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GTA V: Not Quite Dressed To Kill

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You know how we’re banging on about Grand Theft Auto V and Online this month?

There’s an aspect of the game which is really bugging me at the moment and I’m interested to know if anyone else feels the same. It’s not unique to GTA, though. That just happens to be where I’ve been annoyed about it most recently.

It’s that I have all of these outfits I can faff with in my closet at my apartment in between low level crimes and intensive heisting. I can mix and match and accessorise to my heart’s content but apparently my character cannot master the art of putting her hair in a ponytail or using a different colour of lipstick on her own.

I actually spent so much on outfits after the massive cash injection of my first heist that I couldn’t afford to buy a house in which to put them. When I finally did I really noticed the lack of styling opportunities.

GTA Online is not a fashion game so it’s not like I’m expecting them to have focused their efforts intensely on this specific aspect but they did at least think about it enough to put it into the game and design the different elements and it seems so weird that some of the options I feel are intrinsic to creating an outfit are walled off from the experience by the necessity of a car journey and an NPC.

I am going to fuck some shit up in style.

When I’m putting together something for my character to wear I like it to say something about her or who I imagine she is. I think I either made her extra tall by accident or everyone’s a similar height and the heels make her tower over my friends and their male characters.

I wanted her to be confident. She rushes about wearing clashing neon print skirts and electric blue stilettos – the sort of thing you might find Red magazine advising a head of department to wear as an alternative to the tedium of daily pinstripe. Or if she’s hanging out with friends maybe tight jeans and a black leather jacket. And nowadays neon yellow heels. I like that she can escape her terrible terrible friends who try to run her over and blow up her things in really high neon yellow heels.

Thing is, these outfits and others are attached to different moods and activities. Some would benefit from her hair in a casual ponytail, some would look better with waves. Others would be awesome with a statement red lipstick or a smokey eye. I get that you would likely go to the beauty salon for some things – a haircut or extensions – but for a ponytail or some eyeliner? That’s beyond extravagant and weird.

The way the game deals with this stuff – keeping the hair and makeup off to one side – means that it’s hard to get an idea for how something would look, whether it needs little tweaks. What I love about clothes and fashion and makeup in real life is getting to create snapshots of these different aspects of myself or embodying different characters or getting a feel for the event I’m attending.

The perfect look for parachuting into a military base and trying to steal a tank.

Getting ready is part of getting into a particular mindset. When character customisation splits off different bits of the usual process it’s jarring. You can never quite achieve what you set out to do.

Is this just a Pip thing? It might be a Pip thing. Or I might have missed a button. Have I missed a button?

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Philippa Warr

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