Let’s get to the point: The game has only two real things that set it apart from any other title you could pick up right now: First: The visuals. The game has a lot of attention to detail that sets the mood, from the abandoned cityscape to the gritty camera shots when you murder someone. This is good, since the mood helps distract from things like glowing item bubbles and silly red blood that jets out of victims. While I was playing, I didn't notice that the sounds were similar to GTA3 when you pick up items or that the blood was silly, I was totally focused on the game. It's pretty rare that you find a game that can mix gritty, realistic violence with almost absurd item pickups and blood that looks like you turned on a fire hose full of ketchup. The cut-scenes for the murders are spectacular, in the spectacle sense, not in the amazing sense. I have never, in my life, flinched while watching a video game, until now that is. Most players are going to need to either brush off the violence or learn to deal with it. I actually had to stop playing the first time I used the crowbar on someone. There are some things that aren't meant to be stirred, that's why we evolved skulls. Second: The game deals with subject matter that I don’t think anyone has ever touched upon in a mainstream videogame title. The game scores you on murdering people as violently as possible for the entertainment of other (thankfully) imaginary people. You’ll notice I use the word murder instead of kill, that’s because in this game you murder people. Virtual people, but still people. I’m sure that people will be baying for Rockstar’s blood for making a murder simulator, but they did, so they need to be ready for the consequences. I don’t follow the ‘violent video games lead to violence’ theories. I’ve been a pacifist since I was 14 and think imaginary violence is just that, imaginary. I’m not sure if the game crossed my personal boundaries of comfort or what, but it doesn’t seem ‘right’ for me to play this game. I would feel the same way about a game where you played a serial killer that stalked people and murdered them in their homes, and this game isn’t really too far from that. I bring this up for the people who might not be sure about buying the game because of the content. Right now a lot of video game retailers will not take returns on games, so you want to be sure before you shell out $50 on a game. So if you’re not sure you want to buy it keep this in mind while you decide. Oh yes, I completely agree that this title should be ‘Adults Only’ and that no one should be able to purchase it without having their ID checked.
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