GTA V: Franklin, Trevor, Michael and the Cliché.

So, with GTA V being the biggest release in Gaming for a long time, I am not even going to attempt to pin down this title in a single review. In fact, I’m going to stretch the release out for as long as I possibly can, (go team lazy!), or at least until GTA Online is released and I can throw myself wholly into an online life of crime and debauchery. At least, until I earn that $170 Million that I have decided will be my main goal for the multiplayer. This first article will be focused on the three main playable characters, Michael, Franklin and Trevor. Before I start with each character, I would first like to pose a question.

Do you honestly think that simply commenting on the fact that the characters are clichés, means that these characters can then be forgiven for being said clichés? Because I don’t think I do. Clearly, I am putting myself in the firing line here, with the intense response to the title, even before its release, but I feel that after five years in development perhaps characters of a more unique disposition could have been designed.

I have noticed already that there have been perhaps three occasions, only a few hours into the game, where characters have called each other clichés. I wondered why Rockstar felt the need to, not only mention the point in the first place, but then to repeat the comment.


Michael is a retired, ageing bank robber who is drawn back into the Game against his will. His family hate him, and is little more than a caricature of a clichéd Upper-Middle-Class American Family. In a multi-million dollar house in the richest part of the State, where all the wannabe celebrities and spoilt rich kids drive their Daddies’ SUV’s, Michael struggles to reign in his violent tendencies whilst living the American Dream. Is it just me or is he starting to sound like a pretty similar character to, say, Liam Neeson in Taken. Hell, the dude even looks like an old Max Payne.

Franklin is your basic street-punk. Coming from the ‘ghetto’ and rolling with his childhood friend Lamar (whom is exactly the kind of character you expect in a sandbox rime-game of this time, the one coming up with ideas that are destined to backfire), Franklin is a young man struggling to escape the gang life and break into the crime lifestyle of the big city. Obviously, this is a GTA game, and Franklin is a minority, therefore every conversation he has revolves around stringing the N-word, and as many variations of the word ‘fuck’ as is imaginable.

Trevor is… Trevor is absolutely mental. He swings between psychopathic violence and relatively intellectual, if sarcastic, discourse. For the first few hours of the game, he is spoken of without actually naming him, with Michael mostly referring to his old friend as ‘Him’. Within moments of meeting the character, he has brain and cartilage on his heel, before hunting the lucky foot ornament’s friends.

These three characters are all fun to play as, each with their own special ability, and they all suit the world that Rockstar has created, but they are incredibly clichéd. They are typical characters for a game of this genre and only Trevor seems to take a difference from the norm, simply because he is absolutely bat-shit crazy. It becomes worse when the characters draw attention to their own clichéd personalities, these discussions failing to derive either the humour, or the realism they are no doubt designed to integrate into the game.

I’d really appreciate some reply to this one, so I can kind of use your opinions to help form my own, because I’m not sure what my opinion on this self-referential ‘humour’ is, if indeed that is what is intended to be.

2 thoughts on “GTA V: Franklin, Trevor, Michael and the Cliché.

    1. So you’re just looking past the often times strained, if not simply shoddy writing?
      I’ll admit, I’m absolutely loving the game so far, and it has been so fun thus far that I AM able to ignore it in most cases, but I’m starting to think that the lack of GTA Online at launch, (an idea which I still think is a good idea for future games), has opened the single-player up to a deeper level of criticism than it would otherwise have received, had we been able to hide the writing behind sweet-ass backflips and insanely proportioned gang warfare.
      Thank God it’s as fun as it is!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.