GTA V Review from The New York Times

Published on September 18, 2013

The Social Critique That Is Grand Theft Auto V

It seems that since the advent of the first Grand Theft Auto, the controversy surrounding its violent gameplay has subsided. Every now and then, the stereotypical right-winged gun activist will defend his or her right to own a gun, looking to video games as the source of violence associated with owning a firearm.

GTA V Review

Most of these arguments have some scientific evidence backing the claim that violence in video games can subserve aggression in the gamer. For the most part, though, nothing has tied video games to the claim that they actually cause gamers to go out and kill people for fun.

Grand Theft Auto V Is Groundbreaking

Besides that naysayers that will surely take offense to all aspects of the video game, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is one of the most playable, expansive, character-driven games ever to be seen in the realm of gaming. The game goes as far to offer gamers the ability to pursue sky diving, yoga, tennis, golf, scuba diving, smoking bongs and taking lap dances at a strip club.

The game will also include three playable characters that allow the gamer to switch between them at any time. The first character, Franklin, is a repurchase agreement (repo) man looking for a fresh start when he loses his job. The second character, Michael, was once in the witness protection program, but finds himself at a loss when he catches his wife fooling around with her tennis coach. Finally, Trevor is a lovable, meth-cooking, gun-running psychopath that used to do heists with Michael in the past.

GTA V As A Satire of Western Society

GTA V Review

One of the most comical aspects of the Grand Theft Auto franchise are the subtle mockeries of American Culture. Whether they come from ads around the game landscape or through the in-game radio, GTA has always had a way of pointing out the shortcomings of our supposedly advanced society.

The game takes place in a world very similar to that of Southern California, with Los Santos acting as the game’s version of Los Angeles. GTA V makes fun of popular social media outlets, video games and pop psychology books all under the guise of misnomers that resembles the actual company or product’s name.

For example, Facebook is called LifeInvader; Apple is called Fruit; Call of Duty is called Righteous Slaughter 7; the book “50 Shades of Grey” is called “Chains of Intimacy”; Twitter is called Bleeter; and Kickstarter is called Beseecher.

Additionally, the game incorporates a number of mottos that serve to reflect and satirize certain ideologies held in the country. For example, an organic-foods store’s motto is “Open up your mouth and look down on people”. With so much to offer, GTA V will certainly be one of the greatest social critiques to ever hit gaming consoles.