It should come as no surprise to fans of the Grand Theft Auto franchise that Rockstar’s latest release has come under fire for the game’s use of graphic violence, overt sexuality and otherwise ne’er-do-well tactics. It happens every time a new GTA game hits the shelves, and the developers often have something to say about this criticisms. This time around, it’s the voice actors who are speaking up.
Although the game series does involve stealing cars and violence, GTA V has a plot that most opponents are unaware of because they haven’t played the game. The plot follows Michael, nine years after an attempted bank robbery when his partner disappeared, presumed dead.
While in witness protection, Michael returns to his criminal ways when a car dealership tries to repossess his son’s car, and things only go downhill from there. Michael discovers his wife having an affair.
In an attempt to seek revenge on his wife’s paramour, Michael destroys the home of a Mexican drug lord, Madrazo. Madrazo demands recompense in the form of a jewelry store heist, and news of this brings out Michael’s old partner Trevor.
If you look to this plot, argues voice actor Ned Luke, you’ll understand that the game isn’t really glorying violence. Luke says of his character Michael De Santa, “If you look at my character, Michael, he’s rich, but he’s a miserable man. Even in the commercials you see that. This is a guy who’s struggling with his life’s decisions.” Players looking for morality in their gaming can take that away from GTA V.
Redemption and Reality
Luke goes on to explain how players should look for the good in the love that the main character has for his family. Even though Michael’s attempts to walk the straight-and-narrow have failed, it’s through his relationships, however complex they may be, that he seeks redemption.
The actor continues to defend the game, pointing out how Grand Theft Auto is not reality. He describes the hit video game as forum for doing things that you can’t — and shouldn’t — in real life. He reminds gamers that GTA V is all about imagination.
At the end of the day, Luke will “go back home to my wife and my son and go out in the back yard and throw a baseball.” If you follow in his footsteps, GTA V can be a fun release and nothing more.