Speedrunning has grown to encompass a huge community of players who dig into games, memorize the most efficient techniques and look for any bug or design quirk to exploit for the sake of progressing as quickly as possible.
Certain games are better suited to speed running than others, but almost any game can be played this way. Recently, a speed runner took on Grand Theft Auto 5.
Speed running is arguably an art form. It is a performance, with the best-known speedrunners broadcasting or recording their efforts to beat records by even milliseconds.
Watching a few speedrunning videos will show anyone why this is a catchy genre - the tension and excitement of whether or not the runner will break that record, the celebration and elation if they do, and the sense of drama if they don't, reach beyond this simply being someone trying to really quickly finish a game.
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The concept of speedrunning creates this expectation of it being a short thing to do and to watch - that's the whole point, isn't it?
While it is true that a large segment of speedrunning focuses on individual levels, or on games with exploits that can cut down playtime to just a couple of minutes, where records hinge on fractions of seconds, some speedrunners take on notoriously long games, or even entire series.
GTA 5's story mode is one such notoriously long game, provided you want to max it out and do everything there is to do.
It's filled to the brim with collectibles, side missions and optional activities on top of its lengthy campaign allowing fans to easily spend upwards of a hundred hours seeing everything there is to see. ToriksLV, the speedrunner who set the most recent record, cut that down to a tenth.
In his 100% speedrun, he managed to finish the game in 10 hours, 15 minutes and 44 seconds, beating the previous record of 10 hours, 29 minutes and 33 seconds. In that time, he completed absolutely everything there is to complete in GTA 5's single-player mode. All the spaceship parts, all the side missions, everything.
Of course, watching through the entire video of it would also be quite an achievement, but simply viewing snippets of the speedrun will show just how skilled ToriksLV is.
He memorized the most efficient, quickest paths for progression, stringing together collectibles with missions with other missions, always moving methodically and at a break-neck pace with no rest.
The driving, the aiming, the navigation - it's all a joy to observe. This high level of play is rare, and hints at a huge amount of practice that went into the record-breaking run. It's like he never misses a headshot, never takes a wrong turn.
GTA's speedrunning community isn't as lively as that of some other games, but we're sure that sooner or later someone else will come along to topple the record with another few minutes shaved off.
Something else we'd love to see is a Criminal Mastermind Challenge speedrun in GTA Online.