Does Crime Pay?

Of course not, but when it comes to the Grand Theft Auto series (specifically GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas) Rock Star is raking in the money. There is a reason not only are the games wide open, do anything themes fun, but the level of emersion into each game’s environment is simply top notch.

Last night I decided to pick up San Andreas after a long hiatus. As much as I love the series, I have never finished GTA III (around 60%) or Vice City (maybe 40%), and San Andreas (no more than 10%) hit during a practically busy time. So with ample beer in hand, and the family in bed, I started San Andreas anew. Four hours later (2:30AM EST for those keeping score at home) I had to call it a night because my youngest son came in the living room. What a site; poor guy – throw-up all over his PJs.

I know that some people hate the concept of a “crime simulator” but this gamer does not really mind. Sure the game is over the top, but that is part of the fun. The game is clearly made for adults, so there should not be any more arguments about shooting cops, f’ing hookers, jacking cars, causing ungodly mayhem, and generally beating the crap out of anyone and everyone because those arguments are non sequitur. San Andreas is a “Mature” rated game, for gamers 17 and older. Period. End of story.

San Andreas is the deepest of the three games, and except for me being more partial to the 80s music in Vice City, everything in San Andreas is bigger, better, and deeper than the previous two games. That said, I still love the music – there is something for everyone, and in most cases the songs just feel right for the game. Of course I have never listened to a song over the air waves that mentions sucking (fill in the blank here in an effort to keep some degree non-shock value), so that particular song caught me by surprise.

I found myself playing a mission, and then causing mayhem. It is a blast just see what there is to do in the city, what you can get a way with, how many mean-muggings you can perform without some gangsters trying to take you out, and what is a safe distance to play “whack a whore” without pissing off the police.

Of course there is some debate about Christians playing this game – can you without totally going against your values? For me the answer is clear, GTA San Andreas is just good (maybe not so clean) entertainment. Hopefully I can keep with the game this time instead of getting distracted.

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