Start the Clock

As a rule, I try not to read comment threads on websites. Why bother when I can just post the link on Facebook and discuss it with people I actually like and respect, for the most part.

But given that my own personal nerd Christmas came early this year [as in the début trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, embedded above] I pulled on my hip waders and had a look into what the unwashed masses had to say.

Amidst the expected rapturous appreciation, a distinct lane of cautious criticism started veering into traffic. As the game is set on the West Coast again, most gamers are wondering what elements Rockstar might take from the only other game to share the locale, GTA:San Andreas, the most ambitious and over-the-top entry in the series. Most of these commenters seem to want a return to that level of absurdity, with the jetpacks and remote control vehicle missions, and seem very wary that V could continue the more sombre narrative style of its predecessor.

I consider those people to be, clinically, high on goofballs.

My love for GTA4 is widely documented, I consider it a masterpiece, and it’s easily my favourite game of all time. In my reading of the trailer, it looks like the game will feature an older protagonist, a father, who I’m guessing will get pulled back into a life of crime when his house gets foreclosed on [an awful lot of poverty-stricken people in that trailer, including a man putting his home up for sale, and R* loves to aim its satire at current events]. Not to say you couldn’t still end up flying to the top of Mt. Chiliad on a jetpack, but consider me in the minority who hopes they play it straighter than that. GTA4 and Rockstar’s other classic of this generation, Red Dead Redemption, both proved you can deftly balance the stupid and immature with the emotionally poignant. I trust GTAV will continue that tradition.

All the kids can go play Saints Row the Third.

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