Grand Theft Auto 5 is so much more than its misanthropy

Eight-and-a-half years on from Grand Theft Auto 5’s release at the twilight of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, the world has changed. Games have changed, humour has changed, the public has changed, the developers have changed – not just those who worked in GTA5 but, more than likely, the makeup of developer Rockstar North itself. And in the ensuing years of service-game evolution and osmosis, the game’s more visible half, GTA Online, has changed an awful lot too.

Against all that, GTA5 itself – the base game, its story of post-financial crisis American impotence and ennui, and its peevish, sporadically offensive world – seems oddly static, a stoically flash-frozen slice of time, pickled and jarred and perfectly preserved, waiting for you to return.

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