The long awaited release of “GTA V” is here at last. The reviews are in and the latest installment to Rockstar’s wildly popular franchise has been mostly positive. Sure there have been a few glitches, some things in the game or story that gamers wish were different, but overall the game seems to have perfected the outrageous, fun filled, violent, open world romp the series is known for.
One of the most well thought out and revealing reviews of the game is from The Guardian’s Keith Stuart who describes the game as “a dazzling but monstrous parody of modern life”. In the review Stuart explains that the game’s triumphs far outweigh its flaws although he wags a proverbial finger at the treatment of women and overused tropes within the game. Fox News’ Adam Shaw suggests that the fifth installment of the game franchise has “grown up”, stating that the series approach to violence has matured by making it integral to the story and having the characters directly address the controversial topic.
While many reviewers have lauded the character switching and expansive map the new game is not without its fair share of controversy. Starting out there was some miss-communication over the ability to pre-load “GTA V” in the US through PSN. Rockstar posted a tweet prior to the release of the game stating, “Those who've pre-ordered #GTAV on PSN will be able to preload the game as follows: Sunday 3pm BST in Europe; Monday 3am EST in the US”. Sony however didn't get the memo and set the record straight for the community saying, “From our end, SCEA has never announced anything regarding any pre-loading functionality. “ The EU was able to pre-load the game; to the outrage of US gamers the function was never enabled state-side.
Hurt feelings over having to wait for the download abated once everyone was able t play the game yet it wasn't without its technical difficulties. Frame rate issues and pop-up issues were warned against when installing both discs for the Xbox 360 copies of “GTA V”. Some versions of the downloaded PS3 version of the game are experiencing similar problems although not everyone is affected. The issues don’t make the game unplayable but they are disappointing. Some fixes for the issue have been found but hopefully an official update from Rockstar will help the problems soon.
Aside from technical difficulties “GTA V” is again stirring up the controversy over video game violence it always does. In the wake of the Naval Yard shooting in Washington some thought sales of the hyper violent video game would suffer. Others are appalled at the success of the game in light of recent events.
The game is expected to make billions despite the controversial violence. A torture scene in the mission “By the Book” in which Trevor uses various implements to torture someone for information has been called ‘the most disturbing scene” by EuroGamer. The scene is of course dredging up quite a bit of controversy. The most disturbing aspect of the scene is the active element of having the player control the joystick to complete torturous tasks like pulling out a tooth.
While there is a good deal of controversy and some hiccups in the initial launch process of “GTA V” reviews and reception of the game have been overwhelmingly positive. Gamers are excited for the “GTA Online” update that is coming in October. The wealth of environments and missions will have gamers playing “GTA V” for many weeks to come.