Grand Theft Radar: Is GTA as clever as it thinks it is?

From stereotypes to outright stupidity, we re-evaluate the series' claim to brilliance

Let's not kid ourselves, here - GTA games are violent crime dramas, and unless you play them that way, you're not going to experience much of what they have to offer. You can spend your time hunting for stunt jumps or just dicking around delivering pizzas, but ultimately you're going to want more. And unless you're willing to put a few bullets in a few heads, well, GTA's structure isn't going to let you have it.

Above: A rough map of Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City
Circled: everything you'll be able to explore if you don't want to kill people

Granted, you're never forced to kill civilians, hookers or cops (or you weren't, until San Andreas made it part of a few crucial missions), and once you've unlocked everything and finished the story, you're free to play as nonviolently as you please. But by that point, you'll probably have put at least a few hundred virtual people into the ground.

Above: Guess you'll never get to do this, either. Too bad, but we'll have fun skydiving above San Andreas without you

Here's an experiment you can try at home: grab any GTA title, start a new game and see how long you can go without committing any crimes at all. If you can make it, say, more than a few hours without completely losing your cool and plowing a semi into a crowd of pedestrians, then congratulations! You're way more patient than we are.

The first GTA featured a fart button.

A. Fart. Button. As in, a button devoted to making your character fart. Let that sink in for a second.

Now, imagine everything you've seen ofGTA IVso far. Imagine its mature crime drama, its realistic take on violence and its enigmatic, Eastern European main character, Niko Bellic. Now, imagine Niko letting rip with a deafening fartstorm as he leans in to yank some stunned civilian out of a car, and you'll have an idea of exactly how far the series has come in the last 11 years.

Above: The very picture of quiet dignity
Below: The exact polar opposite of quiet dignity

For more Grand Theft Radar, clickhere.

Apr 23, 2008

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