Gamer's Notebook

Gamer's Notebook

Grand Theft Auto V:  big, expensive and totally worth it

By Chris O'Neal 09/12/2013


Quick, off the top of your head: What is the most expensive movie you’ve ever seen? If you’re like the vast majority of people, James Cameron’s Avatar probably came to mind. At somewhere near $280 million, there were more blue people per dollar than a Blue Man Group concert. Now toss that number out the window and think of the most expensive video game ever made. Got any guesses?


Grand Theft Auto V, the long-awaited next chapter in the GTA franchise, is soon to steal all of your time with its open-world madness. This time, our good bad guys are in a mock-LA. Very fitting for a game that looks more like a movie than a game.


Imagine every heist, every armed robbery, every scheme found in your favorite movies and, in a way, you have Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V. Scenes reminiscent of Heat and Point Break can be seen in the trailers, with your main men — Michael, Trevor and Franklin — as the stars of the show. Unlike previous GTA installments, these three are interchangeable, much like switching between Walt and Hank in Breaking Bad for narrative’s sake.


As is the case with the real Los Angeles, the city of Los Santos is surrounded by wilderness enough for city-dwellers’ need of exploration. Any of the three characters can head out into the wild, hop on an ATV and go fishing. This will, of course, offer a nice break from running down pedestrians and beating gangsters with wooden planks.


But of course there is a story element, and the story this time revolves around the old Godfather quote, “Just when I thought I was out, they keep pulling me back in.” Our characters are criminals made to pull off one last job, and you’ll have to decide whether or not to complete the mission or waste your time sky-diving, dancing, buying up land or simply trying to pull off a flip in a Cadillac.


Now we come full circle and we talk about cost. You can expect to pay $59.99 for the regular console edition of Grand Theft Auto V, but Rockstar spent a whopping $265 million dollars to produce it. If it were a movie, GTA V would be the second most expensive film ever, right behind Avatar.


While Avatar had a three-hour run time filled with blue bugaboos, GTA V will give you — if you’re patient and what we call a “perfectionist” — close to 100 hours of game play. Breaking that down even further reveals that every minute of Avatar cost Cameron $1,573,000. GTA? Every minute of game play is worth roughly $44,100. What a deal!


I know, there’s a huge difference between a video game and a movie. Right? Perhaps, but try telling that to the folks who will sit in front of a flat-screen, HD television and watch as the story unfolds in GTA 5. It’s kind of like a movie, if that movie took four days to finish.


Speaking of movies, ever notice how all of your favorite fairy tales are turned into film over and over again? There’s one adaptation worth looking out for, and that would be the comic series Fables. Think real-world crime drama meets the alternative world of The Brother’s Grimm in a gritty, street crime take and you’ve got it. Or perhaps the television series Grimm.


Telltale Games, the geniuses behind last year’s award-winning The Walking Dead episodic series, are back, this time with The Wolf Among Us, the first part in a Fables adaptation.


You play as Bigby Wolf. Yes, of “big bad” fame. Only he’s a grizzled cop now, setting rights and encountering some familiar faces. In the recent demo, Mr. Wolf is called to the scene of a domestic dispute between the woodsman and his woman. Cue fight night, round two. Unlike The Walking Dead, where action was dictated by a point and click, The Wolf Among Us allows the player to control the action and feel more like a part of the scene.


Keep those big eyes of yours open for the impending release of Wolf. It’s sure to be a hoot. Howl? No, I meant hoot.


Chris O’Neal is still struggling to reach those juicy grapes. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.

 

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