"The first 'mission' I played on the game introduced me to two of the lead characters old gang members. One had become a crack dealer and one called 'Bear' had become an emancipated crack addict who was the subservient slave of the crack dealer. I thought that was a very strong message about choices, the scene was more dramatic than I'd expect from a"
Exactly my point. The game also depicts the crooked cop blackmailing the main character and many times your friends die.
Sure, GTA has always been a naughty game, and is intended for mature players. I feel I can handle it, as well as my sister.