Graphics are better in Grand Theft Auto V but gripes stay the same

Graphics are better in Grand Theft Auto V but gripes stay the same

Gameplay and look are praised in Grand Theft Auto V, but content is still criticised

Junior Reporter
Born to write about anything, be it Rihanna’s latest record or the adventures of open, mighty mountains and shimmering oceans.
Every time a new Grand Theft Auto is released, it usually gets equal amounts of praise and criticism.

The action-adventure game's state-of-the-art graphics and map appeal to many people, but academics and critics say the graphics are, indeed, too graphic - in a violent way - for young players. The game, published by US-based Rockstar Games, is rated unsuitable for players under the age of 18 in Hong Kong.

But these warnings have little effect on youngsters, as many already have their copies.

Harsimrat Singh, a student at YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College, is among those who have been hooked on Grand Theft Auto V since the game was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17.

"It's just terrific, the gameplay is awesome, the cars roll so smoothly and the missions are excellent," says Harsimrat, 16, as he skilfully moves his Xbox controller in his Tung Chung home. "Everything goes over the top."

Some of Harsimrat's excitement comes from the stunning graphics, which make almost everything look far closer to reality than the previous versions of the game.

Those games were criticised for leaving flaws in less visited places, and when players stumbled upon those places, the game simply lagged. The map in GTA V may just be as large as in previous versions, but now wherever a character goes, the details are refined and the graphics smooth.

Players can also juggle three characters - and a dog - in the game for the first time. "Having three characters instead of one truly makes it better for us to play from different angles," says Harsimrat's schoolmate, Ali Abdul Rafay.

But criticism flared within a month of the game's release. Ted Tam Chung-hoi, assistant executive director of Youth Outreach, says it's hard to deny its influence on youngsters.

For example, the African-American character named Franklin is accused of encouraging stereotypes, and his constant use of an offensive term for black people has raised many objections.

Harsimrat and his friends haven't picked up swearing, but they admit they have started using other terms in Franklin's virtual world. One of Harsimrat's friends has asked people to refer to him as Trevor, a violent character in GTA V.

"[The characters] have used some words, and after that, my friends use them," says Harsimrat.

Another problem is that the game's basis is committing crimes, made worse this time through the use of Trevor. Harsimrat's mother has said she notices that he gets more aggressive when playing the game, but he says it's not for long.

Tam said cultural and language differences between Hong Kong and the US have reduced the impact on local teenagers. The game is not to blame for every misbehaving act.

"It's easy for us to blame violent games and pornographic materials once we find our youngsters are in trouble," says Tam. "But this is still a game for adults."

Grand Theft Auto V contains strong language, and violent, adult content

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6 Comments

issac chan

16:50pm

This is an attractive game. How ever it is just for xbox and ps3. I hope the maker of the gta5 can give out the PC version more earlier. so, more people can try this awesome game.

alvin tsang

16:50pm

I think gta 5 is a very amazing game because this game have more people you can choose it and you can go everywhere but I can not play this game because I am under 18 ,I hope the game will have many people buy it

alvin tsang

16:50pm

I think gta 5 is a very amazing game because this game have more people you can choose it and you can go everywhere but I can not play this game because I am under 18 ,I hope the game will have many people buy it