I haven’t been looking forward to this one. I am really not sure what to pick for it. I figure that a “guilty pleasure” game is one that you don’t want others to know that you play, or if you don’t care about what others think, its more about you knowing that you shouldn’t play it, but still do.
I’m just not sure I have one.
I’ve always been a gamer, from the first moment I realized that there was adventure to be had in the little green monochrome screen, to the high resolution LED monitors of today, I’ve always played what I wanted to, and never worried about who might think that it was “lame” or whatever.
I’m a proud gamer too. I have the shirts, the figures, wallpapers, calendars, etc… So what would I feel guilty about playing…
Oh man, I do love me some GTA. Sure, there’s great story, and well executed missions, but when you really get right down to it, GTA is an amazing sandbox game. You can do just about anything, and Rockstar goes a long way to give you things to do.
You can run around and just kill everyone. Thugs, cops, innocent men and women. Jack their cars, run over some people. Crash it into the side of a building, blow it up. Good times. Cause enough mayhem and you get the cops, SWAT, FBI, and even the national guard chasing you around. Nothing says “Adrenaline Rush” like driving a motorcycle down the highway while being chased by a tank. Oh, and did I mention how you get your health back in this game? Well, there’s several ways, but the best one is to pick up a hooker, get your man on, and then run her over afterwards to get your (and sometimes other people’s) money back. Win/Win. Well, not for the virtual hooker… but who cares!? She’s not real!
Running from the cops in GTA is a very real, and very frequent issue. And those guys always seem to be able to find you. Here’s how it works. You’re minding your own business, and everything is great. Your wanted level is zero (stars), which means that the cops are not looking for you. Once you commit a crime, if it’s witnessed by a cop (sometimes people will call 911 on their cellphones as well) you get a star. If it’s bad enough, you might get 2 stars off the bat, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. With one star, you basically have a cop chasing you. Pretty easy to ditch him, because he hasn’t called it in yet. But once you start running, you’re likely to break more laws, and eventually you’ll get 2 stars. Especially if you run people over with the cop right behind you. Well now you’re in for it, cops are coming from all over. You can still get away, but it’s a lot harder. Anytime a cop sees you, they update everyone on your location and man do they converge on you fast. Assuming you’re just out for some crazy joyriding or can’t find a convenient pay-‘n-spray to ditch the heat, you’re likely to get upgraded to 3 stars. Now the Helicopters are out for you too. Good luck getting away now. After that, they call in SWAT at 4 stars, the FBI shows up at 5 stars, and the National Guard comes in to take you down at 6 stars. It’s great! It’s a challenge to piss them off enough to call in the national guard, so when you do it, it’s party time! But I digress. Or regress… one of those.
I remember one time when I had just restarted playing GTA: San Andreas, because I wanted to show the wife what it was about. I just finished the opening scenes, and I got my first mission to go scare off some local thugs who were encroaching on my gang’s ‘hood. Well, you’re supposed to grab a baseball bat from the house, but I knew there was a gun hidden across the street. I went over, grabbed it, and proceeded to show this rival gang that I was not playing around. My wife was aghast! (Not “a ghast”, btw… then I’d have to have turned undead or something) “You just murdered those guys!”, she said with the horror in her voice completely unconcealed. “I sure did!”, I said gleefully. And after that she didn’t want to see GTA anymore. But I still had a merry time with it.
So I guess that’s that. I love GTA, I’ve played all of them and am looking forward to GTA5. But sometimes I feel a little guilty about getting bored or frustrated with the mission at hand, and just running around seeing how much mayhem I can cause before the cops take me down.