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A GTA 5 roleplay misadventure with a (sort of) happy ending
I’m suddenly very aware of the cocaine stuffed deep inside my jacket pocket. Somewhere else on my person, I’m not sure where exactly because I’m wearing skinny jeans, are multiple bags of heroin. All told, I’m carrying a haul of illicit drugs with a street value of around $500,000. I’m also standing next to a cop. A uniformed cop with his gun raised. Not at me, but at the poor schmuck who just helped me steal a quad bike. He’s handcuffed, on his knees with his hands behind his back. He’s just been tasered. And now I’m staring down the iron sights of my Shrewsbury Uzi 9mm, trained unshakably on the forehead of my one-time partner in crime. 
“I’m undercover!” I shout down my headset in the most authoritative tone I can muster. “I’ve got your back. Get him written up and I’ll get you back at the station.” There’s a pause. A long silence that makes me wonder if the cop is about to slap the cuffs on me too with a side-serving of 50,000 volts, or if he’s simply suffering from lag on his end. The blue and red of his squad car siren flickers like a strobe light, and I hold my breath. 
“Roger that,” he says after what feels like a million years. “Thanks for your assistance, officer.” I sigh and butterflies flood my stomach. These unscripted moments in GTA 5 roleplay cannot be beaten.GTA Online“We ruled with force; the San Andreas equivalent of The Wire if the show starred two shotgun-wielding Omar Littles and basically no one else.”
Following recent stints as a murderous garbageman and a guitar-playing peacemaker inside a 1,000-player server, I’m back playing Grand Theft Auto roleplay, this time in Cops and Robbers: Next Generation. An evolution of the similarly-styled server born a number of years back in Multi Theft Auto – a longstanding multiplayer mod that adds online elements to old school GTA, namely GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas – Cops and Robbers expertly balances the best bits of GTA Online with the most entertaining features of GTA RP. 
The server has a levelling system, for example, that gates specific activities and skills. It has jobs. It has missions. It doesn’t do deathmatches (killing players and/or members of law enforcement without cause will get you banned), but with drug distribution, assassination contracts, contraband smuggling, and prisoner breakouts among just some of the nefarious pursuits on offer, violence is never far from the streets of Los Santos. Servers support up to 60 players and, with active voice chat required throughout, even the bits between the blockbuster shootouts, the Gone in 60 Seconds-like car theft, and the bribing of officials can be hugely entertaining. 
It was in one of these moments that I first met the aforementioned taser victim. After showing me the best dealing spots in the city, the chap, a drug dealer himself named Lemonade, told me he planned to travel north to sling dope in a quieter, less policed area. “There’s gold in them hills,” he said assuredly, and I’d no reason to doubt him. We agreed to travel together, but would first save as much money as we could selling drugs in the metropolitan area before hitting the road. And so we did. We sold everything and anything going. Crack, heroin, weed, you name it. We smuggled the stuff. We delivered it door-to-door. We stole cars and scrapped them to afford resupply costs, and we robbed liquor shops and convenience stores so as not to tap into our savings. We ruled with force; the San Andreas equivalent of The Wire if the show starred two shotgun-wielding Omar Littles and basically no one else.GTA OnlineBy the time we travelled north to Sandy Shores, we were absolutely ballin’. The place was indeed all but neglected by the five-0, and the only obvious drawback of the move was the fact that our car had broken down just outside of town. Lemonade was starting to get on my nerves a wee bit, but, in all fairness, we had been spending a lot of time together. 
After making some money in the sticks, though, the biggest flaw of this backwater burg slapped me across the face like a cold wind. Sure, there were next to no cops patrolling the dusty streets of Sandy Shores – but there was also next to no one around to sell drugs to. Which, as you can imagine, is a bit of an issue for two enterprising drug dealers. All of the cars up there were shitty rust buckets as well, so we found ourselves stealing quad bikes, running them into the ground, scrapping them for pennies, then starting the process over. That is, until Lemonade got into a spat with one four-wheel owner who did not take too kindly to my sidekick’s act of carjacking. That is, until Lemonade shot the man in the head. That is, until Lemonade got pulled over by the cops.GTA Online“‘He’s no cop! He’s a fucking liar,’ Lemonade’s futile screams fall on deaf ears.”
“He’s no cop! He’s a fucking liar,” Lemonade’s futile screams fall on deaf ears. Through quick-thinking, sharp wit and an idiomatic silver tongue, I’ve managed to pull the wool over the eyes of this unsuspecting policeman roleplayer. I don’t say another word, scared that doing so might see me banged up just like my pal. What I do is poke out my real tongue, and then feel a wee bit silly because, obviously, Lemonade can’t see it on his end. But it makes me smile all the same. What makes me smile even more is tearing down the Senora Freeway on my own, absolutely buzzing about being free and my scope for telling really believable lies. I make it back to the city just before sunrise. 
Still loaded with drugs, I decide to make my way to an old haunt. Shift this, I think to myself, and then work out the next step. But as fate would have it, the LSPD intervenes to make that next step for me. They hit the wailer, pull me over, and, quite frankly, I am fucked. I’m hauled out of my stolen car. I’m cuffed and searched. I can’t explain the drugs, ownership of the trundling Albany Emperor I’m driving, or the sub-machine gun tucked into my jeans. I consider fleeing. Of headbutting the first cop and outrunning the second. And then it hits me. 
“Guys, guys, you got it all wrong,” I say with the same assuredness as before. “I’m an undercover cop. The drugs? They’ve been seized. Same with the car, I’m on my way to the evidence locker now.” 
I’m showered with cries of bullshit, of roleplay-breaking claims that civilians can’t play as cops, that only assigned officers – unlocked after level 4 – can roleplay in uniform. I plead my innocence with force. “With this much drugs, you’re going away for life on drug charges,” I’m told. But I continue the protest. I claim that after level 7, ‘Undercover’ becomes an option that can be filed in the courthouse as opposed to the station, that my wanted level only exists so as not to break my cover. I have no idea if this server even has an operating courthouse.GTA OnlineAfter much deliberation, it’s clear that one cop is buying the scam more than the other. I manage to shimmy to his far side and, by hitting ‘right’ on my d-pad, offer him a bribe. He laughs aloud and accepts. And, just as I think I’m in the clear, that I’ve beaten a $500,000 drug charge and have conned the boys in blue for a second time, I make the gravest of mistakes. I stand too close to the squad car and, instead of hopping back into my old banger car, I board the cruiser. What a fucking moron. 
I have, of course, played straight into their hands. From Omar Little to Stuart Little in an instant. I hit the gas and the bad cop hits the roof, screaming down his headset for me to freeze and to stop in the name of the law but I don’t listen. I absolutely gun it down Sinner Street over the bridge at Little Bighorn Avenue and onto La Mesa. The bad cop, officer Tyler Garcia, is hot on my tail screaming for me to pull over but I keep going, past Murrieta Heights and onto the southeastern stretch of the Del Perro Freeway. I go off-road, rattle up and over the embankment towards the Tataviam Mountains. 
And then, well, it all gets a bit Benny Hill. Observe:
And now I’m free, driving into the sunrise, a new dawn both figuratively and literally. I might start a new life here out in the sticks. Sell all of these drugs, buy a house, and never want for anything again. My own self-enforced witness protection.
All of this chaos has tired me out. I’m hungry and I’m thirsty. And I’ve got a strange hankering for lemonade. Let’s cheers to that.  GTA OnlineNeed help in Los Santos? Check out the best GTA 5 cheats on the go right now. 
Joe is a Features Writer at GamesRadar+. With over five years of experience working in specialist print and online journalism, Joe has written for a number of gaming, sport and entertainment publications including PC Gamer, Edge, Play and FourFourTwo. He is well-versed in all things Grand Theft Auto and spends much of his spare time swapping real-world Glasgow for GTA Online’s Los Santos. Joe is also a mental health advocate and has written a book about video games, mental health and their complex intersections. He is a regular expert contributor on both subjects for BBC radio. Many moons ago, he was a fully-qualified plumber which basically makes him Super Mario.
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