Why do I find GTA 5 boring?

What keeps you playing a game?

As I picked up the controller, I was free to do what I wanted in Los Santos. When I began, the character I was using was just coming out of the hospital. He had a shotgun and pistol in his possession and I was free to have him cause as much mayhem as I wanted. So, I hit the left analog-stick up and pressed Y to steal the first car in front of me. I ran over a few helpless pedestrians and escaped from vehicles as if I were in a spy film. I even ran off a mountain and fell all the way into the ocean. However, as crazy as this all sounds, I never said it was fun.

I don’t hate Grand Theft Auto V. It has a great story, great characters, and shocking scenes meant to make players question the stupidity in the world. That’s fine and all, but why do people really play Grand Theft Auto? The series is known for letting players go nuts in an open sandbox world in order to cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible. That being said, I don’t believe that going nuts in Grand Theft Auto V is what keeps you hooked into its world and characters.

There are two theories as to why I think I didn’t enjoy my stay in Los Santos. Games are fun with friends. This was proven with the successes of League of Legends and Left 4Dead. Having people to laugh and cry with during an experience livens up the action and drama because what is felt from the game can now be openly expressed and shared with others. There is someone who feels the same way you do, which creates a bond that makes unimportant in-game events seem like treasured memories to the players. When I played, it was only me and two others who were doing homework in one of the Honors College lounges. I didn’t have anyone to share my awesome run with, so I didn’t feel any need or desire to keep playing.

Games also have the ability to steer players into doing what they want us to do. If you went back and played Grand Theft Auto IV, you would notice that the story and vehicular mayhem were nowhere near the same, but as you messed around and avoided following the storyline, there would be no incentive in beating the hopeless and homeless. Grand Theft Auto 5 continued that feel, in my opinion.

As the franchise went from Grand Theft Auto I to Grand Theft Auto V, the games became rich satires of American life between hired guns and thugs. That also meant stricter law enforcement with the rise in ignorant fear and a desire for security. People started carrying less money on the streets. Icons of new weapons and money were removed to make them harder to find. It’s also a lot easier to die in Grand Theft Auto V. A bullet can take you out almost immediately, and while the game has a health regeneration feature, this only restores up to 50% of your health.

In the end, Grand Theft Auto 5 is still a really good game. I just find the game boring if I don’t play it for the story or for enjoyment to share with others. Unless, that is, the game threw rocket launchers at me from the beginning like in Grand Theft Auto II.

About Matthew Maravilla 71 Articles
A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.

5 Comments

  1. Bought it, played it, bored with it.

    Biggest letdown to gaming ever.

    Don’t get me started on the lackluster graphics, the disappearing peds, cars, and all the other bugs that R* decided to ship to.

    If a restaurant brought you out a plate of food, and the meat was uncooked, but the staff said “ya, we’ll update that and cook it eventually…” would you eat there?

    So why would anyone buy GTAV? It’s an unfinished slapped together version of what it used to be.

    I will probably never buy another R* product again, that’s how let down I was by 5.

    • Ah, but bob, you’re missing the inherent joy of GTA 5. I know, I know, my article was supposed to call GTA 5 “boring”. No, I was trying to say something entirely different. See, I was faced with the issue of external expectation vs internal desire.
      Grand Theft Auto 5 is actually one of the most fun experiences I can ever have with my friends but I wanted to pose the question “Why?”. Why was Grand Theft Auto 5 so fun for me? Why did I get bored?

      I can understand your take on overall presentation but you’re saying that to the biggest budgeted video game to-date. You’re also forgetting the amounts of rendering it takes to have draw distances as gorgeous as the ones presented in GTA 5 when consoles only have 512mb of RAM with Graphics Cards from 2006.

      Read our ACTUAL review on GTA 5: http://njitvector.com/2013/vatsus-game-reviews-gta-v/

      But yeah, I just want to point out that this article is explaining the little design pieces that exhibit what steers a player to do action.

      If you found the game buggy and it detracted from your experience, I want you to think about why that is so.

      If we take your idea on an uncooked piece of meat, dig deeper. Is that piece of meat really uncooked? And if it is, why is that? That’s my goal with my articles that aren’t Indie Game Thing’s.

      Game Expression is supposed to break down games, not from a REVIEWER standpoint, but from a DESIGNER/DEVELOPER standpoint.

      Grand Theft Auto’s programming may be, as you say, buggy, but if you think it’s bad, why did the rest of the country love GTA 5? It’s all about how people experience the game. For me, I was presented the game in a way that coincided the purpose of the game. I wanted to play GTA 5 with people, experiencing it with friends and funny commentary. If not that, I wanted to at least play the story but seeing that that didn’t happen, and I was playing it with people who were generally wanted to do something else at that point, it hindered my experience.

      And that to me, is more important than a bunch of bugs people can look past. It is all about the player’s way of enjoying a game and how.
      Just, this particular article focused more on scope of how many people are watching and how external social engagement (backseat gamers) can affect one’s overall enjoyment of a game, which GTA 5 needs but also seems to depend on what you’re trying to do.

  2. Yeah, I got bored by this game too. It’s just not compelling. There’s “loads to do”, as everyone keeps saying, but none of it means anything, you never make any progress and there’s no ultimate aim. I play it, usually with netflix on as well, but it IS dull.

    • THANK YOU!!!! My feelings EXACTLY!

      Open world with loss of places to explore – check
      Largest map to date – check
      Wacky, innovative characters – check
      Great satirical take on America and urban culture in general – check
      Story that motivates you to play- missing
      Incentive for doing any action, mission, shoot out, heist, etc – missing

      The same problem with GTAIV I see repeated here in V and that is after two, three or four heists/jobs the game basically repeats itself until the hapless story is over. There’s no drive to want to play the game besides simply enjoying mayhem, senseless carniage and vapid wreckage. You can’t use your money for anything so there’s no incentive to actually do jobs. The only “believable” character is Franklin and after he gets his home in the Hills he would have believably retired but instead he continues in the same line of work. It just doesn’t make sense and for the logos me I can’t understand why people praise this game as they do.

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