PSA

Grand Theft Auto V

We want your questions about Grand Theft Auto V

By Matt Gerardi • September 17, 2013

You might have noticed that we have yet to publish a review of Grand Theft Auto V. It will have to wait until next week, but we want to give you all a little bit of Gameological perspective on this humongous game before launch week is out. We’re going to put together one of our patented (not really, but you better not steal it) Review Check-In videos with our critic in the field, Anthony John Agnello. That means we need your questions about the game. Anthony will answer our favorites, and we’ll have the results for you on Friday.

So, folks, what do you want to know about Grand Theft Auto V?

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  • Smilner

    Today is my wife’s birthday.  How much trouble am I going to be in when I walk in with a present for myself and nothing for her?

  • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

    wtf is Grad Theft Auto V lol

    • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

      Every time. This question. Even at E3.

  • Marozeph

    Does the game feature an annoying family member who wants to go bowling at every given opportunity?

  • GaryX

    How would you compare it with today’s other major, long-awaited release Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon?

    Bonus points for working in comparisons to other Pynchon books or contrasting and comparing with other authors, as well.

    • lokimotive

      An open world game set in The Zone from Gravity’s Rainbow would be amazing. Well… maybe not amazing, but interesting…

      • GaryX

        “Play as Byron the Bulb or the Kenosha Kid (but you never did)!”

        • lokimotive

          The collectibles are harmonicas.

  • Dr_Heinz_Doofenshmirtz

    Do any of the missions involve…uh…sleeping with the fishes?

    • NakedSnake

      Please, no. I just ate a whole plate of dingamagoo!

  • Unexpected Dave

    Which is more likely to make me ragequit:

    a) poor driving mechanics
    b) frustrating mission design
    c) misogynistic “humour”

    • huge_jacked_man

      So far a) and b) seem to be vastly improved, the car handling has found a nice middle ground between the brainless movie car physics of the PS2 games and the “every car weighs 3 tons and streets are made of gold” feel of GTA IV.

      There’s a nice amount of checkpoints during missions and those are more ambitious, think Three Leaf Clover from GTA IV.

      As for c) I cannot say yet because I’ve mostly been driving around, I don’t think a game or movie should be said to be endorsing misogyny or racism because the characters in it do but then again I scoffed at people saying Resident Evil 5 was racist because you killed black zombies in Africa and when I played it it had zombie tribesmen wearing straw skirts.

      • Unexpected Dave

        Misogynistic characters do not indicate a misogynistic creator. I totally agree. But it’s still exhausting to play characters who have despicable traits that don’t really advance the narrative. 

        • OphoLafto

          So it doesn’t advance the narrative because it doesn’t conform to your perfect little pc bubble? So every character throughout the history of fiction should be completely retconned so as to not puncture that bubble? What if Archie Bunker were the ideal family man? He could still fit within the sitcom plot structure but he would lose what made him tic as a human being. These are human beings. These are characters. These are not your mouthpieces.

          I’m reminded of a John Cleese quote whenever I see people like you show up: “But solemnity? It serves pomposity, and the self-important always know with some level of their consciousness that their egotism is going to be punctured by humor or anything deemed offensive — that’s why they see it as a threat. And so {they} dishonestly pretend that their deficiency makes their views more substantial, when it only makes them feel bigger.”

    • OphoLafto

      Improperly using buzzwords like ‘misogyny’ when discussing video games, as you have done, does not make you appeared cultured. And based on this comment I have a hard time believing you have given the game a go and are more reliant on outlets that are hard pressed to accuse everything of feminism nowadays. Take this attempt at an argument elsewhere. It is poisonous and really is a detriment to the video game landscape, your type who make false accusations in hopes of appearing enlightened.

      • Unexpected Dave

        Of course I haven’t played the game. That’s the entire point of this feature. It’s a question, not an accusation.

        And the reason that arguments about misogyny have been poisonous is because of the people who continue to ignore and deny it.  

  • http://thewickerscale.blogspot.com/ Charlotte Grote

    In case you think there is any fault of any kind in this game, do you have a bunker prepared for after when you post the review online?

    • MintBerry_Crunch

      The johnny boys will smell the parts that aren’t covered in GTA, and they will come, ready to tear everything down like so many wild hyenas. 

    • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

      Woah there Hitler

  • Carlton_Hungus

    Do the heist missions actually involve the A-Team like planning and preparation that some of the other reviews seem to suggest?  And are these “preparation missions” worthwhile or merely fetch quest appetizers prior to the main course.

    Also, do even the best planned heists just turn into the same old blasty-blasty missions no matter what?

    • Mike Mariano

      This is also my biggest question.  The only other review I read didn’t mention mission planning at all!

    • mizerock

      You forgot to add a winch to your custom van. Mission failed.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        My getaway car was towed because I forgot to feed the meter!

      • George_Liquor

        You forgot to love it when a plan comes together. Mission failed.

  • GaryX

    Q: How many Citizen Kane‘s of Video Games out of Seven Samurai would you give it?

    • SamECircle

      How do you pluralize that, anyway? “Citizens Kane of Video Games?” “Citizen Kane of Video Games’s?” 

      • GaryX

        I think maybe the former? My Elements of Style doesn’t have a section for this one.

    • Marozeph

      Isn’t it Vertigo‘s of Video Games now?

      • GaryX

        ^^^ LOL AT THIS FAKE AND GAY PHILISTINE NOOB. VERTIGO IS ONLY A 9.5/10 COMPARED TO THE MASTERFUL COMPLEXTY OF THEMES, TECHNICAL IN0VATION,, AND EMOTIONAL OWNAGE OF CITIZEN KANE’S 10.0. 

        LOL LIKE PARADUMPT COULD EVER MAKE SOMETHING AS AWESOME AS RKO PICTRES

        • http://thewickerscale.blogspot.com/ Charlotte Grote

          actuartly i fell as if i am forcced to disagreee with GArYx on tis one cause its like kaane useste chniques its claimed to havf pioneered lke dep focos butt relly ha febeen aroond fr loonger tehn that meanqwile vertigo haz this real scateching critic off the male gays hidden in hichcock’s subtext so i afraid i cant quit say tha kaane is to good actuarty butt reall y i liek À bout teh souffe beter anyway

        • Marozeph

          whoa there hitler / orson welles ghost

        • Chum Joely

          atucally athalawlu hlarha aera  aerha ar aerreagga

          (Reductio’ed all the way ad the absurdum. You’re welcome.)

        • GaryX

          @ChumJoely:disqus Actually, I’m pretty sure you’ve just summoned Cthulhu. 

        • Effigy_Power

          [indiscriminate primate grunting]

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          @Charlotte_Grote:disqus AAHaahh THEeee. French.

        • wafflesnsegways

          LOL KANE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE COLOR GRAPHICS

        • NakedSnake

          For the first time in a long while, the internet just caused me to Laugh Out Loud. Thank you sir.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    Does this game have the ease of foot travel that Sleeping Dogs’ running parkour system had?

    • MintBerry_Crunch

      Did you enjoy movement in Sleeping Dogs? The fights looked great, but I found Wei’s running to be some ungodly amalgam between something that looks like motion capture and “hand animated” baboonery. It didn’t look right. I fixate on these things.

      Also, most of the sections that allowed ample vertical traversal turned out to be set-pieces for missions, which means that movement didn’t feel particularly free or expressive.   

      I like it though!

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Yeah, most of the vertical sections were there specifically for missions, but a few were for collectibles instead.  (Climbing up a stack of shipping containers for a lockbox, for example.)

        I didn’t notice any animation issues in the movement, because I was just in love with being able to dodge through crowds, hurdle walls and grab/climb ledges.

        I’ve always been obsessed with the progression of games that allow “realistic” movement as much as possible.  If I’m in control of an athletic character who can’t figure out how to get over a waist-high wall, my immersion is broken instantly.  (Even with Sleeping Dogs I got frustrated in a couple of small spots where I was thinking “I should be able to reach that ledge!”  But overall the game did such a great job with it that I was willing to forgive an occasional issue.)

        Dying Light’s “zombie parkour sim” looks amazing to me, though the “zombies turn into supermutants at night and hunt you to the death” thing doesn’t sound as fun to me as “zombies find it much harder to track you at night” would be.

      • huge_jacked_man

        I played it right after Arkham City so the animation and movement felt stiff and a bit clunky throughout. Still one of the better open world games though. 

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          I have played the first five minutes of Arkham City.  (Started the game, and my daughter threw a tantrum five minutes later.)  One of these days I’ll get around to playing more of it, as I loved Arkham Asylum.

        • huge_jacked_man

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus I played through Asylum again recently and City is definitely better in every way. Make sure you play on Hard difficulty though or you can pretty much win the game by mashing X the whole time and will miss out on the fun new combat mechanics (disarm etc)

        • TaumpyTearrs

          @huge_jacked_man:disqus 
          I love the hell out of ARkham City’s combat, and sunk hours into the combat challenge levels, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to say it is bullshit that Batman is the only character who can disarm and then break a weapon. It doesn’t become to noticeable until some of the harder challenges, but it becomes damn near impossible to keep a combo flowing with Catwoman/Robin/Nightwing once there are like a dozen stun batons lying around for the thugs to keep picking up.

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    What does the G stand for?

    • LemLemoncloak

      The G stands for savinGs!

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    How are the radio stations in terms of quality (an opinion, I know) and variety?

    I felt like GTA IV really didn’t have much in terms of broad appeal but what I saw of the leaked soundtrack for V didn’t really wet my knickers.

  • MintBerry_Crunch

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-09-16-is-the-most-disturbing-scene-in-gta5-justified

    What in the sweet ever-loving-fuck cupcakes is wrong with you, videogames

    • Effigy_Power

      It looks ghoulish, but then if this was a John Woo movie with Chow Yun Fat in it, people might see it differently. Or wouldn’t they? I am just wondering if it’s especially heinous looking because “vidyagaym”…

      • MintBerry_Crunch

        It’s heinous because vidyagaym commentators! 

      • NakedSnake

        As far as torture goes in movies vs video games, I think it all depends on context. Agency matters in interpreting your feelings. If the villain of a movie is torturing the hero, I feel mostly anger, but there’s no “blood” on my hands, even if it’s a movie like Hostel. But if the protagonist is torturing a villain (i.e. Taken), I’ll feel a certain sense of unease, like there is something I could do to put a stop to the situation. If a villain tortures the protagonist in a video game, I feel nothing, because in video games I am invulnerable. It just provides moral context. But if the protagonist of a video game commits torture (or otherwise engages in disturbingly asocial violence), I’ll feel profound angst. It’s absolutely within my power to prevent this pain, but instead I’m doing the opposite.

        • Morning_Wodehouse

          That a great explanation of how I felt during the sequence. It’s awful…..

          SPOILERS!!

          The longer it went on the worse it got. You need to keep pumping this guy for information – and for some weird reason they give you an achievement if you use all of the torture tools.

          They try to add some context to the whole thing by having Trevor – the one who does all this torture – escape with the victim and drive him to the airport while moralizing that torture is wrong and never works.

          He even adds this whole “torture is okay when it’s used for sexual gratification between two people” bent to the conversation that makes the whole thing even more disgusting.

      • Simon Jones

        I think the latter is a genuine issue in how we talk about Video Games. When we do start talking about how they’re problematic, we start applying a moral standard to them that we don’t apply to any other form of media. 

        I honestly blame the terribleness of the debate on it being a relatively young medium and the grown ups having not shown up yet.

        • NakedSnake

          Watching a Michael Haenke movie makes me feel pretty sick inside, too.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      This is kind of a hugely annoying thing for me. Like obviously this game is pretty good or whatever. Rockstar generally aspires to make narratives about stuff and all that, but then you also have to worst aspects of gamebro culture. “Haha, rad i’m going to torture a guy! LOL!” 

      Like holy fuck. these are the same dudes who say videogame violence is harmless. There is no way it’s fully healthy to immerse yourself in that shit all the time and cheer about it. Or, y’know make violent threats at people who say that maybe videogames can have a negative affect on people.

      • MintBerry_Crunch

        A passage from a New Yorker article if you don’t mind:
        “It’s difficult to believe that a hundred years from now historians are going to say, “America had a terrible curse of gun violence. It also had entertainments of all kinds, which depended on the use and glorification and a fetishization of guns, but these two things had no connection. They ran on completely different cultural circuits.”

        You can trade “gun” with things in your imagination you’ve seen.

        I know it’s just a medium, a vehicle, but Christ, no other medium concentrates so much of the gruesome imagery without a shred of responsibility for what’s being shown. And this is as big and mainstream as videogames get.

        So on some level, it totally bothers me when people (and young’uns) enjoy this stuff without having open discussions or being repulsed on some level. This ain’t fucking Pong. You should really start to look like a bit of a lunatic describing your GTA experience.

        • huge_jacked_man

          Games are increasingly used to tell stories.

          Just because you are given some agency in that specific sequence doesn’t mean you are meant to endorse the actions depicted, much like Spec Ops: The Line doesn’t expect you to cheer at having burned countless civilians to death with white phosphorus, or MW2 to celebrate the mowing down of hundreds in an airport. In fact the opposite is true.

          It’s idiotic to pretend actions taken by a fictional character consist of an endorsement of said actions. We can make that distinction with every other form of media but god forbid we talk about videogames with at least the same level-headedness we use for film or TV. 

        • Preparation_Heche

          No offense, but that New Yorker quote is bullshit. We get all the same games and films and music and tv shows up here in Canada, yet we don’t have killing sprees once a month.

    • http://dougwykstra.wordpress.com/ wykstrad

      I’d say that the name of the mission, “By The Book,” suggests this at least has some Zero-Dark-Thirty-style truth-telling intent behind it- you’re doing stuff to this guy that was official CIA policy not too long ago, and by forcing you to watch and participate in the actions, it’s forcing you to realize the enormity of these “enhanced interrogation techniques,”- but if so, what an odd place to stick a message.

      And if you get disturbed by your character running over pedestrians, GTA probably isn’t the game series for you. I very rarely TRY to run people over, but if a car in front of me is moving slow, I’ll pull onto the sidewalk, accelerate in front of it, and get back on the street, and who cares if any pedestrians are in my way. Am I really going to spend 30 minutes getting to the next mission for the sake of a bunch of 1s and 0s?

    • Penis Van Lesbian

      Yeah – I posted on another article that, basically, GTA is unplayable for me. I want to drive safely with respect for pedestrians, and give hookers a stern lecture and some money to go back to college. GTA, in my experience, makes behaving well almost impossible.

  • http://thewickerscale.blogspot.com/ Charlotte Grote

     Is the misspelling of titular character Otto’s name finally corrected?

    • Chum Joely

      “Otto? You mean like… Otto PARTS? heh heh”

  • SamECircle

    Well, I think OBVIOUSLY the question we all want to know here is, how’s the tennis?

    • mizerock

      Golf or GTFO.

  • DrFlimFlam

    Is the free world gameplay a compliment to the story, is it the main draw, or is it a dissonant second game that takes place in the same world, with the same characters, but is otherwise nothing like it?

  • huge_jacked_man

    Isn’t it a bit late to post this, I’ve been playing for 6 hours and there’s hundreds of reviews and streams out…

    • Citric

      I kind of don’t care about the first reviews. They’re rushed, and they’re unwilling to be too mean – GTAIV had an alarming number of perfect reviews for a game with so many glaring faults. I’ll take a later review if it means a more complete picture of the game we’re getting.

      • huge_jacked_man

        I meant user reviews and streams sorry, not Metacritic stuff, those are transparently corrupt. Also AVClub gave GTA IV a perfect score… 

  • Chip Dipson

    Haven’t we played this game four or five times already? Aside from more more more, what new game mechanics or ideas make this worth our time?

    • DrFlimFlam

      I don’t understand how the world continues to demand more games of basically the same thing, over and over, in this genre where no individual aspect works as well as a focused game. I don’t want to play a bad driving game with a bad shooter and a bad exploration mechanic just because they’re all in the same game.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        But does that mean that they should stop striving to create that integrated world where you are playing a good-excellent driving game, shooter, with good exploration mechanics all in the same game?

        And what defines “good” in each of those genres?  Is it realism, fun, or both?  I really like the Gran Turismo games but I also like more arcade-y racers, which of the “good” driving mechanics would I want in my game.  Sometimes I want a precision/skill based shooter like CounterStrike, others I’m happy for the bullet-spray-friendly blasting of Just Cause 2.

        If you’re attempting to make a comprehensive open world it’s necessarily going to take some sacrifices from the individual parts to make it all fit together.

        Obviously if one part of the game mechanics is so bad as to be unplayable that’s a serious detriment.  But R* isn’t pumping out a GTA every year (I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed).  Even if you consider Red Dead Redemption in the GTA canon this is their third game this generation.  They’re not pumping these out at game per year pace, and it seems they’re trying to work their individual mechanics from their focused games into the flagship franchise rather than slapping on a new coat of paint to the same game.

        • DrFlimFlam

          The exception was the lazy GTAVC, which really soured my taste for the series after GTA3 blew my tiny little mind.

          I think I kind of get what they’re going for, but I remain skeptical that the game coheres, despite all the wonderful reviews. I am sure I’ll find out myself someday, but it’s a long way off, yet.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          I don’t think they should or shouldn’t do anything, but I’m not at all interested in a game that is 90% boring driving followed by boring shooting in a huge-ass world I don’t give a shit about.

        • Carlton_Hungus

          Girard, you’ll get no argument from me that if you find the driving and shooting boring, and also don’t give a shit about the world then it’s not the game for you.  I haven’t played it yet so I don’t know if the mechanics are any good either and whether its game for me.

          I just think that GTA/Saints Row/Just Cause are all striving towards an integrated world that combines elements from all different genres of focused games to varying levels of success with different strategies.  I don’t think attempts at an integrated world games should be poo-poo’d simply because the driving mechanics or shooting mechanics are “better” in a dedicated driving or shooting game.

          It’s similar comparing a sprinter to a decathalete and complaining that the decathlete isn’t as good in the 100 meter dash.

    • Fluka
  • SamPlays

    Hmmmm, I actually have a legitimate question: Has Rockstar addressed the annoying amount of travel required to restart a mission? For example, if a mission ends in failure, do I end up back at my apartment or some bogus “checkpoint” like a hospital?

    IGN already gave the game a 10, so no need to write a review. Just answer my question and that would be sufficient.

    • Simon Jones

       I can answer that.

      Yes. There are checkpoints. Maaaaaaany checkpoints. Usually 3 per mission, with one just before you arrive at the action for the first time.

      Unless you decide to completely quit a mission in which case, you’re probably going to have to drive back.

      • SamPlays

        Thanks but I’ll wait for Gameological to give their answer.

        (Seriously, though, thanks.)

      • CrabNaga

        Something that I found to be a really nice touch in GTAIV was the fact that the conversations you’d have with your buddies as you were driving to the mission location would change if you failed the mission and have to restart. The gist of the conversation would remain the same, but what each person said was different. It made me kind of want to purposefully fail missions just to hear the alternate conversations.

      • Citric

        Thank christ. One of the reasons why I couldn’t tolerate GTAIV. There were also other reasons.

  • Chip Dipson

    Any truth to the rumors that the story is a flagrant rip-off of the movie Gymkata?

    • Drew Toal

      His name? Kurt Thomas. His title? Three-time world gymnastics champion. His assignment? A secret mission for the United States government.

    • Effigy_Power

      Whoa, I just listened to the “How did this get made” podcast for that movie this morning. Creeperiffic.

  • Xtracurlyfries

    Is having played 30 hours of Saints Row IV going to make me just laugh at everything?

    • Fluka
    • mizerock

      I want to see ”Just Cause 3″ come out featuring the same level of enrichment that went into transmogrifying GTA IV into GTA V. That would be awesome.

      • TaumpyTearrs

        Yeah, I’m excited about their Mad Max game, but I mostly just hope it makes a bazillion dollars so we can get Just Cause on the next-gen systems.

  • ShrikeTheAvatar

    How populated does the world feel?  There have been some concerns that we’d pay for the amazing graphics and physics by sacrificing how many people and cars there are around (which is a big part of making the game feel alive).  

    Does it feel worthwhile to explore the world?  Are there things to find, like easter eggs, hidden jumps, etc?

    • DrFlimFlam

      I really wonder if world size is going to make it so much better on the new consoles.

      • GaryX

        I really hate the “oh, there’s no PC or new console version coming.” when it’s painfully clear that’s the case.

        • DrFlimFlam

          Especially when games at this point are clearly outstripping the hardware. Print more money on a “definitive extended” version and let’s all agree that it’s fine.

        • CrabNaga

          I think a lot of that has to do with people wanting the game on all platforms at once. I’m personally willing to put up with the barbary of the console version. If the PC version was coming out within a month, I’d just wait for that, but we have no concrete details on the PC release yet. I’ll probably pick up the PC version when it’s $5 in 2 years, I guess.

        • mizerock

          4 games announced as upgrading to the PS4, $9.99 each “for a limited time”.

          http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/09/19/how-to-upgrade-select-ps3-games-to-their-ps4-versions/

          But no, not this one, not yet.

  • MintBerry_Crunch

    Here’s a freebie American government:

    We supplant yawn-errific torture methods by having high value targets play the best video game ever made {GTA V} in front of their mothers.

    I gather it will be mere minutes before their red faces and shamed visages has them blubbering all the sensitive info you need. 

    [We don't tell them this—will in fact—work with most videogames.]

  • Unexpected Dave

    Is the virtual stock market driven by real-world metrics, and influenced by the unfolding events in the game’s open world, or is it just a glorified roulette wheel?

    • Simon Jones

      Your behavior in game can influence the stock market. Blow up things, kill certain people and so on and prices can change.

      Also, the behavior other people in their games can have an influence your stock market.

      Also, there’s a roulette/stock market algorithim thing.

      • mizerock

        Can I short stocks, and then blow up the company’s trucks / office buildings real good?

        How can I tell what “other people in their games” are doing? And are stock prices affected by like, everyone in the whole world, so that everyone right now is paying the exact same price for each stock that I am? Or is it just my PS3 friends / people in my clan? Does this mean I must be online 100% on the time?

        Is it plausible that the markets will be manipulated / hacked, in order to make some gamers “rich” (with fake cash)?

  • Dunnstock

    1) I’m really curious about the mini-games and what ones are actually fun vs the ones that seem like they’re included just so they can say, “look, we included beer pong in GTA!”.  The fact that you can actually compete in a triathlon seems cool, but is it really just a repetitive novelty and not nearly as awesome as driving a dirtbike off a cliff and then trying to parachute on a moving boat that you happen to notice, or some other crazy thing you can do completely on your own?

    2) Some of the videos look like there’s an element of real-time and dynamic environmental destruction (when the garbage truck rams the armored car it topples into a cinderblock wall that flies apart).  Are there other instances of that in the game or is it really just featured with the cars?

    3) Is it still kind of impossible to line up your character for melee attacks?

    4) Do the cars all still handle like they’re driving in mud?

    5) What’s the deal with ovaltine?  Why don’t they just call it round-tine?

    6) How does the wanted system/evading the cops work?  Is it just like GTA IV or have there been significant changes?

  • Citric

    Alright, so I guess I’ll figure out if it fixes everything I hated about GTAIV, though at least someone answered the checkpoint question.

    Does it still feel scripted within an inch of its life, to the point where cars actually are speed limited if you get too close to the guy you’re supposed to chase?
    Do you still have to go on dates with various criminals?

    Is the combat still pretty balls?

    Does it still have a surprising number of features which seem to be designed to make you not play the game, like TV shows?

    Does it still take itself way too seriously?

  • The Rev Special

    1) How good is the police/civilian AI?

    2) How easy is it to ignore the main story?  I don’t want to go bowling, Roman.

  • Cloks

    Does it respond to the other open-world games that have come out since GTA IV, such as Saints Row III and IV?

  • Chum Joely

    With the switching mechanism, is it possible to play tennis against oneself?

  • Effigy_Power

    Why did I buy this game despite all my complaining?
    That’s what I would like to have an answer for, goshdarnit.
    Also, why not the 3 city approach from San Andreas? I loved the different style of San Fiero and … Las Venturas(?) when compared to Los Santos, that was fun. Especially with the map being so much bigger.

    • TaumpyTearrs

      Somehow I went from “meh” to excited for this game over the last week or two. I was all “I’m just gonna play SR4 all month!”
      But then last night when I got off work at midnight I went right over to the Gamestop and got in line.

      I’ve only played it a little so far, but it was kind of depressing that the 3rd mission was some boring-ass tow-truck BS that made me want to jump back into SR4, where I can throw cars with my mind instead of carefully towing them behind a truck.

      I am still excited about it, though. What I have seen of the city is amazing, especially when I look at the map that came with the game and realised I am in one tiny part of it. And after the first few missions introduce all the boring side-stuff I will be ignoring I can get to the meat. 

      And the mechanics definitely feel tighter, I have always been a terrible driver in GTA but this one feels like I might get better at it. I also really appreciate Franklin’s special ability, which lets you slow down time while driving and maneuver precisely. You build it up by driving fast in oncoming traffic and having near misses, so it sets up a fun system of you driving dangerously to build your meter, then hitting slow-mo right when you go through a busy intersection or weave between cars so you don’t wreck, then going back to dodging cars to build it up.

  • RJC

    If you give it less than a 10/10 will the fanbase burn your house down?

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      Proabably. Good thing gameological doesn’t give out points for games. I do miss huge amounts of gamers coming over from metacritic back in the AVC days though.

      • GaryX

        Uncharted 3
        Never Forget

        (I even disagreed with that review, but those comments were amazing.)

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          I had more fun in those comments than in the game (I haven’t played the game).

        • ocelotfox

           I kinda miss the days of having to defend the AV Club Games section…but not nearly enough to give up the great level of discourse that has come about in the Gameological era.

    • mizerock

      Which is more pointless, trying to convince ”fanboys” that it makes no sense for them to care so much that a video game had its rating metascore “ruined” by 1 reviewer? Or trying to convince ourselves not to care so much how fanboys react?

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        I kind of enjoy watching gamer culture rear it’s stupid ugly fucking head. Especially when it’s something as trivial as a game getting an 8.7 instead of a 9 or whatever. It’s like hate-watching something, but with people instead of a work of fiction.

      • GaryX

        I mean, there’s maybe a conversation to be had about the dependency on numeric and aggregated grading as it harms developers (N.B., Fallout: New Vegas), but since it’s never about someone intentionally ruining a score, which would be an outlier case anyways, it’s mostly just from a sense of worth conflated with the “critical” acceptance of a commercial product. I enjoy seeing it happen only because its so bizarre. 

      • RJC

        I read review comment threads for the same reason I read Drudge Report comment threads- the burbling subcurrent of insanity that lurks in some people bt only occasionally shows up in real life seems to thrive online. On IGN today I even got to argue with a guy who calls himself “NeverTheOne” and whose avatar is a selfie with a fedora! And he was defending the misogyny in the game!

        • GaryX

          Is there a way to link that? It sounds incredible.

        • Preparation_Heche

          I’m pretty sure the Drudge Report doesn’t have a comment section…

        • RJC

          Heche- most articles that are linked from Drudge have comments sections. If an article gets linked it gets 1000+ comments, even if the website it’s hosted on would be lucky to get 5 comments per article in normal circumstances.

          Gary, sorry, there are like 18k posts on that review now, I wouldn’t be able to find it again

  • Captain Internet

    How much depth is there to the satire? Does it go beyond the $10 stand-up-comic-style- “hey, have you noticed that annoying thing?” of GTA 4, or is it just as thin as ever?

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I may be misremembering, but it seems like there was always something like “huhuh crazy feminists! huhuh crazy right wing politicians! huhuh crazy left wing politicians! huhuh crazy religious people!” stuff on the radio stations that was the bulk of the “satire” of these games. Fuck that middle of the road south park bullshit. Oh they make fun of everyone? WHAT BITING SOCIAL COMMENTARY GUYS.

      • huge_jacked_man

        The satire in GTA games has always been crude and lame but there’s a consistency in featuring caricatures of every stereotypical voice on talk radio. The target of satire here is talk radio itself not specific political opinions you happen to disagree with. 

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          This is kind of an odd point to me. Surely they must be saying something about the people who hold those beliefs as well as just satirizing talk radio, right? That doesn’t seem like some absurd leap in logic to me. Making fun of talk radio is weird, too. It’s like satirizing newspapers or something.

        • Smilner

           Well, I think they’re going for a Daily Show/Colbert Report look on things.  Sure, they mock current events and (with the latter primarily) satirize the right, but the ultimate target is the format itself.

        • huge_jacked_man

          @Douchetoevsky:disqus @disqus_Qy6mB3t2lG:disqus summed it up nicely and I’ll just add that it’s not just talk radio – everything in the world is a caricature of some sort, every brand name is a pun, the cars are all recognizable but with a stupid name and, yes, even newspapers

  • duwease

    Did this version of GTA implement a DVR functionality?  It’s a real pain trying to wrap up a botched bank heist in time to get home for Republican Space Rangers.

    • mizerock

      Surely all the TV shows / movies run on a repeating loop.

      Until you buy the XBone version, that will use your connected cable box to stream in actual shows in real time. Or maybe there will be regular patches that update each TV show with episode 2, and each movie theatre will be playing the sequel.

      OK, probably not.

  • patagonianhorsesnake

    does it have ordinary bikes that you can kind of just pedal around on, wave at the people in the streets, maybe do a sweet jump or two?

    because that was the main thing i liked about san andreas. happy peaceful bike times.

    • TaumpyTearrs

      And also insane-jumping-off-the-side-of-a-mountain bike times. Man, once I built up my cycling skill all the way it was more bad-ass than driving a car.

    • needlehacksaw

      That was the best thing about “Bully” as well.

      Fun fact: I actually transfered “Bully” from my pile of shame to the top of my Steam-list after having watched the BMX-chases in “Attack The Block”. I wanted to ride a bycicle. I was not disappointed.

      Actually, I wonder if “Bully” was not secretly the product of a clearvoyant designer saying: “Best thing about GTA? BIKES. Let’s make a game with a setting that allows for bad-ass bike racing.”

  • TheInternetSaid

    1) If you play the game for a few hours and then drive, do you still want to crash into other cars?

    2) Are there still spots where you can work up a wanted level and then hide where the cops can’t reach you? and then knock out the police helicopters with a rocket launcher?

    • mizerock

      I knew that my co-worker and I were playing GTA 3 way too much when we walked by a cop car that was sitting empty, front door open, idling, keys in the ignition, and we both stopped in our tracks in front of it and shared a look. There were about 1.5 seconds where we were both automatically about to jump in it and start driving, without even thinking that that would be, um, wrong.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        Several times after playing GTA3 or VC, I would be stuck in traffic and consider driving on the shoulder and shoving other cars out of the way.

    • TaumpyTearrs

      Videogames have never made me want to shoot someone, but I will admit that hundreds of hours of GTA/Saints Row make me imagine plowing through every motorcyclist I see IRL.

      I can never resist it in the game, something about sending them careening off the bike or bouncing off the hood of my car is more amusing to me than running over pedestrians.

    • LemLemoncloak

      I still love helicoptering on to the roof of the prison in GTAIV and setting up shop, picking off cops and prisoners until I have 6 stars.

    • Basement Boy

      I always found myself spotting potential “jumps” when real-life driving after playing Sand Andreas… never tried any tho.

  • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM

    when the hell is Rockstar going to bring it to the PC?

  • BuddhaBox

    Given the ammount of ballyhooing we (or at least I) have heard about it, is the “rich gettin’ richer/poor gettin’ poorer” theme used in any meaningful way?

    What I’m asking is, are there Shocking Bum Fights?

    • TaumpyTearrs

      “Well hello, game changer.”

      Now THAT is a minigame I could enjoy. As long as I could use Pam as a playable character.

      • Carlton_Hungus

        Sorry about your homie, homie.

  • TaumpyTearrs

    How many times will you hear the word “homie” in this game?

    Seriously, I’ve played two short missions as Franklin, and he and his buddy have said “homie” atleast 30-40 times. I don’t think I’m even exaggerating, its ridiculous. Is homie even that prominent a word anymore? I’m not exactly hanging out in the hood all day so I wouldn’t know, but it feels like such a 1990s word to me.

    • NakedSnake

      I can only imagine that they wrote the whole game using the n-word in the script, and then did a “find and replace” for “homie”.

      • TaumpyTearrs

        Oh no, there is plenty of that too. But honestly, that doesn’t bother me that much. Shit, I knew suburban white kids who said the “n-word” that much. I don’t care for the word or its use, but its extremely common so it doesn’t stand out as much.

        But I swear I heard the word “homie” more times in that first hour than in the last 5 years combined. It got to that point where a word starts to sound strange or lose its meaning because its repeated so much.

  • NakedSnake

    Have you ever had one of those days where a rainbow looked so close that you were sure that you could find the end of it, ridiculous though the notion may be? And so you walk on for miles chasing the ever-receding but still tantalizing magical land that you have not visited since your youth? Does Grand Theft Auto V feature moments like these?

    • GaryX

      You’re thinking of Heroin Hero.

    • mizerock

      I found myself gravitating to the highest point in the game, first by sports car, then by foot. It’s like I am hardwired to play “Journey” [which I did indeed enjoy].

  • ocelotfox

    Has Dan Houser finally learned how to write a good, cohesive story with well-drawn and interesting characters?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lance-Cummins/679455065 Lance Cummins

    The first time that I opened my garage to retrieve my car as Franklin, I had two of the same car stacked on top of each other. Is that due to a coding error or what? I play on the XBox

    • TaumpyTearrs

      A wizard did it.

  • TaumpyTearrs

    While the game was installing a slideshow of various characters played, and I was surprised to see someone in Insane Clown Posse make-up. Is this the first none-wrestling game to include Juggalos? Do ICP actually make an appearance? Can I give the playable characters dumb-ass clown make-up also?

  • NakedSnake

    Do you have a specific word or name you want us to call the trolls when they swarm the site? ALL HANDS ON DECK!

    • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

      “Pedestrians”.  Topical and insulting without being obscene!  And so merrily will we run them down, oh my goodness.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I nominate “Johnny Boy(s).”

  • The_Misanthrope

    Why do I have an uncomfortable rash all over my back and neck?

    Oops, sorry, this is supposed to be about GTAV…

    Why do I have an uncomfortable rash all over my back and neck while playing GTAV?

    Serious question:  Have the missions become less controller-throwing frustrating?  The big problem of the series to date has been the divide between the open-world freedom between missions and the narrow objectives during the missions (there were exceptions, of course, but they were rare).  The trailer seems to hint at more open-ended missions, but trailers can lie.

    • mizerock

      Having save points along the way helps a lot. There aren’t many of them, and I still found myself sent back further than I expected after failing one part, but it’s a vast improvement over “you gotta drive the whole way to the starting point all over again”.

  • JokersNuts

    Picked it up today, played for a couple hours. It’s really hard and I keep forgetting what buttons do what, as each has several functions. Will try again another time.

    • TaumpyTearrs

      Ha, I had the same problem last night, but I picked up the game after a 10 hour shift, so I’m hoping I was just sleepy. I nearly totalled the first car you steal and return when you start as Franklin. It was barely running when I turned it in.

      I’ve always been terrible at GTA driving though. Played for a few minutes today and I did alot better with the driving, its definitely easier than 4 and I like Franklin’s ability to slow time, which lets me pull off the kind of maneuvers that usually have me smashing into something and coming to a complete stop.

  • Professor_Cuntburglar

    Is there fast travel of any kind? And how many missions involve driving across the map for an hour?

  • A_Proper_Struggle

    Is there a Las Venturas area and if not WHY? That would not be the same San Andreas I fell in love with growing up. Even goofy San Ferrero had blind guys and hills.

  • Chewbacca Abercrombie

    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck has just purchased GTA V?

    Also, how does the level of fun compare to San Andreas? There was so much to do in that game that I seemed to never get bored. Once me and my friends learned the cheat to spawn a jet there were hours of fun spent spawning it in intersections between tall buildings and trying to get it in full flight without having any idea how to pilot it. Then after finally figuring out how to fly the damn thing you could take it up, jump out and parachute around. Compare this to GTA IV… GTA IV wasn’t very fun. I just tried to play it again because I never finished it and I’m pretty sure I stopped playing at about the same time I stopped my first attempt, some “old hospital” mission where you have to kill a bunch of bikers, then about 937 cops show up and you have to escape. And then you die and have to start all over. Not fun. Fuck you Rockstar. Fuck you.

    • mizerock

      SO much more fun than the 4 hours I put into GTAIV. I haven’t found any jumps, or gotten any “crazy stunt” awards, maybe I’m just not trying hard enough. Or maybe they really aren’t there, which would be cool too, I don’t want a game stuffed with “find 500 hidden feathers” lists, those often just feel like padding.

      I’ve only picked up a two wanted stars at a time so far, and was able to shed them by putting a little effort into it. Not too easy, but not at all impossible either. But it’s still early in my game.

      • Smilner

         Easier or harder than IV? 2 stars always seemed like a hassle that’ll eat up the next ten minutes of your life, 3 stars is a mission in and of itself, and 4 stars and you had better hope it’s mid-mission and completing it clears the wanted level.  Sure, it made more “sense” than it did in SA, especially when the cops just watch you skid into the Pay N Spray, but still.