It goes without saying that GTA V is extremely expansive and realistic. The details in the game are immense and often go unnoticed by many players. With so much detail and so much to do the freedom of GTA V may seem endless, until you really stop to think about what is and is not possible. If you decide to test the limits of freedom you may ask yourself if GTA V offers you freedom or simply the illusion of freedom.
The first thing to think about is what the game is trying to do. Well consider the title first, Grand Theft Auto 5. Now think about the last time you watched somebody else play GTA V, what did they do? Did they go play disc golf? Jog around the park? Or did they steal a car (as the title insinuates) and drive around like laws didn’t exist.
Now this game has a lot of possibilities, many of which would not be possible without the intricate and extensive detail put into the game. If you pay close attention while playing GTA V you will hear unique dialogue when you talk to people after getting a haircut, notice that cars driving by are playing music that is muffled, and that the moon actually goes through cycles as the days pass by. Next time you play spend more time with the details, you’ll likely be surprised.
All of these details must lead to freedom right? Not exactly. Consider once again the title of the game but this time think about the theme it creates. Destruction. Many that play GTA V think the game offers freedom but that is because they are playing the game as the developers intended, they are customizing cars, robbing convenience stores, and answering calls on their smartphone. What they aren’t doing is building tree houses, selling lemonade by for 50 cents, and making music.
There is no doubt that the world of GTA V is an elaborate one, it’s a downright virtual reality! But in order to have freedom everything must be a possibility, just like in real life. How many different types of guns are available in this game? How many different types of flower pots are available in this game? Gamers love this game because it plays like a game, not like a freedom simulator. Destruction is the theme, destruction is what ropes in the masses, destruction is what players are aiming for.
A lot of the destruction in this game isn’t necessarily because players are a bloodthirsty monsters, they are a curious viewers, pushing the game and learning what it is about. “Oh, I stole a car in front of a cop and got a star rating. What happens when I get two stars?” “Those rocks look like a jump, I wonder how much air I can get.” “What happens if I visit the same prostitute over and over?” The actions and questions of the player may get more wild as time continues but that is because the content of the game is full of wild possibilities and when people figure that out they keep playing, and keep following the theme the developers have laid out instead of blazing new trails.
None of this is meant to bash GTA V, it is of course a beautiful and expansive game but it does come from a violent place. As the series has progressed more possibilities have become available and allowed for the developers to do more outside the means of violence. Really what it means is that the next Grand Theft Auto game will be even closer to becoming a virtual reality that slowly inches closer and closer to freedom, but for now, GTA V represents the illusion of freedom.
Written By: Garrett Jutte