It often seems as though the biggest headlines involving the Grand Theft Auto series revolve around the long wait for Grand Theft Auto 6. With many fans focused on the series’ future, it’s easy to forget how much Grand Theft Auto content Rockstar Games has already produced. Grand Theft Auto 5 alone takes about 80 hours to beat on a completionist playthrough, and that doesn’t include any of the GTA Online content.
Since its debut in 1997, the Grand Theft Auto series has featured hundreds of missions, side quests, and tasks — many of which are a blast. But of course, not all GTA content has been created equal. Most GTA titles include a few frustrating missions, with some of the most aggravating designed around two particular mechanics: stealth or flying. As far as some fans are concerned, Rockstar hasn’t cracked the code on either feature, yet GTA games keep including missions focused on these mechanics.
Stealth and flight are just two of the ways that Grand Theft Auto has left players cursing Rockstar’s name. Here are some of the most infuriating moments in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
‘Demolition Man’ – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
With a Metascore of 95, 2002’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is one of the most beloved games in the series, but it’s definitely not because of the helicopters.
Vice City wasn’t the first game in the series to feature an aircraft the player could operate — that honor goes to Grand Theft Auto 3, which had an airplane nicknamed "The Dodo" for how un-flyable it was. However, Vice City was the first GTA game to feature flyable helicopters, including six varieties. And based on the fans’ reactions, Vice City‘s helicopters weren’t quite ready for prime time.
Players on Reddit found the helicopters to be awkward and difficult to control, especially in the "Demolition Man" mission. In this section, Tommy Vercetti takes a job from shady real-estate developer Avery Carrington, who wants Tommy to plant bombs inside a massive construction site owned by one of his rivals. The site is massive, there are five bombs total, and there’s a strict time limit. But the catch is, Tommy has to use a remote-controlled helicopter to lay the explosives.
Nearly two decades after the game’s original release, commenters on the GTA subreddit still pointed to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City‘s "Demolition Man" as one of the worst missions in the entire series.
‘Paramedic’ – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Many Grand Theft Auto games have featured some variation of the "pick someone up and then drop them off" mission, often involving taxis. The basic structure is usually like so: the player obtains a specific vehicle, which then spawns NPCs who need to be picked up and dropped off within a set time limit.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s "Paramedic" was like a variation of the taxi missions, but with an ambulance. And even though "Paramedic" had similar missions preceding it, players on r/gaming still consider it one of the most annoying missions in the GTA series.
Stealing (or "borrowing") an ambulance in Vice City would generate a patient who needs a ride to the hospital. After the pickup, there’s the usual race against time to get the patient to the ER. However, the problem with "Paramedic" is its uneven balance of different mechanics. The player’s condition requires the player to drive as fast as possible, but colliding with anything also lowers the patient’s health. Even a gentle bump can take a big chunk out of the NPC’s health bar, making volunteer ambulance driving more trouble than it may be worth.