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Grand Theft Tourism

I’ve spent the afternoon playing Grand Theft Auto V. Not playing in story mode, but Grand Theft Auto online. I didn’t really do much, it was like grand theft tourism as I bummed around with the more experienced members of the crew while doing a good job of looking like the pervert off of Derek. Despite it being a passive experience, it was awesome.

It’s awesome because Los Santos is brilliantly realised. It comes across as a vibrant, varied, beautiful and rundown place that lives and breathes. The realisation of the city in GTAIV was great, this time on the PS4 it’s just unparalleled. It’s a city in which scenes out of Heat, Gone in Sixty Seconds or the car combat of Bourne play out regularly, but you’re the criminals pulling off the action. You may even being doing less law breaking activities like just parascending off mountains and it’s all good. It’s a far cry from the days of relatively flat graphics and being obsessed with shagging prostitutes in the back of basic representations of cars.

To cut to the chase you create an instance of Los Santos with a specifically created GTA Online character and you do jobs, hang out and do wacky shit in the city and surrounding island, level up, get new stuff due to your enterprising form of criminal capitalism (cars, clothes, weapons and the usual paraphernalia of a cinematic criminal).

I’m glad I saw it through, at one point the whole online experience was frustrating as I had some player in my instance I was doing the tutorial in and he’d obviously figured I needed to get to a certain place so he kept doing a drive by shooting on me. I’m thinking organised team play might be a small percentage of the players in GTA. I guess ganking is written into the DNA? I avoided this problem by creating a private instance of Los Santos for my tutorial and we tend to create friends only instances for our antics.

It’s a bit weird playing a game of violence and crime with brothers, nieces and nephews, but it is fun. It just all looks so damned gorgeous, it’s actually interesting to go all law abiding citizen and just soak in the sights, which I’ve not fully explored yet and probably should do a bit more of.

About Ian O'Rourke

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