NotGTAV Review-Exactly what it says on the tin

GTA, or Grand Theft Auto, is one of the most famous game series ever made, to the point that even people who have absolutely no interest in gaming know what it is. A while ago, I expressed my dislike for the series, mainly the fifth entry in the series. I still stand by what I said in that post, but I can at least respect what makes it such a huge icon of gaming despite not getting much enjoyment out of it myself. One main problem I have with the series however, is that none of the games are set in England? Why not? There are plenty of ‘gangsters’ and ‘thugs’ around and the roads of London or even Swindon would be perfect for police chases. Fortunately, I discovered a game that allowed me to live this dream, for the small, minuscule price of £1.99. A game that presents you with and celebrates Britain in all its glorious mediocrity. That game is NotGTAV.

No, you didn’t read that wrong and I certainly didn’t make a mistake while typing this. The game I speak of is literally called NotGTAV; and it’s exactly that. It’s not GTA V. What it doesn’t tell you however, is that it’s a lot of other things too. It’s a weird version of Snake with marginally better graphics and a lot more blood. It’s a version of Snake where you can perform heists either by being all stealthy and boring or chopping up everyone in your path like an out-of-control lawnmower. But most important of all, it’s the living embodiment of an inside joke; one that pretty much anyone who lives in Britain and the UK will get.

The gameplay isn’t what makes the game so good. In essence, it’s just a slightly expanded version of Snake. You go around doing four different, dull tasks. You either run over a certain number of people, avoid running over people, run away from some kind of enemy that chases you until they stop or doing a ‘heist’. A parody of GTA V cannot neglect to make fun of the heists. You are presented with two options for how you want to do the ‘heist’: Stealthy or Brutal. For stealthy, you have to collect all the items without running into everyone while for brutal you have to kill everyone by running them over as well as collecting all the items. Each of these options present their own problems. Stealthy can be impossible sometimes, especially on the last heist, depending on where the enemies spawn. However, whenever you kill an enemy while doing the brutal heist, they explode in a shower of blood that lingers on the floor which can make it really hard to see your character, especially if you go through several enemies in a row.

Throughout the game, you switch between three protagonists each representative of one of GTA V’s protagonists. There’s the mad, murderous and incomprehensible Welsh Daffyd, Darren the ‘propa sick gangsta’ character who only talks in classic British slang and finally, the rich asshole: David Cameron. They are one of the best parts of the game; absolute stereotypes that somehow manage to get you laughing your ass off with every line they say. Each of them also have their own missions and heists in their own area whether it be a campsite, a Lidl in Swindon or even London. Whether you’re stopping people from having sex in your campsite through ‘violent’ means, killing a rapper spitting bars about jacket potatoes or running over those ‘bloody liberals’, NotGTAV revels in its own hilariously bad yet surprisingly effective humour. It’s just too bad that David Cameron’s level is ruined by the fact it’s so rage-inducingly difficult, and not even in a funny way. “There goes the villa in Tuscany” simply isn’t funny any more when hearing it for the 50th time.

One of the parts of NotGTAV that makes it stand out is the humorous and intentional lack of effort put into the games graphics and music. Everything in the game is hand-drawn, scribbled as if by a child in coloured pencils and crayon. As I said earlier, it can make it a bit hard to see your character sometimes but the novelty of it somehow never wears off. On top of this, every track in the game is done completely acapella and it’s amusing to say the least. It gives a very authentic and unique feel to the game. There’s even a rap that I mentioned earlier about jacket potatoes which almost had me in tears.

Overall, while this game may be entertaining at times, I can’t really give it a high score. In total, the game took me only forty minutes to complete which is disappointing even for a game this cheap. I’ve played Flash games that are longer. Not only that, but it would probably only be twenty minutes long if not for the ridiculous difficulty of David Cameron’s missions. There are a number of achievements which add a bit of replayability but I felt no real desire to return once I finished. All the money that the game earns goes to charity however so that might incline you to buy it. It’s like putting a couple of quid in a charity box and receiving a free, decent game in return. As a game, I can’t rate it high but if your looking for a small and fresh game with plenty of British banter and wit and want to feel awesome for donating to charity, there are worse ways to spend your money.

Pros:

  • British comedy
  • Acapella soundtrack
  • Funny hand-drawn graphics
  • Cheap
  • All the money the game raises goes to a charity

Cons:

  • Incredibly short: 40 minutes long
  • David Cameron’s level is frustratingly hard
  • Dull gameplay

Verdict: 5/10

Buy it here… for charity: http://store.steampowered.com/app/369580/NotGTAV/

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