Does The Gruesome Violence In GTA 5 Seems Justified After 7 Years?


People love Grand Theft Auto 5 because of all the freedom they get in every GTA title. Players can do whatever the heck they want in the game. They can run vehicles over pedestrians or go on a rampage with a machine gun. It is up to the players what they want to do in the game. They can go on with the brutality or carry out things without killing pixelated side characters in the game.

However, there are some brutal acts a player has to conduct to take the story forward. And with amazing graphics, the amount of violence in GTA 5 can be disturbing for some people.

Now, there are several disturbing moments in GTA 5, but I am only going to talk about two.

Looking Back At The Most Gruesome Acts In GTA 5

Trevor Going All Negan On Johnny

trevor kills johnny

If you’ve watched AMC’s Walking Dead, then you must remember how Negan used to carry out his killings through Lucille, his baseball bat.

Well, Trevor followed the same approach when he killed Johnny. However, Trevor didn’t use a bat to carry out the killing; instead, he stomps Johnny’s brain with just his foot.

This act happened right when Trevor was introduced in the game. Before that, violence is GTA 5 was kept to minimal and everything that was going on in the game wasn’t so graphic. That is why looking at one of the lead character crushing someone’s brain was quite shocking.

I think that was the perfect way to bring Trevor into the game, as it told the players what kind of character he is.

The Torture

trevor tortures mr. k - violence in GTA 5

“By the Books” is one of the most controversial missions in maybe all of GTA Games. In the mission, Trevor joins hands with an FIB agent to torture Mr. K, an alleged terrorist.

The torture wasn’t a cut scene that players can skip; it was a part of the gameplay in which the players had to participate. The players were offered with several torture instruments, including sledgehammer, and electric cables to use on Mr. K.

Of course, the humorous commentary and satirical remarks on state-sponsored torture in real life were there to justify the torture scene. But for a lot of players, the sheer brutality of the torture overwhelmed all the good intentions.

Trevor: The media and the government would have us believe that torture is some necessary thing. We need it to get information, to assert ourselves. Did we get any information out of you?

Mr. K: I would have told you everything.

Trevor: Exactly. Torture’s for the torturer. Or the guy giving the orders to the torturer. You torture for the good times – we should admit that. It’s useless as a means of getting information!

Most players didn’t even bother about the torture aspect, because you know, much like the movies, games are also a reflection of the real world. And Rockstar was trying to reflect that same reality in the game through that torture scene.

However, the screams of Mr. K was troubling for a lot of players and critics.

So Does Torture Scene In GTA 5 Seems Justified After All These Years? 

Rockstar instantly came under fire because of the gruesome violence in GTA 5, but mainly because of the torture scene. As I have already mentioned, the scene was included in the game with good intentions. Rockstar simply wanted to emphasize how state-sponsored torture is entirely unnecessary. But to be honest, that mission landed Rockstar in all the wrong places. So much that the torture scene had to be censored in the Japanese version of the game.

Most reviewers criticized Rockstar for forcing players to virtually perform a torture scene in the game. I mean, electrocuting a man and removing his teeth using pillars, was disturbing for a lot of adults.

When I first played the “By the books” mission, I wasn’t able to focus on the political commentary, because I was just feeling nauseated after executing the torture. Also, I am not alone in this. People play the story mode of GTA 5 even to this day, and a lot of them still find this mission disturbing.

GTA 5 torture scene

No, It Really Isn’t

Now, it’s true that we see a lot of violence in movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. We have also seen brutal torture scenes in movies like Zero Dark Thirty. And you could say that GTA 5 is just another story, in which Trevor, a psychopath character, tortures a person to get information out of him.

However, in my opinion, everything feels more realistic and, in this context, it is more haunting in games when you are the one who is executing everything.

For instance, if I compare the torture with the part where Trevor kills Johnny, I would say that Johnny’s death was more graphic. It was so brutal that Trevor even had a piece of Johnny’s flesh on his foot.

Even then, it wasn’t as half as disturbing as the torture scene. That is because Johnny’s death was part of a cutscene. Sure, it was sad to see his brain crushed like that, but it wasn’t me, the player, who was doing that. So, it actually felt like a scene from the movie. But that wasn’t the case with the torture scene.

The torture scene felt more real, and don’t get me wrong; different people react differently to that scene. Some people are okay with that part in GTA 5 because it’s not like a real person is getting tortured. Whereas, some people still get uncomfortable due to the brutality.

Violence In GTA 5: Parting Thoughts

This entire piece is not about whether we should be uncomfortable with that scene or not. Instead, it’s about determining if Rockstar was successful in delivering that scene just as it was intended. Well, in my opinion, the satirical remark after the torture was overwhelmed by the screams in that scene.

So, to conclude, even after seven years, I don’t think the torture scene in GTA 5 was justified. Also, I don’t think that Rockstar would stop including violence in the future because you know, GTA is all about intensity. It’s a game in which questionable people do immoral acts. But I want them to, at least, refrain from including any torture scene in any of their games.

Shivam Gulati

Shivam Gulati

Shivam is a blogger who is always fascinated with technology and the amount of knowledge he can gather from the internet. He is trying to nerdify everyone around him with that same knowledge, through his writings. He enjoys gaming in particular, so he tries to keep track of what’s new in the gaming community and write about it. Visit his Gaming Channel IntroGamers on YouTube.
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