The Grand Theft Auto franchise allows us to live a life that would get us killed or jailed in the real world. Sure there is a storyline and missions to complete, but what really keeps us coming back for more is the ability to do whatever we want, as long as you don’t get caught by the cops. You can murder almost anyone that you want without provocation. If you need new wheels, all you have to do is track down the car you desire and remove the driver. For those of us who need instant gratification, GTA is the game that keeps giving and giving. Rockstar is the Santa Claus of our twisted, chaotic world.
Passerbys hear gunshots and look the other way. Getting busted by the police is the equivalent of getting slapped on the wrist. They arrest and release you so often you will start to believe you are the victim of a hidden camera show. The hospitals not only treat your wounds but make sure you don’t leave your cache of weapons behind, making it clear they don’t care if NPCs are gunned down in cold blood. I mean, we know they aren’t real people, but that is still pretty harsh.
The worlds that Rockstar created are fun despite how disturbingly dark and chaotic each one is. Like the Joker, as gamers, we eventually find comfort in the anarchy. In-game actions that typically disturb us now give us pleasure. It is strange and wonderful and—
Why are we like this!?
15 Murderers Get Hungry Just Like Anyone Else
The world of Grand Theft Auto is so warped that violence and general debauchery is normal there. In a way, the typical citizen’s response is similar to that of fictional Japanese citizens in anime when the supernatural strikes. It’s business as usual.
The hot dog guy watches you murder random people in broad daylight, and instead of calling the police or running away, he just stands there waiting for your business. You know, because the cops are there and he knows you need this hot dog to survive the firefight that is bound to ensue. His apathy and passive support of slaughter are actually quite chilling. He is the GTA equivalent of people who stream violence on social media but never do anything to intervene. Maybe the hot dog guy is a critique on the sad state of our society. . .
Nah, he's just trying to sell hot dogs.
14 Sometimes NPCs Make Things A Little Too Easy
AI in video games has come a long way since Tails’ moronic deaths in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. However, even though it has improved, we still have a long way to go. See Exhibit A above. Imagine that you are riding in a car with your friend and some guy snipes them. Your friend was the driver. The sniper rifle is likely still aiming in that direction. The last thing you want to do is make yourself an easy target, so you don’t jump in the driver’s seat of the car.
Unfortunately, this NPC isn’t that bright. In fact, they deserve a Darwin Award. I mean, yes, he made it easy for the player, but in a way, that is what is so disappointing. At least put up a fight or be more lifelike. It will make your death more enjoyable—and just like that, I’m a sociopath.
13 It Is Never Trevor's Fault
Trevor is the worst. He is vulgar, wears that same ratty shirt every day, and to say he is psychotic is an understatement. His moral compass isn’t broken, he was simply born without one. Oh, and nothing is ever his fault. Did he shoot you in the foot? Push you off a cliff? Side swipe your car? Yeah, all of that was your fault—or Michael’s fault, depending on how he felt that day—even if he was drunk.
No wonder Michael changed his last name so he couldn’t find him. With a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas, he is bound to get you into trouble, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Trevor lets us explore our inner demon. The chaos and destruction he causes is intoxicating—and fun—even though we know it shouldn’t be.
12 At Least Dating Is Easy
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the game allows the player to take girls out on dates. During the mission “Date Night,” Nico takes Michelle bowling and, depending on how you play, runs over a few pedestrians and bangs up her car a bit. Any normal person would be pissed but not Michelle. Oh no, she is actually delighted and—despite the blood and costly frame damage—would like to see Nico again.
She doesn’t file an insurance claim, report him, or seek revenge. Instead, she just gives him the car. Who does that? Maybe it is unrealistic to expect real-world consequences in a game that only fines you a couple hundred bucks for murder.
GTA logic. If you try to make sense of it, you will only stress yourself out.
11 There Can Be Only One Patient
You ever wait for the ambulance to arrive after beating down a few unassuming pedestrians? If not, you should because watching them mow down innocent civilians like a lawn mower is hilarious. This is yet another example of the lawlessness present in GTA. Why don’t the police arrest the ambulance driver? A matter of fact, why don’t the NPCs in the game respond to the sound of sirens? At the very least, they could pull their cars over.
This wouldn’t be so bad if the paramedics backtracked and worked on all of the people they hurt along the way. Of course, they are such terrible drivers that doing so would result in an endless cycle of injuries and treatment.
You would think the needs of the many would outweigh the needs of the few—or the one— but not in GTA.
10 Let The Music Take Control
Sometimes the music takes over and transforms you into the Lord of the Dance, trapping you in a fist-pumping, hip-swaying, sweat-inducing dance frenzy. When dance is life, you don’t care if bodies pile up at your feet because some maniac with a katana or gun decided it would be fun to randomly slaughter your club mates.
It makes you wonder what song is so good that you can’t escape its grasp. Vice City’s soundtrack is great, but it isn’t worth dying over. The woman pictured is yet another NPC with an unrealistic response to violence. Although, maybe there is something we don’t know. Maybe the club was hosting a dance competition that night, and the woman needs to win the prize to pay for her college tuition or her daughter’s life-saving surgery.
Or, maybe she is just another case of bad AI.
9 What A Beautiful Day For A Selfie
When Grand Theft Auto V added a selfie feature, they literally changed the game. Its inclusion was only natural, especially when you consider how much social media and selfies pervade our current culture is. I’m sure Rockstar expected gamers to take selfies of themselves in front of a beautiful skyline or their sweet new ride. However, just like with all new technology, people found new and creative ways to use it.
Instead of balcony selfies, many decided to document their criminal exploits—much like the selfie above of Franklin standing in front of several burning bodies. You don’t need a filter to see that he brought about their misery. It is a good thing he can’t upload these images to Lifeinvader. Otherwise, he would already be behind bars.
8 Now You Can Kill Civilians During Your Lunch
In case you missed it, and for some reason absolutely need to play open-world, third-person shooters on your phone, there are three Grand Theft Auto games available on iOS: GTA III, San Andreas, and Vice City. That’s right, if you have an iPhone or iPad you can shoot innocent civilians and rob as many hookers as you want while on the go or on your lunch break.
Of course, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. Imagine the evil looks you will get from parents or the disappointment on the faces of the elderly. Not to mention, it’s already hard enough to follow the damn train without a bumpy bus ride throwing off your concentration.
Some games are best enjoyed in the comfort of your own home where only your dog and cat can judge you.
7 Don't Forget Your Prescription And Your Weapons
In true form, the hospital will help you out whether you are a law-abiding citizen or a domestic terrorist. Their job is the heal the sick and treat the injured, regardless of their morals, which is fine. However, they seem perfectly content with releasing a homicidal maniac back into society without consulting with local law enforcement. They don’t even confiscate his weapons.
Visiting a hospital in GTA is the video game equivalent of getting baptized. All of your sins are forgiven, and you get to start over with a clean slate. How lucky for you—and unlucky for the next 35 people who encounter you. Although, maybe this is how the hospital stays in business, releasing you all but guarantees that trauma victims will never be in short supply. How sinister!
6 Do We Really Need GTA Go?
When Pokemon Go released last summer, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Everywhere you turned you saw people walking, hanging out at parks, and exploring locations they had overlooked for years. Going outside was suddenly all the rage again. Of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and sprinkles. Players got into car accidents, fell into ditches, were assumed to be home invaders, and some even died.
Pokemon Go’s augmented reality pushed the envelope when it came to immersive gameplay, allowing us to enjoy our hobby in the real world. Now, imagine for a second what GTA Go would be like. Players would lurk in parking lots waiting to steal cars, run red lights to earn in-game cash, and actually commit murder. If it became as popular as Pokemon Go, the world as we know it would implode.
On second thought, let’s table this idea. Augmented reality works best when it isn’t so close to real life.
5 Never Underestimate The Power Of A Paint Job
It must be tough to try to live as a normal, law-abiding citizen in any of GTA’s fictional cities. Just trying to get to work in one piece becomes an Olympic event, complete with hurdles and long jumps. Add a relationship to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. Odds are one of you will die on your morning walk to grab milk from the corner store.
You want vengeance, but the police insist they have it under control. Meddling will only get you killed. That evening, you turn on the local news and see the police are in pursuit of the bastard who killed your spouse. You watch as the suspect turns into a paint shop, his once black car now red.
You aren’t so easily fooled. Unfortunately, the police are.
4 Hey! Hands Off The Cop Car
The in-game actions of police across GTA titles seems to be completely arbitrary. They barely bat an eye at you walking around with an RPG, but as soon as you touch their precious cruiser, it is on. And, like Trevor, if they are the ones who run into you, it is still your fault for being in their way.
So take your wanted star and either get into a shootout or start running because they aren’t going to give you enough time to explain yourself. Even if you did take them to court, it is your word against theirs. Who do you think the jury is going to believe, a street-wise troublemaker or our man in blue? The answer should be obvious.
If only the police force were more like Michelle. . .
3 Who Trains These Paramedics?
Paramedics in the Grand Theft Auto series are comedy gold. It is bad enough that they run over civilians in their quest to save the chosen one, but their antics do not stop there. Did you know they are also trained in the ways of necromancy, which allows them to raise the dead? Okay, maybe they aren’t technically adept at the dark arts but they do have an uncanny ability to revive seemingly dead NPCs.
I’m not talking about minor injuries, either. I mean, victims of multiple gunshot wounds or a chainsaw massacre who bleed out on the concrete before your eyes. Modern medicine has advanced significantly since its inception, but I seriously doubt CPR can cure massive blood loss.
Too bad real world paramedics aren’t as skilled as these guys.
2 But The Children!
Won’t someone think of the children!?
It is an epidemic. Babies are getting wasted on orange juice and crashing their walkers and Power Wheels into each other. One report says they have been pulling each other's hair, stealing toys, and fleeing from law enforcement. Oh, the horror! Who or what has caused these neglected children to go on a rampage? It is that dastardly Rockstar and their insanely violent, mature-rated game, Grand Theft Auto V.
Sound familiar? Without fail, whenever a new GTA is released, there are those who will sound the “not safe for kids” alarm. Yeah, we know. In fact, most of the world knows these games aren’t for kids. It even says so on the box. The developers and video game stores have done their part but are somehow still to blame when little Timmy throws a tantrum.
1 We Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
Admit it. If Grand Theft Auto didn’t allow you to shoot random citizens or outrun the long arm of the law, you probably wouldn’t play. We already have Rockstar games that impose their morals on us such as Red Dead Redemption, which won’t allow you to be unfaithful to your wife. A great choice story wise, but not something we are used to in this age of “Choose Your Own Adventure” gaming.
Shooting random citizens is the one activity you can always fall back on when missions get to difficult or boring. It even works well for problems in your personal life. Getting evicted or lost your job? Boot up GTA and take your frustration out on the next pedestrian who gives you a sidelong glance. It is a good way to release all of that built up tension.