GTA V Has One Fault: It Is Not Very Funny

GTA VGTA V has many nuances that make it accessible and addictive for its players. As you can probably tell, if you have been paying attention to the game’s sales or to the list of awards it has already won, most of these nuances have been engineered almost perfectly. Unfortunately, one area that the creators of GTA V seem to not be able to tackle with much finesse is comedy; the game just isn’t very funny.

As most people – even if they are not a hard core gamer – know, the game is set in a fictional Los Angeles. Being set in LA, the game makes countless attempts to ridicule the city of angels, which doesn’t sound too difficult. Is there an American city that is more scrutinized and laughed at for its perceived superficiality?

Yet GTA V’s humor is so heavy handed that it always seems to fall clumsily to the floor. The jokes are, predictably, of a crude nature. That is to be expected to accompany a game where the main draw for players is the ability to steal cars, shoot enemies and basically do whatever you can think of. But, the best part of crudeness is often its ability to be quick hitting, requiring the minimum amount of concentration and focus.

Not so in GTA V. The jokes are long winded and often you are left searching for the end.

Perhaps most glaring is the complete lack of originality in the game’s basic set up and view towards the comedic realities of Los Angeles. While the game’s graphics set up a completely new digital reality, the jokes are still trotting over the same one sided stereotypes of Californians that Woody Allen perfected in his 1977 film Annie Hall. That’s right, 1977.

Silly housewives, tanned bimbos, upper level executives who turn out to be wimps, it is all here in GTA V. What is missing is any new kind of cutting edge social commentary on one of the world’s most glamorous, yet most shallow cities.

Clearly much can be made about the humor’s sexist and other inappropriate connotations. But, just on a purely effective level, their portrayal of women and other aspects of society is just plain uninteresting. It is as though there had not been four versions of this game before for the writers to get out of the way all of their earlier fascinations with mocking middle school stereotypes.

One in-game script actually praises the simplicity of laughing at a housewife who is dumb. We can have the debate about whether this is suitable for teenagers, but there should not be any debate that it is not funny for anyone.

Clearly GTA V does not rest its cap on its ability to be funny. One look at its success and it is hard to deny that the game does not do many, many things very well. Players can drive across hours and hours of digital reality all while feeling the very completeness of this reality through switching radio stations, advertisements and so many other accessories it would be impossible to name them all.

GTA V will continue selling and winning awards as it should, just not for humor. GTA V’s jokes leave something to be desired, while its endless possibilities thankfully do not.

By Nick Manai



GTA V Forums

College Humor

14 Responses to "GTA V Has One Fault: It Is Not Very Funny"

  1. Alex   May 2, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I found everything wrong with this article. GTA is not a comedy film but a criminal franchise. Even then, there are lot of funny moments in it. Rockstar have tried their level best to fill this game with great humor. Those who played GTA V, surely will not believe this article. I request those who did not play the game to not to believe this article.

  2. Expatriot   January 20, 2014 at 2:18 am

    “What is missing is any new kind of cutting edge social commentary on one of the world’s most glamorous, yet most shallow cities.”
    As I read this line in your article, I instantly realized that even you dont know what you’re talking about. There can only be one of two things, a) You dont know what humor is or b) You think you know what humor is but do not have the faintest idea, ergo, you end up shelling out crap such as the article above.

  3. kev   December 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I agree, the humor is sophomoric. If GTA V’s humor went over anyone’s head it’s probably the 12 year olds that it was marketed to. Great game otherwise and there are funny moments, btw, that is not British humor.

  4. mike   December 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    This to me comes across as an attempt to gain hits by milking the gta v name. Anyone who has not played this game please please pay no attention to this article. Rockstar are the ultimate kings of subtle and well placed humor. Even moments like a certain head exploding or a surprise return characters appearance will cause you to laugh then almost feel guilty afterwards. I really feel bad for how much flack rockstar is getting from some people. People who have issue’s with the game should just go play their saint’s row and have their mom tuck em in at night. Silly rabbits gta ain’t for kids

  5. Stanley Arcane   December 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I’d recommend a second playthrough, except pay more attention the second time round. The jokes are subtle but present. Character dialogue has many comedic moments, in-game radio and commercials are littered with jokes, often too raw, but are said in the perfect ways.

  6. authors a moron   December 1, 2013 at 6:58 am

    You have no sense of humort hen because gta 5 is hilarious, you have no idea wtf your talking about

  7. Matt   December 1, 2013 at 3:57 am

    The writer of this article is American, the game is British. British humour often goes straight over Americans heads. I’ve always said that British gamers and Anglophile gamers get more fun out of GTA games than anyone else as GTA games are always filled with British humour obvious humour, subtle and hidden.

  8. Adam   November 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I find that it may not have a lot of in your face jokes but i find that it has a lot of little ones that give a quick chuckle like the hear no evil see no evil speak no evil. Kinda life in real life jokes are mostly small. Its a game not a comedy.

  9. Mick   November 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Definitely a terrible, ignorant article. As others have said the games humor has either gone completely over the authors head or….You’re just a grumpy old bag without any sense of humor, period.

    But why should any one care? They don’t. Click bait, just like that article about “blurring the lines of morality” and then harping on about societies ills being caused by the game….Again the entire point of the game flew straight over the authors head.

    Hurrrr durrrr

  10. Michael   November 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Gta v was probably the funniest game ever played, not stupid saints row fart type jokes like you make it sound but though the genius dialogue, micheal calling trevor a hipster, lamers joke that don’t ways play out so well, Wades special kind of innocence simplicity, all this in an extremely dark world

  11. Urs   November 30, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    If you don’t like GTA don’t play it…leave the fun to real gamers. This article is stupid and the author misses the complete point of the game.

  12. Jimmy Fallon   November 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Wow Nicki minaj didn’t find the game entertaining… I care why? GTA is crude and over the top at times , its not ground breaking comedy, its just crude. I wasn’t expecting a social analysis of LA and America, I was expecting an entertaining game , which it is.

  13. George Washington   November 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Lol this article is a joke. The comedy must have gone over your head. The comedy isn’t supposed to be taken at face value, but rather it’s making fun of the typical tropes that have been beaten to death over the years. Yes, I fell for your trap by clicking this article and giving you more page views for a popular, trending topic like gta v, but I had to say how ridiculous this piece is.

  14. Tom   November 30, 2013 at 10:36 am

    first of all, there is humor, and a lot of it. you must not have a sense of humor at all or maybe you’re too young to understand the jokes.

    secondly, GTA is never known for the comedy. the comedy is just an added bonus. if you know anything about the GTA series, it’s known for it’s grade A violence and open world exploring


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