Grand Theft Auto V rules, but has a woman problem

Grand Theft Auto V
The game is really, really good, but not having female protagonists is a drawback. / Rockstar games

This is it: the swan song of this gaming generation. PS4 and Xbox One are racing to store shelves in just a month or so, in all of their digital majesty. But for now, who cares? We have “Grand Theft Auto V.” This game has caused a gigantic pop culture splash, and for good reason. It’s really, really (really) good.

If you’ve been living under a rock, the “Grand Theft Auto” series is an open-world sandbox in which you can do anything you want. For real — anything. Ride a monster truck off of a cliff into the sea. Kill a thousand  prostitutes. Fight aliens and do drugs. The sky isn’t even the limit as you can also steal an airplane or helicopter. It’s basically a nihilism simulator — a damned good one.

“GTA V” takes place in a fictional southern California, complete with beaches, deserts and the glitter and excess of a fake Hollywood. The story has three playable protagonists and revolves around a series of exciting bank heists. All told, there are enough missions to keep you busy for 40 hours or so, not even considering the recently launched online component.

On the downside, the game’s much vaunted satire is a little on the nose and occasionally stupid. Also, there have been a dozen playable characters in the franchise so far and not a single woman. Other than these tiny gripes, “GTA V” is probably the best sandbox game ever made. I can’t wait to see what Rockstar does with the next gen consoles.



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