A Hellish Glimpse Into The Future Of Gaming
Happy 2035! We’re happy to announce Rockstar has just released GTA VI: The Definitive Edition for Oculus 4, the first game they've published in a decade. After repackaging every single piece of IP they own for over a decade one by one, the company has delighted fans … with a re-re-issue.
Per industry standard, they farmed out the work to a no-name company with no experience or QA testers whatsoever. The exhausting work was performed by people who clearly had no experience of the game they were working on, shoving out the product on a short deadline while agreeing to work for pennies.
It somehow looks worse than the original. In fact, it somehow looks worse than a Playstation 2-era game and has microtransactions that the original did not have thanks to the Blood from a Stone DLC Season Pass. This game is truly the culmination of decades of industry trends.
As Microsoft has bought every franchise on the planet, Sony was forced to lean exclusively on Rockstar to pay the bills as Cyberpunk 2077 is still being patched and every other game was rendered inoperable by hackers and were all delisted. The only game publisher that has successfully defeated the hacking menace? EA. Through sheer wit, they’ve managed to make a franchise so dreadful even hackers gave up on it in frustration.
How did Rockstar, a studio famous for their edgy, blistering take on political and cultural issues, handle all the hot-button topics rife for ridicule like Covid, state surveillance, internment camps, and the slow decline of democracy? Astutely. They opted to completely ignore those topics like every other western gaming, media, and tech company, instead doubling down on the “Americans are fat and dumb” jokes they’ve been repeating ad nauseum for the last thirty years. Don’t worry, Rockstar will still be preaching about how greedy and hypocritical establishment figures are, just not commenting on their industry. By the way, pay no mind to the obligatory Facebook account you need to play GTA on Oculus devices. Facebook is totally not profiting off your information. Where would people get such a silly notion!
Oh, did we mention Sony is now mobile-only and you are required to simultaneously log into four separate additional launchers to sync your Rockstar, Facebook, Google, Walmart, and Twitter accounts so your information can be harvested in real time? As part of a bold, new marketing strategy ripped directly from the mobile market, linked accounts are necessary in order to spam your virtual smart phone with sponsored Tweets, political propaganda, and ads for Raid: Shadow Legends, the world’s most popular game.
What amazing new features does GTA VI: The Definitive Edition include? The soundtrack non-ironically includes Justin Bieber and Kesha songs to pander to nostalgic thirtysomethings. The in-game store sells awesome NFTs you buy with real money, part of the “disruptive” trend of monetized screenshots that automatically uploads every single photo to go on sale for the NFT market. Because, as we all know, the true “value” of a game lies in the ability to sell monkey JPEGs, not how fun a game is.
The in-game currency is even more devalued than the US dollar, meaning that your virtual debt from paying for digital sports cars and mundane in-game items is conveniently automatically garnished from your real-life linked Uber paycheck. Gaming doesn't stop even when your self-control does! Train Simulator has got nothing on this.
Though be warned, if you want to hold any large amount of money in the game, you need to craft an upgraded wallet three times by tracking and killing critically endangered cows hidden on the map. For the same price as the base game, you can buy an eighty-dollar season pass to remove this feature or use Rockstar Crypto CoinsTM or virtual gold bars or some other convoluted fake currency to pay for it. Too good to be true, we know! Note: You'll have to wait for the “Legendary Deluxe Edition” of the game for all the good missions, the real canon ending, and content cut out of the game and held for ransom—er, uh, we mean Day One DLC.
Of course, this game is rushed and buggy and frankly unplayable and plagued with glitches that will trigger seizures, but it has grappling hooks, pointless lore, and emotes! They’ve got competition when it comes to biographic minutiae though. As of this year, DOOM’s codex has expanded to twice the length of War and Peace and has six times the characters, no ancillary NPC too insignificant to have their own melodramatic backstory. The Pinky Demon’s projected hatred for the Doom Guy makes so much more sense when you read up on his troubled relationship with his emotionally-distant father.
This is the 2030s, and this industry is full of groundbreaking, original new ideas! Every single weapon feels weak and identical but it has weapon skins you can change on the fly when you get bored while waiting for your health to regenerate behind cover. If the pacing bothers you too much, you can now forgo the irksome gameplay by pressing X and simply watch the unskippable cut scenes. Never mind that they play in a wildly unstable framerate that looks absolutely nothing like the hype trailer. When it doesn’t crash, the Assassin's Creed-style skin glitches are even more hilarious and immersion-shattering in stunning 8K resolution:
Fans clamored for immersion and RPG stats, and they got it. Well, at least when it comes to manipulating the size of your penis. What about branching storylines, custom builds, or dialogue choices that alter the game in meaningful ways like Fallout: New Vegas did in 2010 on a fraction of the budget? Nah, that got cut. Don’t worry about it, they slapped Keanu Reeves in the game to make up for it.
Everybody loves open world games, and this map doesn’t disappoint, coming in at 240 times the size of the state of California. The map is so huge and empty you literally need to stop your flying rocket bike at a rest-stop and pee every ten minutes while you are traveling to your mission objective due to the immersive new bladder mechanic. Shriveling horse gonads were just the beginning. If your weapons can degrade, why not your internal organs? Wait too long to pee and you will get a virtual bladder infection. Those that pre-ordered five years ago are eligible for a special upgrade perk to buff their digital bladder stats if they don’t want to hit up that compulsory gas-station urinal mini-game.
To stretch out your 150-hour experience to well over 1000, Rockstar has taken a cue from Ubisoft's live-service model of incessant grinding. Gear levels make it impossible to leave the square-mile neighborhood of the starting area without being immediately murdered by enemies using exactly the same model of weapon that you have. That is unless you pay to skip all that annoying gameplay.
The game also implements an always-online design to facilitate other players invading your game like in Deathloop. Now hackers ruin your singleplayer game and spam racist and homophobic abuse every waking moment of your experience. Unfortunately, the servers are constantly down, forcing Rockstar to create AI-learning chatbots to replicate the traumatic ordeal. Publishers are calling it “next-gen PvE.” The algorithm-generated bots' inane voice chats are delivered in such an authentic tone no one can tell the difference between a sweaty 14-year-old troll and Tesla’s billion-dollar, experimental Griefotron 4000.
Reviewers love it. After bingeing in eight-hour shifts to rush through the 150-hour-long main story in their allotted review-time window, a visibly disoriented IGN reviewer assured his corporate liaison minder the game was "a masterpiece." Before being admitted into the review-boot-camp infirmary to be treated for blood clots in his legs, a sedated GameSpot writer murmured that "his entire existence was meaningless before witnessing this game’s 8K ray tracing." Others call it the "greatest innovation" since the strand genre replaced every other game type back in 2023. Overworked journalists universally bestowed it game of the year honors, delighted that all trophies available in the game were accessible only by playing easy mode.
That's about all we have to say about VI:TDE. We'd quote a few skeptical voices, but interestingly, no trace of criticism could be detected anywhere on social media. This could be because all non-endorsed videos on YouTube are immediately removed in compliance with copyright strikes. Heeding the feelings of fragile trillion-dollar megacorporations, YouTube did away with the whole fair use concept that annoyed corporations back in the 2020s. Spurred by the EU Copyright Directive, YouTube personally lobbied Congress on behalf of the gaming industry to remove any reference to any product not personally approved by the company that created it. These changes herald a golden age of media consumption, or so YouTube’s PR task force informs us.
Top image: Robynne Hu, Caspar Camille Rubin/Unsplash,