Top 9 Things I hate about Grand Theft Auto 5
Before you start igniting your torches and sharpen your pitchforks, allow me to say that Grand Theft Auto 5 is a fantastic game, and it is definitely one of my favourite open world games next to TESIV: Oblivion (and its respective expansions), Crackdown and Prototype 2. But now the shroud of excitement has been lifted and I've completed my first playthrough, it's time to go back and see what GTA lacks and what it could've done better.
As many have rightfully said, GTA is like an Apple product - the next thing will be an improvement, and I've yet to see a Rockstar game where they went down in major areas but tweaked the little things. And GTA5 is no exception to how much it refines the open world genre, and goes to show that this is how a proper adventure game is made. No invisible walls, no limits to weapons, no overly huge punishments for failure. It does well what every open world game of its calibre needs, and so far, GTA5 is the only game of that calibre.
I'd also recommend that if you're easily put off games you want, don't read this article. It will get strongly negative and it may be enough to turn you off this game. Even though Grand Theft Auto 5 has its problems, it is still a terrific game. Keep this in mind, and read at your own risk.
Today I'm going to be talking about big complaints and petty gripes with this game. You're free to agree and disagree but it's vitally important that you keep your heads - this is just a bit of fun. I'll also try keep this spoiler free but I can't guarantee it being completely safe for those who haven't played this game. Let's have a look at the Top 9 Things I hate about Grand Theft Auto 5.
Number 9: Jumping
I love jumping, and do it in any game that has it. Without jumping I feel weighted down and the movement can feel a lot less dynamic, but thankfully this game offers it, and I'm free to bunny hop as I like. But there's one problem: jumping kills.
If you jump into a wall you can expect to hurt yourself, that's fair, but in this game you can lose a good portion of health to going into something you think you can mount and carry on as normal. The amount of hedges I've leapt at, only to have twigs gouged into my eyes as I fall are innumerable, and don't even get me started on how few times I've managed to slide over the bonnet of a car when the game does encourage this (especially for some mission medal requirements). Even jumping from a height of two or three feet can turn the player character into a ragdoll, allowing the physic's engine to set in motion and just laugh in your face. To add insult to (I dare call it an) injury, you take forever to get back up and no amount of button mashing in vain will make it go any faster, but hey, that's real gamer instinct for you.
It's not that I hate jumping or even falling, but the punishments are both random and stupid. A grazed knee shouldn't take out a visible chunk off my health bar, unless I've got rickets. And as far as I can tell, only Lester has that. At least he's sensible not to jump in Los Santos, where the ground is made of death.
Number 8: Real Estate
I absolutely love real estate, provided it's not in a Rockstar game. This is where the developers could easily learn from games like Saint's Row or heck, even The Godfather video game. Should you have the money to invest in property in GTA 5, you'll not make nearly as much as you piled into without waiting a few in-game weeks (even going to sleep, which advances time by six hours, will not make it worth it). The management missions are a nice touch though, where players have to stop people wrecking your property, take out loiterers and people who robbed from your stores. But they're limited and don't add much replay value or even enjoyment at endgame.
Where Grand Theft Auto could improve is by firstly adding more property, and making it available to all characters. In this game there are very few properties to buy and what little you can depends on what character you play as. Adding more missions regularly, upgrading shops to make you more money (and more frequently) and being able to enter these buildings would be simple yet effective additions. This is your second biggest earner next to the stock market, so it needs to be improved to be worth using.
Number 7: Lack of Cheats
A minor gripe and one that only affects console gamers. The cheats in this game are not only limited but also very poor. Exploding bullets, fiery melee attacks, slidey cars and super jumps get boring real fast and should be something else to do at endgame when you've few trophies/achievements left to go for. It makes GTA 5 the over the top sandbox shooter that it truly is but with the option to play the game's serious plot. But what happened to popular PC mods like Carmageddon (where cars fly around the map), Road Rage (where all drivers go haywire) and changes to characters? I don't see any here.
If it's hard to programme or there's legal reasons I can understand, but the few cheats players are given make me question why they were added in the first place. As I always say, do it properly or not at all.
Number 6: Chop
Dogs are awesome and it's very hard to screw up video game companions when all they do is sit at home. How come Rockstar feel that they're the exception that disproves the rule? Chop is Lamar 'LD' Davis' dog, and he's rarely seen in missions but when he is, he's quite nice to look at and go "aaaawwww". But outside of the two or three missions where you see him, Chop does nothing else.
What bugs me is that to make him perform new tricks, change his attitude and various other things, you have to download an iFruit app onto your real life smart phone or tablet. I'm not annoyed that I don't have one (but would really like one), but the fact that there is no in-game alternative to learning new tricks. You can't do missions that reward you with new things, nor can you so much as take him for walkies. This annoyed me to no end in Fable 3, and I'm going to end my frustrations by saying this: if you're going to do something, do it properly or not at all. Either that or let me cook him; I like chops for tea.
Number 5: Skills
Skills in GTA: San Andreas received mixed opinions because they prevented players from using and purchasing certain weapons, reduced their driving abilities and stopped them from getting to where they needed to via sprinting. But in this instalment of the series they've been given some more work, and have made noticeable differences (and ones you don't have to grind for). But what bugs me is that there are few skills you can't or won't level up. In what scenario are you going to use melee attacks, which upgrades your strength? And how does one level the special ability skill when I use it constantly and fill up the bar faster than I fill a tank of whale oil in Dishonoured? The only skills I care for are driving, flying and stamina, and shooting has always been hit and miss due to the crap cursor. If you're not a flight enthusiast and don't care for the Sally 'Strangers and Freaks' missions, chances are your only interests will be in driving and shooting.
I shouldn't complain too much because I'm the player who still rages about Skyrim not having the Athletics and Acrobatics skills (amongst dumbing down other things), but at least if you took them you would probably enjoy using them, as Oblivion encouraged parkour and I love moving swiftly. I've never seen a mission where melee was preferable over weapons, except for the handholding ones like when you bring a Hummer through a car dealership. But flying I'm good with because I love being airborne in open world games.
A few more tweaks and the skills would be perfect, but the best part about this is that I don't need to level Strength to progress through the game.
Number 4: The Stock Exchange
I absolutely hate working the stock exchange, and I hope never to see it in another GTA game so long as I live. While the concept is interesting, it only really works if it's not fixed. The LCN is not nearly as dynamic nor as exciting (yes, I said the stock exchange is exciting) as the BAWSAQ, which is affected heavily by the online community. Many seem to be able to purchase multimillion stocks and accumulate a vast wealth, where I'm stuck with maybe $200 a week. Maybe it's just me, and I suck at getting money in any game.
The assassination missions make things a lot more interesting, but the fact is you need guides to see the competitors (as Lester is very brief with which parties the assassination will affect), and it's very easy to be unsure about when to sell your stocks. I wouldn't mind the Stock Exchange if it wasn't your main source of income, and other sources of cash flow were existent.
A good idea but it seems as though the team responsible for this forgot to make other money making opportunities available. Taxicab runs and slaughtering people only goes so far.
Number 3: Customisation is limited
Or rather, customisation is limited in comparison to its competition. Grand Theft Auto gives a lot of car customisation options, weapon outfitting, clothing and hairstyles. But other than this there is very little you can do to make your characters your characters. The Michael, Franklin and Trevor you play as is identical to everyone else's and clothes, cars and carbines cannot change that. I don't expect this game to be treated like a fully blown RPG, but this addition to Rockstar's series is making the same mistake as WoW, which I can compare to the tortoise and the hare. While the game thinks it's the best with all these new things, it doesn't learn from its competition, gets cocky and slacks. Where are the different hairstyles, plastic surgeons, even more weapon mods and weapons in general (only two melee weapons? C'mon give me an incentive to use the Strength skill), more options for certain cars like taxis, police vehicles and bikes?
I'm aware I sound rude and too demanding but when you add something this far into a series I expect advancements and not going back by approximately 8 years. There is so much that can be done to make the single player experience vastly more interesting and prevent playable characters from being so paper thin (looking at you, Franklin). If the only time I'm changing my character is because a mission reminds me there is customisation in a game, it's doing something fatally wrong. So far what we've got is good, but it can be so much more than what it is.
Number 2: Heists
Heists are the bee's knees and when I reviewed the game I said they were the best thing about it. Even in my second - and nearing my third - playthrough I'm enjoying doing them, and despite their flaws, I must be grateful. The reason why I'm so thankful is because I had the misfortune to play Kane and Lynch 2, and noticed there were no heists except for a watered down multiplayer mode (in the previous game, the single heist was awesome). No game thus far has been as elaborate with heists as this, really exploring the ways of doing missions, but problems have surfaced now that the excitement has washed away.
The first thing is the crew. Forming a crew is nice and adds a more persona touch to your upcoming raid. You can either choose someone experienced but demand a larger cut, or someone with less experience but are relatively cheaper. To this day it's undecided which crew is best and why, and it's easy to trip up on many mindsets. You may think that you're going to do all the work, but find that one of your less-experienced cronies dies on the job. You may also think that the job isn't worth it once you've paid a huge sum for the 'perfect' team. Just a small note: I found that a team that took 35% of the total cut was better than a mixed team in my first heist. Where the crew part of the heists falls flat is when they level up. Not that that's bad, but you'll go for the same team every time, and when you do, the bonds with your team run dry and who you bring doesn't feel as special. If you don't like character bonding that's fine, but for those who want a lasting experience with crew members, prepare to be disappointed.
Another thing is when acquiring certain vehicles. For a getaway vehicle I like a taxi or an ambulance, especially the latter because they don't need to stop for red lights and can rush without anyone being the wiser. But the sad part is that this doesn't matter at all, and what you choose is totally irrelevant unless you've mapped out a specific route in case you get caught by the police. In this case I like vehicles that can handle hills and dirt, because in that kind of terrain police vehicles aren't very good at climbing nor are they particularly fast. You can roleplay this yourself or amongst friends and I imagine on GTA Online having getaway vehicles will be vital, but in the single player vehicle choice is only important for disguises or alternate ways in.
There are few things that will make your heists different with each playthrough, and the only two factors to change this are your crew and your means of doing things: either cleverly or as though you have a death wish. But unless you're doing the first heist there are no split second decisions to be made about rescuing teammates or bags of cash, making heists repetitive after the first one.
The worst part about it is that out of the many heists there are (I won't say the exact number to avoid spoilers, and would appreciate commenters doing the same), very few of them pay you. Let me remind you that next to the stock exchange this is your biggest way of making money, and your cut won't make you scream and shout with glee when you realise how little you've got. Just start spending, and you'll see what I mean. The end of the game though allows you to get some money on a specific character, but this contains spoilers and shan't go into it.
In the next instalment I hope these things are amended, but for now, Rockstar have done real good!
Number 1: Apparently I'm a missionary
Grand Theft Auto 5's critical failure is that most missions don't pay you. I once convinced myself that just because I was doing jobs for close friends and colleagues in these games, money shouldn't fall out of the sky. But I can suspend my disbelief that far, and I would like at least $500 per mission by the halfway point, but no, very few missions in the game will give you a large amount of money, or any at all.
I'm not a charity - I'm supposed to be a dirty mercenary and yet I'm not getting a single penny for my efforts. So instead I'm having to kill civilians and gangsters to make money. And if I do the odd favour for someone through a dynamic world event, I have to return the money or vehicle someone's stolen in case it ends up being a reward (as said in my review, I managed to make $100,000 in stocks for retrieving a stolen bike). I get to keep some of the reward money, like a whopping 50 bucks for retrieving a purse, but I'm always thinking of the phrase "what goes around comes around".
You could say that there are plenty of money making opportunities, but you have to 'work for them'. I call BS on this, because there's a grand total of one jobs you can do that're quick and easy, and that's taxiing people around. The truth is I love taxi missions, but I don't want to be doing them for hours on end just to make a few thousand dollars (and I need at least $10,000 for weapons and ammo alone). Why do you think Crazy Taxi was originally an arcade game? You can do races but you've firstly got to find them and then wait for the appropriate time, and even then they scrape the bottom of the barrel in terms of rewards. $200 per race may be good for real life, but this is the fictional land of Los Santos.
Don't think that I feel entitled because I'm the opposite - I really want to do missions in this game, and enjoy them regardless of reward. They could take away $500 from my character per mission completed so long as they're well scripted and have requirements I like. But I don't feel cheated when the game doesn't pay me for what I'm doing - I am being cheated. I have to pay for my own ammunition, firearms, clothes and car modifications for certain missions and I have no regular income to rely on. My first heist is my biggest earner, and that money will disappear very quickly. I'd much rather be paid in increments than have a huge dollop of cash to last me the entirety of the game.
They say that money isn't everything, but it is when you want to invest in property. I hate the idea of constantly having to trespass into an airfield, get a 3 star wanted rating and then need to get into a plane in hopes of escaping the po-po. Having my own helicopter without needing to be cuffed would be grand, but too bad the game doesn't reward you for your efforts.
Despite everything I've said here, Grand Theft Auto 5 still remains a very impressive game, and each time I come back here to edit it and add tiny little things to this list, I forget about all my complaints as soon as I'm back in the game. It remains one of the greatest titles I've ever come across and can't recommend it strongly enough. And with that in mind, I've simmered down and I hope for my sakes, the lovely commenters and readers of HubPages have too. Until the next time, thanks for reading and have a pleasant day.