The following are 5 things that I learned from a parents perspective about Grand Theft Auto 5 just by watching the game play trailer.
#1: It is still GTA
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has moved beyond its role as a simple crime simulator. Instead, we are treated with an expansive world to explore and play in. Rockstar Games takes the time to craft a massive world and crams as many details into the game as possible. They even fit a complete golf simulator into it!
#2: That might not be a bad thing
Games that are this large in scope provide ample opportunities for varied gaming experiences without even taking the disc out. There is very little to stop you from firing up a round of golf or tennis with your kids and then going off to complete a story mission once they go to bed.
Call me crazy, but kids only experience the content that you let them consume. My sons still think Assassin’s Creed is about climbing historical buildings. My youngest son thinks Skyrim is a hunting and leatherworking simulator with dragons in it. The Extra Credits crew spends some time in one of their recent videos detailing how a teacher plays Grand Theft Auto 4 with his child by driving around, obeying traffic laws, and asking their child to say what color the different cars are. That little kid has no idea what the code of the game could let his father do. I’ll bet that there will be opportunities for similar experiences in GTA V.
#3: This game looks like it will definitely give you something to talk about
I’m not endorsing this game as something that you should play in its entirety with young kids. The violence is obviously way off the charts. The game is named after a felony after all! But, those parents who have teenaged children might be able to use this game and the narrative within it as a springboard into some serious discussion about society, crime, poverty vs affluence, etc. The sharp contrast between the three protagonists alone should generate some excellent discussions.
#4: The “three protagonist” game play is going to make my head spin
One of the biggest features in this game is that the player can switch seamlessly between any one of three protagonists at any point in the game leaving the other two to be controlled by the computer. This leads to some pretty complex game play situations. I can just picture popping into the wrong guy’s head at the exact wrong time and ruining a few missions.
#5: Online Multiplayer for GTA? Wow. Bust out the parental controls!
Online multiplayer is already questionable for kids. You never know what kind of players you will be stuck with and the language/attitude of a lot of the online players is downright caustic. I am also going to assume that the multiplayer game isn’t going to be all about playing golf either.