Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

So let’s cover it one more time… one last time. Just in case I haven’t made myself clear.

I hated Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

I found it offensive, reprehensible, and an affront to the idea of gaming that I identify with. Despite being initially delighted by the scope of the game on offer – a massive open world propping up an adult plot – I was soon crestfallen. “Mature” seemed to be a synonym for “caustic swearing”. Gameplay seemed to be stricken with a severe case of DIAS Syndrome. Storylines became cheap excuses to have cardboard characters express themselves through profanity; success in side-missions relied heavily on luck, rather than skill.

Mature? Maybe a thirteen-year-old boy’s impression of maturity, but certainly not one I grok. If this is what constitutes the epitome of post-adolescent gaming, then I can happily live without it; I’d rather have Suda51’s over-the-top hallucinatory ejaculations, tongue planted firmly in cheek, than this gritty “realism”.

Great gameplay? I’d like to think that, at the start of any task, I’ve got the opportunity to successfully complete my objective; GTA: CW thinks otherwise, essentially deciding whether you can complete the task with the roll of a dice. And that, my friends, is not “great gameplay”.

Sure, it’s a technical masterpiece: Rockstar Leeds have managed to squeeze an entire city into a 128MB DS cartridge (cliché would have encouraged me to write “a living, breathing city”, but the anonymous nature of its inhabitants makes that statement very disingenuous). It’s just a massive shame they decided to make it a city that I didn’t want to visit, watching a bunch of arseholes be… ummm… arseholic. And I’ve got The Real World for that sort of thing, thankyouverymuch – except people are generally much nicer (with a wider vocabulary and rational sensibilities) out here.

This was my first venture into the Grand Theft Auto franchise – and will be my last. After 100.00% completing the story, Gold Medalling every side mission (85 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze), acquiring over 1000 packets of every type of drug, and banking over a million dollars, I’m putting this away for ever. Good riddance.

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