The Grand Theft Auto franchise has been helping you realise your chaotic evil alignment since 1997, when the first game in the series was released for Microsoft Windows. It’s the game that got a whole lot of parents upset over its over-the-top depictions of violence, since their children would otherwise have never been subjected to things like violence and pain, which television and real life never inflict upon the swaddled masses.
The 5th release in the franchise is no stranger to backlash either, having been subject to a few lawsuits since its 2013 release, including one from Lindsay Lohan, who thinks the character Lacy Jonas was influenced by her, so she’d like a slice of that sweet, sweet pie, since it’s not like she has any other source of income. And it wasn’t just Lohan who had some issues with the game: 300 Target stores pulled the game in December of 2014 after customers complained about “depictions of violence against women.”
Sometimes, however, you just really need to come home after a hard day at work and hit up a convenience store with no consequences, and not even a Change.org petition with 40,000 signatures can alter that, especially when you have such a huge, richly-detailed world in which to move about, burning stuff and running your friends (or innocent strangers) off the road at your leisure. And speaking of this, even a well-crafted game eventually begins to run dry on entertainment, allowing real life with all its myriad problems to come trickling back into your hallowed cocoon. Here, then, are a few more things you can do to waste your time.
Because nothing in life is complete anymore without selfies, the game allows you to take pictures of yourself throughout it. It’s not just a way to see the sights, either; this allows you to create permanent interest marker points on the map so you can easily make your way back to favourite hunting spots and all the juiciest mayhem locations. It would be a shame to forget where you saw that one car on fire, after all. For you outdoorsy types, make sure you soak in Grand Theft Auto V’s stunning graphics with visits to Grand Senora Desert, located in Blaine County north of Los Santos, the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness, and the El Gordo Lighthouse on the east coast of San Andreas. Of course, the selfie generation needed this to become part of the GTA universe, but it is actually surprisingly entertaining when you’re bored.
14. See A Movie
There are three cinemas located throughout Los Santos: the Tivoli Cinema, Ten Cent Theater, and Oriental Theater. Pay a visit to any of these during operational hours and you can watch a movie solo or even with friends on group activities. For $20 (and to think we always whine about a $9 matinee price) you can see The Loneliest Robot In Great Britain, a 10-minute animated story set in an apocalyptic Great Britain which screens from 10am to 12pm; Capolavoro, screening from 1pm to 5pm, a black and white arthouse movie utilizing footage from Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption; and Meltdown, screening from 6pm to 10pm, where you can catch a monkey taking part in a car chase. Who wouldn’t take this opportunity to watch a fake movie within a video game?
13. Set Stuff On Fire
Jerrycan? Check. Vengeance in your heart? Check. You are ready to roll, my friend. Find or purchase a jerrycan and get to work splashing it everywhere. If you like, you can spell your name, or as some people suggested, draw a circle around a car and light it. What else would someone do in this situation? We can’t blame anyone for taking this opportunity to light things on fire in a safe and contained way. For ignition, there are a variety of options for the varying levels of over-dramatic super villain in you: shoot it, use the backfire from your car, or even lob a Molotov cocktail at it. For someone who’s a cape-and-dramatic-entry-soundtrack kind of person, we recommend the Molotov. So much of the GTA experience is messing around and causing havoc, so this activity should appeal to most fans of the game.
12. Turn Into An Animal
Sometimes being a human just gets so old. When that happens, eat a plant and you can fall right into the body of one of 27 animals you can find throughout the game. Try the top of Mount Chiliad, or underwater by the Del Perro pier for some unsuspecting wildlife you can commandeer. Have you always dreamed of flying around and dropping things on people’s heads? Try taking on the form of a bird. Life as a cat? Sure, you can certainly do that. If you enjoy mauling people, why not try on a mountain lion for size? You trip will last until the animal whose body you have hijacked dies, or until you decide this has been great and all, but you’d like opposable thumbs again. If you can find the “golden” plant, you can check out life through the eyes of Sasquatch.
11. Fly A Blimp
The Atomic Blimp is the second featured in the GTA series, but only the first controllable blimp. Based on the Goodyear blimp and bearing a striking resemblance to it, it can be spotted flying over Los Santos and for the low, low price of a collector’s edition copy of the game, this can be you serenely soaring through the skies when all the desire for ensuing complete chaos in your heart has finally flamed brilliantly out. Much more maneuverable than its bloated size would suggest, it handles similar to a helicopter and experiences very little turbulence during the flight. Just watch those buildings, and any cars. Bumping into one will cause the blimp to explode. The same goes for bullets. Basically, sit there with your hands serenely folded, or you’ll fall. What can be better than a blimp ride in a video game?
10. Ride A Rollercoaster
If you’re adrenaline-seeking but running from the cops has lost its newborn glow, consider heading over to the Leviathan roller coaster at the fair ground known as Pleasure Pier. A carbon copy of its real life inspiration, the West Coaster at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, the Leviathan can be ridden for $10, and is shaped like… well, um, that ellipsis probably gives you something of an idea, right? It’s shaped like something that we cannot describe here, so let’s put it that way. If you have Grand Theft Auto Online, you can ride with a friend, and experience the few minor modifications which were made to the online version of the ride (including some minor speed changes and graphic improvements). What could be more fun than that? Next time you feel a little bored while playing, definitely give that a go.
9. Wreck Your Cheap Car
First, you need to get hold of a really terrible car. Proceed to drive it off every high place/over every questionable mountain road/into everything you can find, such as fire hydrants and lampposts. It’s like a demolition derby for crazy people, except instead of running it into other, equally terrible cars while a bunch of wild spectators shriek encouragement, you can flip it off the side of a mountain thanks to that handy restart option. There is no finesse required, no strategy to this, just get in, hit the accelerator, and watch as your insurance rep falls weeping to their knees. And if that’s not exciting enough, you can always shotgun your vehicle over the side of the road and into the water as the entirety of the Los Santos’ police force goes all Cops: Police Chases Special Edition on you.
8. Play Sports
Because you need some downtime in between all the lighting things on fire, blimp explosions, and shockingly-shaped roller coasters, head over to the golf course (which you can find at the top of Los Santos) for a relaxing nine holes. Play with a date or any player who happens to be free at the club after coughing up $100 and automatically changing into a golfing uniform. If golf isn’t quite your style, try playing tennis after completing the mission Complications by going to one of the eight available locations. You can play solo or with any old random person if you’re sad and friendless. You can change the amount of games you’d like to play and also the difficulty setting, if you’re like us and have all the affinity of an armless person for sports games. Who knew that GTA could get so fancy?
7. Throw A Party
Since throwing a rager in real life is generally requiring of more time and clean-up than it’s worth (can you please not leave your trash all over the floor when we have put out several clearly-marked garbage cans who are ready and waiting to do their God-given duty??) do it GTA style. In GTA 5, you can throw your very own house parties. Invite some friends over to your apartment, then call in the dancers, and voila: you’re popular. Surprisingly, we find it’s hard to not be a hit when you give the gift of women dancing around seductively. We don’t know if there’s any scientific correlation there; it’s probably just a coincidence. After making some new friends at your awesome party, why not level up the mind-blowing by trying to cajole them into participating in our next subject?
6. Steal A Jet
Sometimes you’re just too tough for insignificant stuff like cop shootouts and blowing up gas stations. If that’s the case, try your hand at stealing a jet from a well-guarded military base. It might sound like a difficult task fit for a fully-outfitted special forces team, but as in Hollywood, getting hold of important aeronautical equipment which can wreak havoc on the entire world is surprisingly easy. Just get hold of a plane or helicopter, then fly it over to the south side of Fort Zancudo at a high enough altitude to free fall toward the last hangar. Deploy your parachute, and just glide right in. If you time it just right, you should have plenty of time to take the controls of the P-996 Laser Jet and fly it off into the bright, explosion-riddled future awaiting you. Now doesn’t that sound like a mighty good time?
5. Go Scuba Diving
To begin this activity, you need to enter a dinghy or submersible; once you exit, you’ll automatically be equipped with a scuba tank and mask (if you want the whole enchilada, you can go to your safe house and choose the scuba suit, but it’s not absolutely necessary). Though you have a regular oxygen supply, scuba diving will help to increase your lung capacity. It also gives you the chance to thoroughly explore GTA’s underwater environment, and to loot the variety of wrecks scattered across the ocean, where you can find weapons and briefcases full of money. You won’t have a breath meter as in regular swimming, but there is a depth limit, and if you pass it, you will not survive. There’s also always the chance of being targeted for a nearby shark, so keep an eye out if you enjoy frivolous things like being alive.
4. Steal From A Convenience Store
Imagine you’re sitting at a stoplight. Suddenly, your friend dives into the car screaming, “Go, go, go!” At this point, just pull the car over; you know he did something of the illegal variety, and the average cop car can travel between 120 mph on the low end, and 150 on the high. But that’s real life. In GTA, a multitude of locations from which you can steal things await you and your sticky fingers. 24/7 stores, liquor stores, and the armoured trucks you may have noticed roaming around Los Santos can all be held up once you’re done playing a leisurely round of golf. You’ll get a paycheck, but also a wanted level from the LSPD, so keep in mind that it’s all fun and games until the cops track you down and you end up in a crazy car chase.
3. Go Dirt Biking
The Sanchez dirt bike has been featured in almost every GTA game since the beginning of the series, and GTA V is no exception. Stunt with it or take it off-road into the mountains where you can race your friends down steep, tree-studded slopes because you’re a criminal and it’s your time to not once attempt anything remotely approaching responsible life decisions. While no alterations in speed or acceleration rate have been made to the bike in the series’ most recent entry, it does corner much better thanks to the latest game’s changes to handling vehicles. You can now wheelie with even less effort… which does come with the added risk of doing it accidentally. At least you can just totally and completely ignore this road burn and go about your day, not screaming in pain. It seems like a handy and safe way to let out some steam.
2. Steal A Semi Truck
This very special entry in this list is for those of you who have a series of road rage incidences simmering under your placid surface, but shame and being too pretty for prison keeps them at bay. Don’t worry, GTA has you covered too. Step one is to steal a semi truck. Step two is of course to drive it into everything you can think of just to experience what it is like to cause such chaos. We have it on good authority that the vehicles hauling boats are some of the most entertaining to push off the road. Also, if you’re in the mood to act like a total jerk, you can always park it sideways across the freeway and watch traffic grind to a complete standstill. Sure, they’re imaginary frustrated drivers, but there’s still something cathartic in being that big of a nuisance.
1. Party A Bit Too Hard
Many of us grew up in the era of D.A.R.E., but since this is fiction and the D.A.R.E. program kept exactly 0% of the kids in our school off illegal substances who we all knew were headed down that path anyway, we are just going to ignore the obvious statement that, of course, doing any kind of illegal activity is terrible to do in real life. However, this is not real life. In the game, you can rob, steal, crash cars, and consume enough drinks to get you very out of it. Consuming these things publicly will actually lead to a one star wanted level, so, you know, don’t do it, and certainly not in front of the cops. If you have GTA Online, you can hang out with friends at home and do illegal activities, which might be a vast and fantastical departure from your real life.
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