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Talkingship – Video Games, Movies, Music & Laughs | March 31, 2020

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REVIEW: Grand Theft Auto V – A Crushing Disappointment

REVIEW: Grand Theft Auto V – A Crushing Disappointment

We here at Talkingship have been excited for GTA V for a long, long time. We believed the hype. We were foolish, in hindsight. How could a game ever live up to such high expectations? I was hoping that I’d start this review by saying that it exceeded my expectations. Instead, it’s quite the opposite. GTA V is so far off the mark that it’s not even funny.

Let’s start off by talking about the gameplay. Instead of Rockstar doing what they promised, refining the combat and driving mechanics off the back of Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3, they’ve gone in the other direction entirely. It is, frankly, impossible to shoot someone in GTA V. The aiming is off by a factor of 700%, supposedly to emulate the characters’ inexperience and constant inebriation. Of course, when combined with absurdly overpowered weapons, this doesn’t work: when using a rocket launcher, I’d regularly blow up entire buildings despite aiming for a single enemy. The resulting chaos made the game unplayable – I regularly had to take breaks to deal with the stress caused as a result of such ridiculous combat.

The driving mechanics are worse still. Cars dart around all over the road like flies, with even a slight touch off the joystick throwing you wildly off course. Driving without crashing is unlikely, and the game all but forces you to brutally murder its many innocent citizens. The fact that a game can encourage such blatant disregard for both the law and morality is obscene, to say the least.

It’s also unacceptable for a game to have no female protagonists. This blatant sexism from Rockstar has ceased to be amusing, and the fact that not even one out of three playable characters possesses a vagina is horrifying. Rockstar have also shown a lack of diversity in emotional regards: all three characters are morally repugnant psychopaths. Would it have been so hard for them to include a devout Mormon, or a lovely Buddhist?


As for the plot…it’s equally dismal. Missions are tied together with all the subtlety of a giant, glowing phallus, and the script is laughably bad, chock-full of obscenities that would make your mother weep. I regularly pitied the developers for stooping quite so low in this shameless cash grab of a video game. Very little effort has been put into its creation: I’d be shocked if the development time was any more than one year, and if the budget was anything over $1 million.

Throughout the course of the game’s marketing blitz, we were regularly reminded that there was plenty to do in GTA V, ranging from tennis to golf, skydiving to scuba diving. This was all a lie. All of these so called “activities” are no more than a series of quick time events, all of which are incredibly boring, repetitive and tedious. Whilst I couldn’t help but feel disappointed over the course of the main game, these pointless distractions are even more upsetting, as they represent the epitome of the lies that underpin all of modern day gaming. The complete lack of necessity for such activities augments the issue: what, exactly, was wrong with me constantly driving around doing errands, a la GTA IV? I came into GTA V both hoping and praying for more of the drivel that makes GTA such an accurate life simulator, but came away disappointed at its ADHD-inspired love for distractions.

And don’t even get me started on the graphics. Rockstar’s newfound quest for hyperrealism is distracting, and attaches you to foul characters that I would much prefer to have nothing to do with. Back in the days of GTA 3, pixelated graphics allowed me to feel a sense of detachment, meaning that I could quite comfortably murder a prostitute without feeling any remorse. Now, however, I feel like I am murdering the prostitute, and this extra-realism makes my innate morality feel sick literally every minute I play this game (a game that I am now certain is the work of the devil).


There is plenty more to rant on about, including the droning soundtrack, the excessive, child distorting violence and the over prevalence of phallic references, but I’m sure you get the picture by now. GTA V is nothing more than a toy: a game that may, if you’re lucky, keep you occupied in a comatose state until a decent game comes out. I’d recommend entering the coma without GTA V to keep you company: you’ll have more fun (and be less awful as a human) without it.





GTA V is out now on Xbox 360 and PS3. This review was based on neither of these two platforms.

The reviewer neither received a review copy, nor did he purchase a copy of the game. In fact, this review is entirely made up, and the reviewer has never played GTA V. Satire, yo.


  • zomnomnom

    Satire is great…when it’s done well. Otherwise, it seems more like a shameless ploy to get views or bait trolls. Mission accomplished?

  • Vic 2.0

    This game sucks. The aiming is pretty bad, but what I really didn’t like was not being able to actually aim while driving without shooting. Also, shooting-related, you can’t crouch without being stuck to an object, in cover. Lame. And giving only one character the ability to slip into “bullet time” was dumb. I get that they thought the idea of each character having their own “special skill” would make us think, “Wow, the characters really are unique!”, but gosh darn my objectivity – I saw through it. They do still have the same fighting styles, ability to drive all the same vehicles, and shoot the same types of guns, after all.

    I am surprised you didn’t talk more about how the gameplay sucks (I really think it’s the worst aspect of this VIDEO GAME). There are tons of great activities/features that were in previous GTAs but not in this one. You can’t do emergency vehicle missions (police, ambulance, fire fighter), can’t buy safe houses, can’t enter that many buildings (not even the businesses you own!), can’t gamble in or even FIND an open casino, can’t set default ANYTHING (radio stations, vehicles, outfits), there’s no jetpack, no hydraulics, no nitrous, no dating, no gang wars/acquisition of territiories, collectibles give you practically no reward when you find them all, helicopter controls suck, the tank sucks (gets destroyed way too quickly), and the cop and wanted level system is certifiably broken. By this, I mean you get a one star wanted level for stupid crap like accidentally bumping into someone on the sidewalk and the cops immediately start shooting to kill. You can’t kill someone with a silenced pistol miles away from the nearest would-be witness without the cops coming after you? Broken. Plus, they are just far too difficult while on foot – there is zero fun to be had in this game in terms of gunfights with the cops.

    Now, controversy has always been a part of what defines the GTA series. The name “Grand Theft Auto” says it all! Well… sort of. You see, I’m a seasoned GTA gamer and I’ve seen plenty of questionable content in the previous games. But even I was shocked and dismayed at the content in this one. The nudity and sex is way over the top. They shouldn’t even have nudity, much less a stripper mini-game. It was a complete waste of development time they could’ve been spending on improving on at least a couple of the aforementioned items. And what’s up with the overly explicit voiceovers if you hire a prostitute? Did they rip it straight out of a pornographic film? Sounds like it. Imagine telling the voice actor, “Okay, for this video game, we want you to seductively say ‘*** in my mouth'”… Hmmm, I think Rockstar has effectively admitted they’re just perverts with this installment. And that’s not even mentioning the torture mission, which forced the player to not just be violent but dwell on the suffering of the victim all up close and personal-like. It is here where the appeal is no longer “I like playing this game!” and more along the lines of “I like seeing this kind of thing happen”. Odd choices, Rockstar! Anything you need to tell us?

    Lastly, while I disagree that not having a female protagonist makes the game “sexist”, I would say much of the game works against feminism as an idea. And I would gladly chalk it up to satire… if I could just figure out what the “satire” is supposed to be ridiculing/attacking.

  • Shaxster

    Nice ideas and a pretty thorough review! If you’d like, drop me an email at shaxster(at)talkingship(dot)com : would be interested in talking to you about contributing your writing to the site.