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Grand Theft Auto V – Still Crazy After All These Years

Grand Theft Auto V is about to turn eight. Rather strangely, it’s also about to be released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This is a game that recently courted tens of thousands of dislikes on a YouTube tutorial, but will sell a billion copies anyway.

This is a game that’s massively loved, which everybody has played and which still manages to place in sales charts every single week. It doesn’t make any sense.

But has Rockstar finally pushed their luck too far? It’s starting to look like the answer is yes.

Back in Business

Last week Grand Theft Auto 5 Enhanced Edition proved to be less enhanced than you might think from the name. During the PlayStation Showcase we got out first look at the game running on PlayStation 5.

…And it looked just like it looked running on PlayStation 4. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s still an amazing looking game considering it’s long history. Has Bioshock Infinite or The Last of Us held up as well? I’m thinking probably not – especially not the latter, trapped on consoles.

Fans rightfully reacted.

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More than 1.5 million views, and yet look at those reacts. 95k downvotes to 23k upvotes. That should tell you just how upset people are with the current direction the series is heading in. Or, more accurately, the lack of direction.

The truth is that people will buy this and continue to play GTA Online over the course of the coming generation. There’s just no arguing with that. There’s something about the game – the online game certainly – that just will not go away.

It’s meant that this is the first mainline Grand Theft Auto without spin-offs or DLC. The single-player game has died a death. And despite promises of additional content in this set, it has been very vaguely described. The Ballad of Gay Tony this will not be. That’s a very safe bet.

It’s insane to me that anybody would support another release of this game, but they will. Hell, add it to PlayStation Plus or GamePass and I’ll fire up the single player myself. I guess I’m part of the problem.

Grand Theft Auto and the Decline of Rockstar

What a weird word to use in relation to the developer that recently made one of the best games of all time. But I think from a certain angle, it’s probably accurate.

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We’ve all seen that meme where it shows Rockstar’s release schedule up to 2013. They released multiple games a year. That all stopped once Grand Theft Auto V came out.

Now, there’s a good reason for that. Their games are generation-defining, and that doesn’t happen overnight. They’re popular for a reason. They haven’t release a bad game for as long as many of the biggest GTA V fans have been alive.

But it’s hard to stretch that to accepting another Grand Theft Auto V release. Had it been on the level with some of the PC mods you can download to improve the game, maybe. But for something that’s the same but at a higher resolution? No, thank you.

With this splashback on YouTube, it might show people are ready for the sixth numbered entry in the franchise to make an appearance. Or it might just show that people love being able to show the might of their displeasure with a single click. But unless it shows in the sales figures, expect GTA 5 to get another re-release and another, and another.

 

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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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