Why Grand Theft Auto V is the Biggest Disappointment in Video Game History
Before we start this article, I just want to say that I think the GTA series is absolutely the best series in all of video game history. Growing up with video games in the early 90s, I played pretty much everything – Mario, Sonic, Zelda, even 80s classics such as Space Invaders and so on. When GTA 3 come out I was a young boy, and I still remember my awe when I looked at the back of the case and saw the 3D, free-roam possibilities. It was amazing – racing around, listening to music, beating people down, awesome missions, ridiculously great graphics, THE FREEDOM TO DO ANYTHING… it was a revolution in gaming.
For me Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the pinnacle of gaming. I’m impartial to COD, and I played Final Fantasy 9 for over 100 hours, but my time spent in San Andreas was beyond anything I’ve ever done. Perhaps I’m looking back through nostalgic glasses, but San Andreas was everything I ever wanted a video game to be. The missions were plentiful, variable, easy and hard, you could fly and drive everything, every cop chase was a thrilling moment… it was glorious.
Then I grew up and didn’t play GTA 4 much. For me it lacked the fun that the previous GTAs add (I might as well add that Vice City was incredible too, everything about it).
GTA 5: A Flop
Let me make another thing clear: I was excited about GTA5, and I mean really excited. Up until it was released I’d just play FIFA and the occasional 10 minutes on other games here and there. I was looking forward to getting some good hours in, completing tricky missions and doing all sorts of maniacal things.
GTA 5 promised so much, and it looked so great. But let’s be honest – it’s a flop. A complete and utter flop.
Let’s get the few good points out of the way, because that’s all there is. I don’t want to slate the game too much – it’s fun, and a hell of a lot better than most other games out there.
- The graphics are great. They truly are, but so are many other games now. It’s a pleasure to watch the water and looking at the city is amazing, but these things wear off quickly.
- The characters and character switching is excellent. I really liked the characters, all three of them. The switching is good too, and an enjoyable aspect.
- The cars feel fun to drive. Police chases along with the cinematic camera don’t get old. The police are quite hard, yes, but that just adds to the fun and the thrill of the chase.
- Selfies. Yes, that’s right. In one of the most anticipated games of all time, selfies are probably the stand out highlight. Although you can’t save or upload them unless you pay for gold on Xbox Live.
Do you agree that GTA V is a let-down?
So now onto why I think GTA V is a complete flop. There’s so many reasons, but I’ll stick to the biggest problems here.
- First, the map. Let’s be honest. When you look at the city it’s great, and the mountains are fun for a while too, while the desert provides some good alternative scenery. But apart from that, it’s complete garbage. So much time and effort seems to have been wasted on the ocean. How many times have I been down there? About 3, and 2 were for missions I’m sure. It’s just boring as hell. There’s barely anything to discover, and absolutely nothing to do except collect ‘nuclear waste’ (which is just boring). It’s a complete waste of time.
- In addition, the map just feels… flat. There’s no forest, no snow, very few little hideouts, the tunnels are boring as hell, and even the skydives are just not thrilling at all. It seems like Rockstar wasted a huge amount of time here, because for 5 years the map is just lame.
- Secondly – LACK OF INTERIORS! I mean WTF??? You can go into very, very few buildings: garages (which all look the same), the strip club (which, unless your 12, is lame), AmmuNation (again, all the same). There’s no variety, barely any choice, and you just can’t do anything except drive past a load of FAKE HOUSES AND BUILDINGS. It’s garbage.
- Thirdly is the bike handling. In GTA:San Andreas it was thrilling to ride a bike, and especially a BMX, but now it’s just awful. They handle worse than cars, and there’s a high chance you’ll die. R* killed this one.
- The multiplayer is atrociously boring. Even if we forget the infuriating bugs, how much fun is a few deathmatches and robbing stores? It’s been done before, and it gets old fast. For me, I don’t even like to play with idiotic 12 year olds, so I’d rather play offline, where there’s… well, nothing. I’m not even going to review the multiplayer – I’ll just say it’s even worse than single player, and let’s leave it at that. I'm sure it's great fun with 12 friends, but what if you're not a nerdy loser who has loads of Xbox friends?
- Car customization? Shallow.
- Gun customization? A flashlight and extended clip.
- Stealth? Non-existent.
- Spontaneous Bank robberies? Forget it.
- Annoying iPhone app? Yes… but what if you don’t own an iPhone or Android?
The Downright Ugly
The story is the most disappointing thing in GTA V, and perhaps in all of gaming history. I thought we were promised an awesome movie-like story, but what do we get?
That’s right – ridiculously easy, boring missions. Again, we were told there would be diverse missions, a range of things to do, stuff we’d never seen before. We get shootouts which are just boring (the auto-aim just kills everyone on the screen), checkpoints so there’s no worry of failure, and driving around for 20 minutes at a time. I mean, one of the missions – yes, 1 of the 67 or so missions – is literally just buying 3 masks.
And don’t get me started on the heists. The trailers promised us the ability to plan heists meticulously, and then…
WE GET THE CHOICE OF TWO OPTIONS? 2 options?!??! How is that planning?
The heists were undoubtedly the biggest let-down of the game. We barely get any money until the last one, and there’s even a ‘heist’ where we fly a helicopter and submarine to pick up a ‘weapon’, only to give it back. It sounds fun, but it’s amazing how much it’s just awful. 10 minutes of flying there, 10 minutes in a painfully slow submarine, and 10 minutes flying back. Yeah, great heist.
And that’s why I think GTA V is a complete flop. My opinion? Play the 3D trilogy if you want some real fun. Or, don’t waste your time and money. Go and do something productive with your time instead.