Grand Theft Auto: Why It Is Cut Above Rest
First things first, this is just a video game - even if it is a particularly violent one.
So set aside the inevitable hysteria that surrounds the release of any title that invites moral individuals to make immoral decisions, and what is most striking about Grand Theft Auto V is just how cinematic it feels.
From its gloriously detailed cityscapes, to the villains straight out of central casting, to the non-linear freedom to roam that this sandbox game offers, GTA V comes the closest yet to making players feel like they are in a movie.
The game's creators, Rockstar North, have done more than their homework - they have created an entirely believable world, although admittedly filled with some fairly unbelievable characters and events.
Usually when playing a game you are fully aware that what is happening is a fiction.
Yet here, the artifice is almost unnoticeable, the usual barrier between player and completely immersive experience so slight as to barely register.
Yes, you still direct your character with a handheld controller. But you feel with your head, and your heart.
Mark my words, this game will sell by the blood-filled bucketload.
Estimates vary, but 25 million copies are expected to shift in the first 12 months.
Revenues could exceed $1bn the end of the year, and come close to £1bn not long after that.
GTA V is but the latest evidence that video games pose a real challenge to cinema's cultural dominance.
Last year the video games industry was valued at a little over £42bn. By 2014 it is estimated it will be worth almost £52bn.
Pity the residents of Sunset Boulevard. Global box office takings in 2012 amounted to just £22bn.
GTA V had a budget in excess of most Hollywood blockbusters and was five years in development. It shows.
Rockstar North have aped the style and the substance of the hugely profitable gangster genre.
As the midnight queues at games retailers up and down the country have proved, the British-based company clearly has more than a few wise guys in their ranks.
This is no niche industry. Wii-loving grannies; computer-literate toddlers; nostalgic '80s gamers returning to their youthful pursuits; and those who have never put down the joystick - never before have so many enjoyed the simple pleasures video gaming provides.
Except, clearly, the games are no longer simple. Far from it.
An incredible level of sophistication now permeates and characterises these strange new worlds.
Some will argue that the silver screen is dimming. Others, that we are simply demanding more engagement from our entertainment.
So much of GTA V's DNA comes from films that it would be obtuse to suggest that cinema is a dying genre.
But the experience video games provide will only become more immersive.
So perhaps, one day, the credits will no longer roll. End scene, cut, print.