Grand Theft Auto V is a tough one to steer


Kavleen Singh plays Grand Theft Auto V on Oct. 5. Photo by SHAD MCCARTY


No worries, GTA is just a more adult version of Mario Kart, right?


I continued consoling myself in this matter until I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take this watering-down of such depth and charisma in a game. Such depth and charisma, I experienced what I call the Edward Cullen antithesis; intimidatingly hilarious.

Not that GTA V is a joke of a game. I think it’s brilliant. They even have a knock-off In-N-Out in their masterful recreation of downtown Los Angeles. The graphics are beautiful, and I feel like I can safely say that despite not knowing much about graphic design.

However, there’s an important concept to get down in order to play: knowing how to use the Playstation controller.

It’s really hard not growing up with video game consoles other than a Wii, a Gameboy, and a Nintendo DS, so having my video game connoisseur friend teach me the controls was nerve racking. I don’t want to look stupid when I suddenly forget what to do.

But of course, bricks hit the fan. With each time my friend reminded me of which control does what, I just forgot. Run? Got it, I can run! I remember. Oh, I ducked. Wait, I need to change my weapon, I got this. Oh, I  ended up swirling around the view in nonsensical ways, and I was so illiterate with this remote I couldn’t even figure out how to fix it. I felt like a failure. But before I fully gave up on actually going places in this game, I needed to steal a car. Stealing cars in GTA is a must-have skill and I was determined to learn it.

My friend gave me detailed instructions, with as much seriousness as a war general gives his commandos — find a car, and press the triangle button. Remembering the triangle button should be easy. I like triangles, and I like buttons. I was just hoping my brain could perform what my heart was hoping for.

“You may possibly be the worst GTA player I’ve ever known, but I’ll make sure you’re able to steal a car,” he told me with utmost confidence. It felt good to have him believe in me, I felt like I had a chance of actually doing something partially right for once in this game.

I grabbed the control from him in one swift motion. The instructions were my personal mantra, repeating in my head in the tune of an archaic chant. As if a spell was cast on me, I followed through with precision. My finger married the triangle button that day, and I stole a car.

I couldn’t believe it, I was so relieved. But my relief only lasted so long before I knew I had to actually drive the car if I wanted to make it. This was where all my confidence burst. How do I accelerate? It wasn’t any better when the soundtrack played “My War” by Black Flag. It was when I realized I may have won the battle by stealing the car, but lost the war by not knowing how to actually maneuver the car around the game.


“All is fair in love and war,” they say. I love you, Grand Theft Auto V. I think you deserve the fame and glory of all those who buy you. But, you fight a mean war, and I am your sorry prisoner. I guess I’m just not as cut out for this game as I thought. I’ll just stick to playing Legend of Zelda on my Wii.