive, you’re more than qualified for anything the real world may throw at you. Unplanned kids. Unwatered plants. Unfulfilled girlfriends.
Think my gf might have dumped me for playing GTA V but I'm too busy playing GTA V to check.
— Ed Uncovered (@whisperednothin) September 19, 2013
You text your real life girlfriend to say you’ve had a haircut and gone to work and you don’t even realise you’re lying. You didn’t do those things – Trevor did. But you are Trevor, cos you’re certainly not that guy who goes to work and gets his hair cut in real life – not any more.
You will get lost in this game. Like, hopelessly immersed in it. Blunted on weed and melted by the pretty cityscape. So far down the rabbit hole you become convinced that all life is just a dream and that you’re playing a dream game within a dream, and if life is a dream then your boss can go fuck himself.
If this review comes across as overtly
mysoginistic masculine by the way that’s because GTA V is that kind of game. It’s a man’s wet dream, a blokeish adventure played out by a triumvirate of alpha males, its missions crammed with testosterone-fuelled activities: Exploding shit. Headbutting shit. Piecing shit.
For whatever reason, girls don’t seem to get GTA. Check the pictures of queues snaking around the block on release day; it’s like a post-apocalyptic world in which only Y chromosomes have survived. Hundreds of sweaty-palmed neckbeards and not a girl in sight.
With GTA having claimed half the population, a new type of woman has emerged: the GTA widow. As mournful status updates and texts reveal, a significant number of women are extremely pissed at being dumped for a stupid computer game.
The Bud Index
Womankind’s loss is the marijuana industry’s gain, as our back-of-a-napkin sums show. A friend of a friend of a friend of ours reported unusually high weed sales on Tuesday. On the same day that GTA V was shifting by the fuck-ton, our friend’s friend’s friend shifted a fuck-ton of bud. Intrigued by this, we determined to work out how much weed was blazed in Edinburgh during the game’s first 24 hours.
- GTA V first day sales in the UK: 1.57 million
- Number of sales in Edinburgh: 13,000. (UK population – 63.2 million – divided by population of Edinburgh (495k) = 12,362, rounded up to 13k because this is Edinburgh after all, the home of Rockstar North, a city with a hard-on for GTA.)
- Gaming website IGN.com polled 11,000 gamers, 46% of whom said they’d booked Tuesday off work to play GTA V. We’re going to hazard a guess that 100% of them were stoners which, scaled to Edinburgh, means 6,000 gamers blazing zoots while they clocked up their first 24 hours on GTA V.
- If each of those gamers smoked an eighth in the first day, that equates to 750 ounces, or 21 kilos of weed or 100k in cash.
- £100,000 of bud, up in smoke. And that’s just in one day. In one city. In one country.
GTA V doesn’t cause people to act violently in real life. It just causes them to give all their money to drug dealers. And that’s OK, because drug dealers are the fabric of society and deserve generous remuneration for their efforts in sedating us and insulating us from the harsh realities of life. The life we used to have, in the long long ago. Pre GTA V.
GTA V review (finally)
At this point, you’ve probably given up hope of any semblance of a review materialising. And you’d be right to; if you want the lowdown on character development and sniping techniques, check the links at the bottom of this article. In the interests of being awkward, I’ve decided to use the words of others to assess GTA V. What follows is a review in quotes: a series of soundbites taken from the utterances of EU’s gaming partners. While they played, I recorded their proclamations of wonder (an underhand technique first deployed in EU’s Day Z review).
- “The dog’s banging other dudes. The dog’s a faggot!” – Ben.
- “Look at that sky…holy shit that’s amazing. Can fap to that.” – Ravi.
- “Holy mother of fuck that’s insane. Ooft. Oosht.” – Ravi, watching Michael swim.
- “Press R to lean in for a better view. Aye get her over here.” – Ravi, encouraging Ben to summon a stripper.
- “Look at that mountain – Ooh soor.” – Ben.
- “Wow. That’s bad.” – Ravi, surveying a corpse Ben’s just riddled with bullets. “That’s really bad…rape him.”
- “This is huge. Utterly huge. It’s beautiful.” – Ravi.
- “Ka-ching” – the till, indicating that another in-game acquisition has been made. Ben’s just bought an aircraft hangar to engage in drug-trafficking side missions.
- Ravi: “How much was that?”
- Ben: “150,000.”
- Ravi: “How much did we have?”
- Ben: “153,000.”
- “Let’s get some bitches. Nah, I’ma get some P’s” – Ravi, proving that playing GTA V turns you into a straight up wigga.
Bet there's a load o crackas dropping the N-bomb in the comfort of they own homes tonite. #GTAV
— Ed Uncovered (@whisperednothin) September 17, 2013
- “Man, you’re back in the hood like you were in San Andreas. It’s good. It brings back those feels” – Ravi, feeling those feels.
- “Shit’s pretty real” – Ravi, suddenly struck by the realness of shit.
- “Oh no – haggis on my GTA map” – Ravi, wiping away pizza topping from his real life map.
- “Aw mate – get a dip o the HP” – Ravi, after going Full Ramsay and adding a dollop of HP sauce to the pizza.
- “That’s an extremely tasty pizza – bash in” – Ravi. Of course.
- “She a skanky hood rat” – Me, critically surveying Tonya, the girl Franklin is escorting.
- Ravi: “Would bang.”
- “I hate GTA 5… or 6, or whatever number it is” – My gf, getting rustled.
One day we’ll look back at GTA V and laugh at the notion that we could ever get so animated by a video game. Probably because we’ll be sitting smugly with our copy of GTA VI. As it stands, however, GTA V is The Best Thing That’s Happening in Your Life Right Now. It’ll fill the void left by Breaking Bad and entertain you for the next six months (cos even when you complete the missions there are still hookers to kill and lulz to have.) Then, when it’s finally done and you’ve maxed out every last drop of enjoyment, you’ll emerge blinking into the sunlight, ready to pick up the pieces of whatever remains of your former life.
Moar GTA V
IGN.com GTA V review
GTA V missions and walkthrough – including cheats
GTA V first 30 missions video guide
GTA V’s Scottish connection
GTA V Easter eggs and secrets