Grand Theft Auto V Slams into Controversy with Gratuitous Torture Scene

The newest chapter of the notorious franchise irks human rights groups with gruesome episode

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Mike Blake / Reuters

Game enthusiasts purchase the latest release of "Grand Theft Auto Five" after the game went on sale at the Game Stop store in Encinitas, California September 17, 2013.

Human rights advocates have slammed the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise thanks to the inclusion of a graphic torture scene. During the grisly episode, players are allowed to pick their own instruments of cruelty, which includes sledgehammers and electric cables, as they’re instructed by an FBI agent to torture a suspected terrorist. As the sadistic scene unfolds, players are also given the option to inject the suspect with adrenaline in the event that his heart stops.

“Rockstar North has crossed a line by effectively forcing people to take on the role of a torturer and perform a series of unspeakable acts if they want to achieve success in the game,” Freedom from Torture chief executive Keith Best told the Guardian.

On Tuesday night, the game came out all guns blazing and has racked up more than $800 million in sales in just 24 hours .

(MORE: Grand Theft Auto V Review: Everything Rockstar’s Learned About Open-World Design, Refined)

Famous for its sensational portrayal of epic urban landscapes riddled with crime — with gamers able to solicit sex workers, ignite racially motivated violence and peddle narcotics — the latest edition seems to have been adjusted for modern sensibilities. In GTA V, players are now able to participate in reckless investment schemes and capture personal moments with selfies.

The fifth installment of the franchise, which has been in the works for five years, has been deemed the most expensive video game of all time — costing an estimated $250 million to develop and market.


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