I fired up GTA5 for the first time yesterday...
I've been meaning to play GTA5 for ages; I've got fond memories of the original GTA on the PC, briefly dabbled with GTA2[*] had huge fun with GTA3, loved zooming around in Vice City and got a fair way into the story mode for GTA4.
And since I'd picked it up when Epic offered it for free, I finally got around to spinning it up.
Sadly, that's when it all went a bit meh.
First, you're dumped into the middle of an armed robbery setpiece, where you have to perform specific tasks in a specific order as part of the "tutorial". Which also involves throwing lots of meta-game actions at you, such as using your mobile or switching to a different character.
Which TBH, I didn't really want to do, seeing as these initial characters are violent and obnoxious. As is quickly demonstrated by the way that they brutally mow down dozens of police officers as part of their escape.
Having completed this set-piece, the action switched to a cut-scene, which eventually segued into some hands-on action where you take control of an african-american character, who has to follow his mate in yet another tutorial revolving around delivering a car to a car showroom.
And so I delivered said car, complete with dents and a few bloodstains from when various pedestrians didn't get out of the way quickly enough. I'm guessing these artisianal, hand-crafted and unique additions to the car will increase it's retail value!
From there, I got to drive back to said character's home, while listening to yet more smack-talk from his mate, liberally peppered with swearing, vulgarities and the N word.
And at this point, I'm thinking I might just give up, hit one of the modding sites, and fire GTA4 or Vice City back up with a load of mods.
Because when all is said and done, I don't want to playing the part of some sociopathic criminal, or an urban kid with a vastly different cultural background and a tendency towards vulgar conversations. Nor do I want to be pratting about with mobile phones, haircuts, switching characters, or any of the other role-playing meta-activities the game seems to assume I'm actively interested in.
I just want the sandbox experience of exploring a vast city and doing crazy things with vehicles. As was the case in GTA3, and (to a lesser extent), GTA:VC.
To be fair, I know I'm something of a minority, since GTA5 is still a spectacularly popular game, some seven years after release. But even so, I'm guessing that it's mostly popular because of the GTA Online, where you don't have to do all the role-playing malarky...
[*] I've been meaning to get back to this, seeing as Rockstar offer it for free on their website, there's various mods to make it work on modern hardware and a recent article reminded me that it's actually got something of a cyberpunk vibe to it...