Grand Theft Auto V

The year was 2013. The city of Detroit had just filed for bankruptcy. George Zimmerman had been acquitted of second-degree murder (which he arguably committed). The Federal Government completely shut down after lawmakers couldn’t get their heads out of their own patooties. But more positively, the Supreme Court struck down the definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

It seems like ages ago, but 2013 was also the year in which Rockstar Games’ hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V would officially release, kicking off what would become the most profitable entertainment property of all time.

And I was there, day one, on the ground floor, plugging away the hours on my Xbox 360. In fact, Half-Glass Gaming’s Editor-in-Chief was livestreaming the launch of the online portion (which came out about a month after the launch of the main game) in a joint effort between the websites GameZone and GeekParty. I believe I might have even dropped into that stream at some point.

So we have a history, GTA V and I.

Grand Theft Auto V

And even though this wouldn’t end up being my favorite entry in the long-running series, at least from a character and story standpoint, there was little controversy in stating that Rockstar had created what was, up until that point, the greatest open-world sandbox in the history of open-world crime games. In fact, it would only be unseated by another Rockstar game, with Red Dead Redemption 2 which is, to this day, the greatest open-world game ever created (at least in my opinion — and the opinion of our aforementioned Editor-in-Chief, and that’s good enough for me).

Needless to say, this game was a massive success. And since GTA V released close to the tail end of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, it was to be expected that an updated version would come to PS4 and Xbox One — as a new purchase, mind you, though you could carry over your GTA Online save data. And so it was, I ponied up and continued my Los Santos adventures, mostly with GTA Online, but every now and again with the single-player game.

But it was becoming more and more evident that, for as well-made as the game was, and for as much fun as I had with it in the past, the allure of the game was beginning to wane. I mean, not enough that I didn’t buy a copy on Epic Games Store once I got a respectable gaming laptop — a copy I would spend all of maybe an hour playing before getting my fill and never going back.

Grand Theft Auto V

So with the inevitable announcement that GTA V would be coming to another generation of consoles (the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S), I merely shrugged my shoulders and went about my day. Gone was the excitement that this open world once offered. I really didn’t see myself jumping into another version of this tired old dog, only slightly more visually impressive, maybe with a couple new songs and cars to go with it. And I was proud of myself for finally breaking the cycle — no longer did I need to buy another copy of a game I had already purchased three times in the past. I mean, this is no The Long Dark.

But I am a weak man. And you’d better believe that Rockstar knows this.

When I found out that the buy-in to upgrade my PS4 version to a PS5-native app was only $10 (for a limited time, and with some wrinkles), well, I’ll let the PlayStation Store receipt speak for itself.

How am I supposed to look at myself in the mirror? How am I supposed to explain my actions to my kids? I mean, I don’t have kids, but how would I explain this to them if I did?

Grand Theft Auto V

And so it goes, come March 15, I will be firing up a “new” version of Grand Theft Auto V for the fourth time. I’m assuming that, much like the third time, I will play just long enough to see the new shine, probably never to return (at least until the PS6 and Xbox Series Z or whatever).

Grand Theft Auto V, why can’t I quit you?!

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