Is GTA V badly written?
There was a really interesting debate on The Repartee between The Escapist Editor in Chief Greg Tito; who gave GTA V a 3.5 out of 5 in his official review and Keza Macdonald, a Contributing Editor at IGN, who gave GTA V a ten out of ten in her review, concerning whether or not GTA V is badly written. Beware, spoilers!
Keza’s position is that GTA V is effective satire of modern America that serves the plot and characters:
”Grand Theft Auto V is also an intelligent, wickedly comic, and bitingly relevant commentary on contemporary, post-economic crisis America. Everything about it drips satire: it rips into the Millennial generation, celebrities, the far right, the far left, the middle class, the media… Nothing is safe from Rockstar’s sharp tongue, including modern video games.”
While Greg’s position is that GTA V’s morally inept protagonists and supporting characters are a result of bad writing and lack of character progression:
“GTA V should not be praised for a shoddy story with little regard to writing strong protagonists the audience can understand and appreciate…I don’t fault the people complaining about my review of GTA V, and how it criticizes the subject matter, but I couldn’t ignore my churning gut and upchuck five stars for a game whose defining emotion wasn’t excitement or elation, but sadness.”
On one hand, I agree with Greg that the characters are reprehensible and don’t evolve much, but at the same time, I can’t see Michael, Trevor and Franklin as anything but really funny, lovable characters that bounce off each other really well. I also agree with Keza, as GTA V satirical qualities are absolutely undeniable.
As far as GTA characters have been, none have ever been as fleshed out as they are in GTA V. They were never objectively good guys either, they were all gangsters or career criminals. But anyway, it’s a really good exchange of ideas and opinion and you should check it out as both have valid points. I’m curious to hear what the LG readers think about GTA V regarding this issue.