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Just in time for holiday shopping, Consumer Reports has announced the five most violent video games of 2014. They say that these games "should never come anywhere near your kids."
GTA 5 kicks off the list due to a laundry list of offenses including "intense violence" and "mature humor."
"The GTA games encourage players to steal vehicles by dragging the driver out of the car; and beating civilians to death on the street earns cash that players can use to pay for more expensive ways of causing destruction. The newest entry into the series, Grand Theft Auto V, takes the series’ violence to the next level. One controversial mission in the game, called 'By the Book,' has the player take control of a graphic torture scene."
This is actually the second year in a row that GTA 5 has appeared on Consumer Report's most violent games list. The original PS3 and Xbox 360 versions nabbed the honor in 2013. Maybe the PC version coming in January will allow Rockstar to three-peat?
For a year-old game, GTA 5 sure seems to be causing a lot of controversy this holiday season. Last week, Target Australia removed the game from 300 stores because of its depictions of violence against women.
Rounding out the list are Watch_Dogs, The Evil Within, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Sunset Overdrive. In describing these games' explicit content, Consumer Report also notes which of them have filters to make them more family-friendly. It might be a useful guide for those of you on the bubble about buying these games for your kids.
Still, the idea that these games are the "most violent" of all 2014's releases is a bit silly. It's not like there was any math involved here. No one at Consumer Reports was tallying up the deaths and multiplying them by the quarts of blood spilled. They picked five games you shouldn't buy your kids and called it a day.
With that criteria, this list could easily be like 50 games long. Wolfenstein: The New Order, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Dragon Age: Inquisition or a number of other popular 2014 releases are just as explicit as the five mentioned here if not more so.
To save time, Consumer Reports could just replace this list and every year's list with the following message: "Don't buy your kids Mature-rated games. Or do, I guess. I mean, shit, you're the parent here."
The other list that Consumer Reports published this week is more useful: "5 top video games for kids." It's a set of well-reviewed titles that also happen to be rated E. Here are their picks, in case you're wondering: