Most people do not associate Grand Theft Auto with tears. For the most part, people look at is as an apocalyptic (just in the sense that some of us kill everything in sight) sandbox where anything is possible, and nothing is too absurd to try at least once. For the most part, I would agree with them.
A perfect example of embracing that zaniness is something that I’ve been doing for the past two days: hunting deer with a golf cart. No, not IN a golf cart. WITH a golf cart. In other words, I take to the mountains as Trevor, steal a golf cart, drive around until I see deer, and then I try to run them over with the golf cart. It may sound juvenile, because it is, but it is also fun as hell. But if you take a moment to look past that frivolity you will see that this is a game series that, at times, bares its soul and leaves the player breathless in its wake.
If you think about some of the best games of the last decade, sadness played a part. Loss played a part. On top of that, the last two games that Rockstar made before GTA V (L.A. Noir and Red Dead Redemption) BOTH feature (SPOILER ALERT) main characters who die at the end of the game, regardless of how well you played it.
So it is safe to say that Rockstar knows just how big an impact a tear-jerking moment can have on a gamer. As a matter of fact, I am still upset about John Marston, and would like us all to observe a moment of silence for one minute, right now.
The reality is, it is very hard not to get attached to characters you have spent forty plus hours with, so to see them get smoked can be rough, but it is a necessary step to strong narratives. If death was not a set back of theworld you are in when you play these games, what would be the point? The best games build us up only to break us down at some point further, just like the medium of film. And people can scoff if they want, saying that games won’t ever touch the medium of film, but how many movies have made $800 million dollars in one day? What is that? Say it louder, now.
So let’s avert our eyes from the insane stunt jumps for a moment. Let’s stop taking silly selfies of Trevor for a second. Let’s stop getting Michael high because he ends up bugging out and it’s hilarious. Instead, let’s talk about those quiet, sad moments that we experienced in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Though there are NO spoilers for GTA V on this list, there will be for other entries, but it’s all good. Not like any of us could ever go back to any of those after Rockstar’s latest, right?