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The Nicest Person To Beat GTA 5 Is Still A Monster

Grand Theft Auto 5 is a violent game, there's no doubt about that. In order to complete the main campaign, players have to get aggressive. There's really no way to be completely nice in GTA 5, but now there are some statistics for those who want to try.

Redditor TK-576 posted an in-depth look at murderous acts in GTA 5, asserting that it's impossible to complete the main story without killing at least 726 NPCs. TK-576 set out to answer one simple question: "Even if you try like a paragon to avoid gunning bystanders or optional targets, what's the minimal body count necessary to complete Michael, Franklin and Trevor's journey?" The answer might seem overwhelming, but it's more realistic than one might think.

TK-576 methodically played through GTA 5 in an attempt to find an answer. In the end, they concluded that the combined body count of the game's three protagonists wasn't "outrageous," and that other contemporary games feature more bloodshed. TK-576 elaborated, alleging, "Max Payne gunned down 1,216 in his third game (we posted about it last year), and he wasn't even in a 32-hour open-world game. Meanwhile, Gordon Freeman killed a comparable 751 in Half-Life 2, and Gordon's game is beatable in 4 hours when he knows what he's doing." According to TK-576's research, other characters kill more often, if not more violently, and in much shorter games.

To prove this hypothesis, TK-576 established some rules to make the experiment replicable. Mostly, testers attempted to stay out of trouble when they could by avoiding police confrontation, sparing bystanders, and choosing stealth approaches when available in missions. If a mission could be completed by running away without further incident, the players did that. The team broke their general rule of "least violence" in the final mission of the game, because GTA Online established that all three main characters canonically live at the end of GTA 5.

Many commenters expressed skepticism about TK-576's numbers, and referenced YouTuber and Twitch streamer's DarkViperAU's many pacifist GTA 5 playthrough videos. DarkViperAU killed far fewer people in his runs, but TK-576 maintained that DarkViperAU's numbers weren't exactly replicable, as he waited for different randomly generated effects to create the perfect environment for pacifism. TK-576 argued that their own run (and kill count) was much easier to replicate.

Despite releasing back in 2013, GTA 5 still has a dedicated player base. The game had an excellent year in 2020, and may have an even better 2021, with an updated, next-gen version of GTA 5 on its way to the PS5. There's no word on whether or not the game's body count will rise with the next-gen release.