VIOLENCE LIKE CLOCKWORK

But it's not all spiked milk and eggiwegs. Or rather, it is, but only to us gamers. Taken out of context, it's a nightmare. After thirty minutes it becomes clear that the newscasters and right wing soccer moms have been focusing on the wrong franchise all these years. This is what Grand Theft Auto could have been had Rockstar continued logically from San Andreas, rather than choosing the more subtle, story-driven approach of GTA IV. (The fact we're calling any GTA game subtle should clue you off to the enormity of SR3s senselessness.)

The Saints are a street gang, but they're also a brand. Their celebrity provides the perfect backdrop for the type of wanton destruction these free-roaming crime simulators lend themselves to so well. They can decimate an entire city block or barrel through a military base guns blazing, and the SWAT team's still asking for autographs as they snap on the 'cuffs.

What's probably most disturbing is the game's total indifference to human life. Call of Duty is a war game; everyone knows war is terrible. In Halo you're killing aliens, not people. In GTA IV, even, Niko Bellic's random killing sprees are acts of the player, not part of the story. This isn't about kids—any parent who lets their kid play this game should seriously reconsider their judgment calls. It's a simple matter of violence against innocent people and how that's portrayed in this medium. A Clockwork Orange wrestled with this decades ago, and if you think a film from the '70s isn't relevant to a review of a video game in 2011, you need to read the news more.

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