I’ve been asked many times whether I consider myself a gamer. The answer is yes and no. There are certain types of games I love, and types of games that bore me to the point where I’d rather go outside and grate my face against the tarmac.
One of the games I absolutely adore is Grand Theft Auto. The latest version recently came out and I’ve been playing it for around three months now – a record for me.
The reason why I love GTA5 so much is the freedom. You’re basically assigned a character and you get to do what you want in a digital city. There are absolutely no limits to what you can do in this game, which is also why so many angry parents are crying out for it to be banned.
I can totally understand the reason behind their anger. GTA5 is an ultra-violent game loaded with ill-advised content for young people. But then again, just like a movie, a game is rated beforehand so parents know whether it’s a good idea to let their kids play it or not.
But let’s not wander too far of the topic here. The reason I’m blogging has nothing to do with the “Grand” and the “Theft” in the title. I’m more interested in the “Auto” part.
One of the things you’re allowed to do in GTA5 is hijack a car – any car. You see a Mini you like, you simply hit its driver in the face, drag him out of the car and set off into the sunset in his pride and joy. After stealing it, you can upgrade/pimp it to suit your own personal nefarious in-game needs.
There are loads of hot-hatches, supercars and saloons available for jacking, but since we focus only on off-roaders, allow me to give you a small sample of those available for pilfering: Cadillac Escalade, Ford Bronco, Ford F150, Hummer, Infiniti FX, Mercedes ML, Mercedes G-wagon, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne. Because of trademark issues, the cars aren’t actually referred to by their real names in the game, but from the styling it’s fairly easy to see what you’re stealing.
This feature isn’t new to GTA5. It’s predecessors also allowed you to jack an innocent person at will, but all the cars in the game handled exactly the same way. In GTA5 there are discernable differences between the cars, just as in real life.
This evolution in gaming has paved the way for a new form of motoring journalism. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s basically a review of an in-game car.
I found a few off-road reviews and even a top ten SUV video on YouTube recently. Even more astonishing are the viewer figures for these videos. The top ten SUV video is currently standing at 31 000 views. That means more than 30 000 people tuned in to find out which SUV is the best deal, sorry, steal, in GTA5.
Actually, it’s not that surprising considering the fact that GTA5 holds the record for the fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion. It did so in just three days. That’s exponentially faster than any film or music album ever.
At first I didn’t like the idea of reviewing digital cars, but it may have something to do with the first review I watched.
The journalist behind the wheel (or gamepad, I suppose) sounded rather young and he had no idea what he was talking about as he attempted to ascend Mt. Chiliad (the fiercest of all mountains in the game, complete with it’s own off-road course) in a Ford F150. He modified it a bit, but instead of fitting things that would help him on the treacherous course, he decided to wrap his car in shining silver.
Along the way he talked about how amazing his car looked and complained about how poor the grip was. He also took the wrong line on a certain slope, which took my level of irritation up another level. I gave up on the review shortly after the so-called motoring hack simply drove over a couple innocently hiking their way to the top of the mountain. During the horrendous accident, he kept on talking as if nothing had happened.
A few clicks later I reached a YouTube page called GUN1T123. Now this guy does proper reviews. On his channel you can see the top ten of every automotive segment available. He also does shoot-outs occasionally. His selection of top ten SUV’s can be viewed below.
This gave GG and I a grand idea. I have a copy of GTA5 and we’re going to try and do our own review of an SUV in the game. I warn you before hand that my character is quite poor, so we might have to steal the subject of our review, but I promise we’ll try our best not to drive over innocent hikers as some of our less-experienced colleagues have done.