Joypads everywhere from Kirkcaldy to Cornwall are expected to take a serious hammering in the coming days after Grand Theft Auto V finally went on sale.
One of the most eagerly anticipated games of all time, the
arrival of the latest instalment of the Rockstar franchise is
expected to smash sales records.
Many were expected to take 'sickies' in order to get acquainted with the game and its metropolis of "self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities" on the day it launched. If you're wandering the sprawling, sun-soaked streets of Los Santos instead of sitting at your desk then hang your head in shame.
But it certainly looks like the kind of game you just cannot stop playing. It reportedly cost £170 million to make and market, with one reviewer saying GTA V "comes the closest yet to making players feel like they are in a movie".
Reviewers across the board have been fawning in their hyperbolic praise, with Keza MacDonald, games editor at IGN.com, calling it "one of the very best video games ever made".
Experts estimate it could generate £1 billion during its first year on sale when gamers are predicted to snap up some 25 million copies - breaking current records.
MacDonald got all serious on us when she called the game an "intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America". However, she also said it's a "preposterously enjoyable video game" if you couldn't give two figs about the intellectual side of things.
"No other world in video games comes close to this in size or scope, and there is sharp intelligence behind its sense of humour and gift for mayhem. It tells a compelling, unpredictable, and provocative story without ever letting it get in the way of your own self-directed adventures through San Andreas," she added.
Meanwhile, Tom Butler, social media editor of gaming site IGN.com, predicted an outbreak of "GTA flu" this month.
He made the claim after the site's poll of more than 10,000
gamers found one in five planned to phone in sick to play the game
on launch day. But the more honorable among us planned to play it
by the book, with 46% booking the day off as a holiday.
The Grand Theft Auto series has accumulated sales of 135 million copies since its 1997 debut. GTA IV has reportedly sold more than 25 million copies since its 2008 release.
Have you got your hands on GTA V yet, and did you ring in sick to play it? Order your copy here and let us know what you think below…
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