Opinion// GTA V - Aftermath

Posted 10 Oct 2013 12:30 by
Games: Grand Theft Auto V
Instead, true outrage was reserved for those fans seeking controversy where there was none. Gamespot’s 9/10 review prompted over 22,000 comments quibbling over that single missing point, culminating in the appearance of a petition on Change.org to have reviewer Carolyn Petit ‘apologize or be fired’. “She clearly just gave GTA V a low score because she thinks it hates on women,” said a commenter propagating the petition on the IGN message boards. “That tells me she’s a paranoid man hating liberal feminist.”

That ‘low score’ being 9/10, in case you’d forgotten.

Petit also took issue with GTA V’s mixed political message, a position she wasn’t alone in. A scene in which the player compulsorily tortures a helpless victim was labelled ‘troubling’, ‘a sour taste’, ‘[not] something I want to interact with or consider entertaining’ by games writers and fans alike. The interrogative character at the heart of the matter states that torture doesn’t work, except in the realm of Grand Theft Auto--and, as hinted at, perhaps elsewhere--it clearly does. Players are even awarded with a medal for it.

The Average Gamer’s Debbie Timmins sees things differently. Citing similarly eager interrogators at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, she says of the scene: “This [is the series] where players murder prostitutes to reclaim [their] fee. We bought this game [that] asks us to hurt people and when it dwells on the impact of our actions, now we’re not enjoying it?”

To date, GTA V’s ongoing and least contested controversy surrounds its online component. The multiplayer mode, which has players teaming up to take on heists and races, and create content of their own, was delayed for two weeks after release, only to suffer server load and software issues at launch. Frozen screens, error messages, graphical glitching - Rockstar has fixed some difficulties with a subsequent patch. Even then, the few players managing to circumvent the copious log-in errors found their progress and in-game purchases disappearing, along with their characters and save files. Overloaded servers also caused problems for single-player missions requiring that the player connect to Rockstar’s beleaguered Social Club network.

In answer, Rockstar suspended microtransitions exchanging real world money for in-game currency. It seems that even in a game with such questionable morals gamers would rather not have their hard-earned purchases wrenched from their hands.

Over a week later many of GTA V’s bugs have still to be fixed. That the online mode should prove so bug-ridden has caused no small amount of consternation among gamers, particularly when games such as 2013’s SimCity have been lambasted for similar crimes. Earlier this year, Polygon adjusted its SimCity review score based on the game’s floundering online functionality. To date, GTA’s 9.5/10 remains untouched.

October. As the Santa Ana winds blow leaves from the occasional Chinese Pistache flourishing among L.A.’s high palms, so too fall the giants. Torn strip by strip, Michael, Trevor and Franklin are replaced by billboards for the new iPhone. Art that took weeks to paint is plastered over inch by painstaking inch. Traffic tails back as the gondola sways. The tourists have gone but the hustlers remain.

Beyond its highly visible exterior there’s a pool party at the heart of the Figueroa. Pink drinks by blue water, amid scents of mint tea and tagine.

And outside?

Outside, it’s L.A.

The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and does not reflect those of SPOnG.com except when it does.

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Games: Grand Theft Auto V

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