5 reasons to hate Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto is synonymous with lurid brutality. The series has courted controversy at every turn with its graphic portrayals of sex and violence. Despite being almost universally reviled by the mainstream media, it remains one of the most popular franchises of all time. How happen? It’s not even that good of a game. Read on to find out why you should hate Grand Theft Auto.

1. The wonky controls are a bitch

This has been a problem throughout the series, for combat and vehicles alike. What made the auto-aimer think I wanted to target that hapless bum or the mailbox over the guy punching holes in me with an AK47? Why would I ever want to get on a motorcycle when it’s guaranteed to throw me to my death in 20 seconds or less? GTA IV is certainly a great improvement over the rest of the series, but one game doesn’t excuse 12 years of crap controls.

2. The character models look terrible

From the giant blocky hands to the pixelmash faces, GTA characters aren’t even realistic looking enough to evoke the uncanny valley. It’s a whole lot tougher to identify with a character’s plight when his face looks like a bowl of oatmeal. Ugly people deserve to have bad things happen to them, right? Again, IV went a long way toward resolving this problem, but its character models are still a mealy mess.

Above: Not Final Fantasy cosplay: those are “pigtails”

3. Repetitive missions are repetitive

Kill this guy. Don’t let them kill that guy. Get from A to B in less than 7 minutes. Steal a car and take it to the Pay n Spray. Each new GTA game adds a fresh coat of paint to the same tired old horse (that’s an intentional catachresis). Even the open world play feels wearisome after a couple hours – really, how many hookers can you run over before it loses it’s magic? 

4. GTA is misogynistic

True, it can be argued that GTA doesn’t grab you by the nuts and force you to mistreat women. It just gives you the option to. But there aren’t a whole lot of other toys in the sandbox, are there? Run them over, beat them up, shoot them, hire them for sex. A game that offers the easter eggy incentive of killing prostitutes to get your money back is clearly not concerned with anything beyond juvenile power fantasies, so gender equality is pretty much off the table. (Note: gender equality should not mean that the female characters are just as despicable and unlikeable as the male characters.)

Above: It’s funny because you’d never do it in real life

5. It tries to be a clever bit of social commentary, but is actually one of the foremost purveyors of the culture it criticizes

Agree or disagree? Americans are arrogant, ignorant, self-indulgent slobs obsessed with violence, pornography and conspicuous consumption. GTA doesn’t pull any punches in its critique of modern society, but its resoundingly cynical response is to wallow in its own crapulence and cash in on those very same cultural shortcomings it takes to task. Self-awareness without self-improvement is just narcissistic wanking, no matter how rich you get in the process.

Mar 25, 2010


  • Merchant75 - May 24, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    I will never buy another GTA game again. The controls makes it extremely hard to finish some missions even after several hours of tries to my dismay not complete it. I have to admit i have put down GTA IV and it's now collecting dust (unfinished product). The controls on vehicles are horrendous to say the least. Races and things that require you to get to destination to destination in a designated time or chase this guy down on a bike to after 20 tries never to complete it, because of the controls, always loosing control around corners or rocking back and forth hitting vehicles with that thumb stick, you can't drive normal in these games. The same old thing shooting people or having a fire fight in the street or hospital against the police looses it's mustard and tend to get boring especially after all the tries for one mission. The graphics are weak in these games idk about GTA V but all the graphics prior sucked for a so called next generation console. If they clean up the interface and make driving vehicles easier or better on a norm then maybe some of us can complete some of the extra hard missions in a timely manner. Having us fight through these tough missions over and over again just makes it loose it's luster and tend to get boring after a while of repetitive game play. I use to walk by people sitting on a bench and shoot them in the head for looking at me or talking smack, because how frustrated i get with these games :D. I would like to see these games graphics get a face lift make them look more realistic and better controls over vehicles. I would also like GTA games to be more open ended they weren't in previous games. Let us be able to get on any rooftop or into any building including breaking into the neighbors homes and stuff. Having a more overall realistic feel and approach to these games would really open up people minds to the game as there would be way more stuff that you could do. I hate games that you have to run to take this girl out then rush to a mission or upset the woman and hang out with a friend to get their favor. May as well call it the Next Sims simulation. Rockstar lost a customer until they fix all the bad controls in these games.
  • 2cute2Bcruel - April 27, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    Well, I've had complaints about GTA for years. My biggies would have to be the godawful character models pre-IV and the cheap difficulty. I was amazed at all the warm, gooey praise thrown at the games with nary a mention of how impossible they are to complete. And the random stuff that you can do aside from missions, unlike Red Dead Redemption, isn't *that* fun or helpful. That's why I prefer the structure of the Dead Rising games for free-roaming fun. There are definitely better games than GTA. But there are worse games too.
  • austincharlesbond - April 26, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    zis is why I play Mario games, oh never mind just saw the link for hating Mario
  • Ddz53 - March 27, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    Even if I agree with most of these reasons, they never really bothered me. My love for GTA games is too big to be obliterated by these small details.
  • Sabtos - March 27, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    Right on. GTA games may be fun, but GTA IV really made me realize these problems heavily.
  • philipshaw - March 27, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Love GTA and this was a great feature. The picture of Niko punching a women was so funny
  • Hydrohs - March 27, 2010 1:52 a.m.

    Who says the world play gets boring. I've just dicked around in Liberty city for 110-120 hours. It's what I do while I listen to TDar. Running over hookers and jumping out of helicopters never gets old.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 26, 2010 9:43 p.m.

    fuck this article GTA is the shit. theres alot more reasons to love it. i love the controls of the ps2 versions and they are all better than IV to me. and about reason 2 who really cares that never bothered me. i can kinda agree with reason 3 but still not that noticeable cause they always have different reasons for killing different people. why would you hate reason 4. and im not quite sure what reason 5 is trying to say but if its about what they say on the radio well that shit is some of the craziest and funniest things ive ever heard in games and in the real world. LONG LIVE GTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • WhiskeyBit - March 26, 2010 8:44 p.m.

    @Howetzer, Hey man, I don't mean to get off on the wrong spot but, don't diss Che. It depends on where your coming from, but I think he was a great man. He is a symbole of freedom and... blah, blah, blah you get the point. I agree and disagree with some of his motives. But just so you know, I am well informed about about who he is and what he did. I did a very large report on him in college. In his words "for the ever lasting victory always".
  • reveffect - March 26, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    why are a few of you talking about missing lazlow. hes been in every gta game since gta3 and he was also on the stories ones two. but his talkshow is slowly becoming less funny than previous ones.
  • CocainCuresAll - March 26, 2010 6:39 p.m.

    haha! yes! finally!, even though it was written just for laughs, I couldn't agree more. and this article is the first to agree with me on every point.
  • Tommykrem - March 26, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    I don't know if I agree with 5. I however, would like to see lousy checkpointing on this list.
  • Howetzer - March 26, 2010 12:42 p.m.

    Ok First off, I wanna put on the record I think it's hilarious and awesome that the US editor used the words misogynistic AND catachresis in the same damn article! Way to go vocabulary in American Schools! Joe Mcneilly, you have my attention sir! Also I was just wondering @WhiskeyBit Seriously why the hell do you have your avatar pic as Che? You think he's cool or something the way idiots in Hollywood seem to? You know hes a murderer right?
  • kdombaz - March 26, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    I bought the game on per-order. At the time PS3 didn't have many great games that I could play. I received it and gave 3 goes to it. And every time thought no different then the previous version. As the article says REPETITIVE. KZ2, Bioschock, Heavy Rain, Motorstorm2, Lego Indiana Jones/Star Wars/Batman, LBP, Uncharted2, Tomb Raider later .... Still cannot play it. Can't sell it either though.
  • mdiaz033 - March 26, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    gta is also a bit immature, but it's getting there (very slowly). i love this series to death but i too find it to be disappointing sometimes. i've always wondered: if an alien race from space came to earth and asked us for some work of literature or anything that would give them an idea of our society/civilization, what would happen if we gave them gta iv? would it be accurate? i think, w/ the right sense of humor and understanding, yes. gta iv is a modern masterpiece in the sense that it does a great job portraying a violence obsessed consumer society in the us. the fact that the game is such a success only proves that even more. you see what they did there?
  • Dolan88fan - March 26, 2010 6:13 a.m.

    when u made that comment about americans i hope that implied you were from the american side of games radar it might be true but the brits shouldnt be running there mouths 1776 woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
  • TURbo - March 26, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    @zanthox Rokstarts Norths is not developing the Revollers. But one thing that is amazing bout the GTA's, is that its made from a developing studio in Scotland. At least they don't Heavy Rain the voice acting.
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 26, 2010 5:32 a.m.

    I don't care what no one says, I fucking love the motorcycles.
  • zanthox - March 26, 2010 3:54 a.m.

    You forgot 'tries to have a completely linear story in a open world.' I can't get into them because they are soooo linear despite the large, and often well made, overworld. Red Dead Revolver was a great game because it was only the linear parts. If they pull off Redemption it will be amazing though.
  • michaelmcc827 - March 26, 2010 3:49 a.m.

    I love Tyler's illustrations, they're the best parts of the articles this week. recaptcha: "the shockers" -two in the pink, one in the stink eh?

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