This guest article comes from the keyboard of ashw92, one of our community members.
The biggest game of the year was released yesterday in the form of Grand Theft Auto 5. However, I really haven’t been able to get myself excited about. Left and right through nearly every conceivable media stream I have been inundated with marketing spiel and hype inducing communications.
Social media has also been a hotbed of discussion, with the overly pro-GTA bandwagon out in full force against the ‘hating it for the sake of it’ brigade. And then there are those like me, clustered somewhere in the middle, in Grand Theft Auto limbo. We know full well there are copies still about to pick up from your local retailer of choice but having no real motivation to go and do so.
Obviously the announcement of the latest game in Rockstar’s insanely popular series was no surprise whatsoever. Everyone knew it was coming, but after GTA IV left a slightly sour taste in my mouth I wasn’t as excited as some to see the announcement that would soon be upon us. However, when that initial announcement came around and the first few trailers and big bits of information were released my interest grew rapidly.
A return to Los Santos, a big city and an open area to wreak havoc in, three playable characters and some nearly-next gen looking graphics all piqued my interest to the point where I considered putting down an early preorder.
This excitement, however, did not last. The more pieces of small information that were released, and the drip feed screenshots began to bore me. Yes, that plane looks cool and yes, that is nice looking mountain and yes, Trevor does look like a crazy bag of fun, but do I want to play it? I’m not sure. The more I heard the more my interest deteriorated, it wasn’t a case of it looking unappealing as such, it just didn’t seem overly appealing to me.
When all of the reviews were released it was clear that GTA V was an amazing game. With near unanimous 9’s and 10’s from a broad range of outlets, it seemed that Rockstar had produced the game that would mark the swansong of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. But still, a smorgasbord of praise and a Metacritic score of a whopping 97/100 didn’t make me want to get back on the hype train. I appreciated that it was a great game and definitely something that I should play and would undoubtedly get into and enjoy but I still didn’t consider buying it.
Today I walked into a Tesco to buy some lunch and saw, beside a security guard who really seemed to be taking the link between GTA and crime all too literally, was an enormous display with dozens of copies, ready to picked up for only £38. I paused for a moment and looked at them.
This game, the most expensive game ever made, one of the most critically acclaimed games ever made, and I just walked straight past to get a pot of pasta. I had the money, I have the time to play it and I had the opportunity to buy it, but even the ever-present cries of how good the game is from the Internet as a whole couldn’t sway me at point of purchase.
Ultimately, this worries me slightly. Why did I, an avid gamer and writer about games, not pick up the biggest release of the generation when it was starring me in the face? I can only really see two possible reasons; that I am simply losing interest in video games or that I am experiencing current-generation console fatigue.
I sincerely hope it’s the latter. I love video games and I hope to continue to do so, and that deep down that I am simply in need of a change. New hardware, new IPs and new experiences are all coming later this year.
Saying that, I did hold back on preordering a PS4 too…