Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Videogame Review: Grand Theft Auto V

You know what. #Gamergate and #Notyourshield are actually starting to make me lose sleep. Last night I tried to take the edge off by watching some old  Batman Beyond episodes because Batman is kind of awesome. But eventually I couldn't do it.  So I started tweeting and ended up doing a quasi-review of GTA V so here you go somewhat edited. Keep in mind I haven't finished the game but there is some stuff to talk about.


This is how I've felt for the last 72 hours.

 I'm getting pissed watching this stuff a lot of the journalists who were harassed into quitting their jobs were women and it's downright stupid to say they don't have a right to discuss these issues in games.

Sure I'm a guy and if #notmyshield wants to come after me for speaking for women eh they have a point. But everybody else, I'm furious about that.

By the way that's an song based on a blog post by Leigh Alexander about a year ago.
As a black guy this on the other hand is why we need to talk about this stuff.

GTA V is a satire of Los Angeles and everything is exagerated so I generally cut it some slack.

But Lamar Davis crosses some lines. And in case you guys haven't figured it out Jimmy is a parody of what the Rockstar thinks of you guys.

Don't prove them right.

Lamar is basically Snoop's character in The Wash.

Except there everybody was in on the joke. Every character with the possible exception of Dre's is playing dumb for laughs. Look I'm not going to hold up The Wash as a cinematic masterpiece. Some of the jokes fell flat but at least it was clear it was a joke. But almost everything in GTA is an exaggerated version of some real life thing. There is going to be some portion of the audience who looks at Lamar and thinks that's how black people are. It's the difference between laughing with black folk and laughing at them. It was one of the reasons Dave Chapelle left his show.

Now while all of that is a reason why I dislike GTA V it's not the reason I dislike GTA V. I dislike GTAV because the flight controls are ass and I had to spend 6 hours replaying the same mission as the ignored cricket on Trevor's shoulder.

The entire point of Trevor is that he's a crazy insane sociopath. And in many ways he is self aware metaphor for the worst of gaming. None of the protagonists of the games are likable. Micheal rationalizes his anger, Franklin is an enabler, and Trevor revels in destruction for its own sake. And that's part of the point. You are not suppose to identify with and cheer on these guys. Yet it seems like that went right over people's heads.

The are moments in the game that seem as if the developer was testing the audience. Providing subtle ways for them to subvert the actions thier avatars would have them take. For instance the torture scene.

Even playing the game straight it gives you a what the hell hero. But it also provides you a third option. The government guys don't care who they get as long they get someone. The entire thing is a farce. If you take the shot as soon as you can the game isn't going to call you on being wrong.

Far from it.


The game wants you to desperately find a way out before you kill this guy. It wants to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as possible about torture, but also bets that the audience doesn't give two shits and just wants to play with nipple clamps and baseball bats.

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