Grand Theft Auto V Review (XBox 360, PS3)
Before I begin my review let me just start out by saying that Grand Theft Auto 5 created by Rockstar will be game of the year, period. Over the years Rockstar has always set the standard for open world sandbox type games and they have set that bar at it’s highest peak yet again. There may be other developers that can make an immersive world enjoyable and playable for hours but with GTA 5 it’s Rockstar’s amazing attention to detail that really brings the game together and makes it that much more fun to play.
Grand Theft Auto V takes place in San Andreas (California) which includes endless miles of roadways, mountains, and deserts. The main city Los Santos (Los Angeles), is a place of beauty while at the same time a cesspool for robberies, gang shoot outs, and murder. If you’re able to look beyond that however you can see the city in all its glory. The center of the city is inhabited by skyscrapers and business men, the northern section is claimed by the rich and wealthy, while the lower area is where most gang violence occurs. Then of course you have the boonies out in the desert. It is much more of a peaceful scenic area away from the hustle and bustle of the city but it too has it’s share of unusual events. The state really is yours to explore at your own pace and quite honestly you’ll be surprised at what you may find around Los Santos.
In GTA5 you will be playing as three protagonists each having their own criminal background. Franklin Clinton is who you first play as in Los Santos. He is a motivated young gang banger who has grown tired of small time gang-banging and is looking to work his way up to find better ways of making money. Michael DeSanta is a retired bank robber and is somewhat self centered. He spends his days sitting by the pool, drinking and arguing with his family. Trevor Phillips…well there’s a lot to say about him but in a nutshell he’s a lunatic that pillages, rampages, and has an uncontrollable rage. Once you have them unlocked in the story you are able to freely switch between the three seamlessly unless you are in the middle of a mission or being chased by the police. When the three of them become acquainted you will have a series of heists and missions that will include the three of them, and each will have different tasks depending on your input before the mission or based on what their best skills are. And of course, each of them have their own separate story with different kinds of drama along the way.
Throughout the game you will be presented with a wide variety of things to do. Anything from golf and tennis to hunting and racing will be available for you to do. Of course you will have the usual shoot up the place and destroy anything that gets in your way, but it’s nice to have a little time to go skydiving if you want, right? You also have a number of things you can do on the side to make money such as driving cabs, playing as a substitute police officer, and a few other things as well. While you’re playing you may also find people that may have random events that happen to them where you can choose to either help or go on about your day. For example, you may be driving and hear some one say that they have been robbed. You can either get out to help and return the money or stop the robber and take the money for yourself. It all boils down to what you want to do. Then there are the main and side missions during the game. These can range anywhere from preforming heists to make money, or furthering the story of a certain character. Heists need to be planned, and the game will present you with a number of things to consider. You can either go in guns blazing or plan it smart and buy yourself more time to get the goods. You must also choose who you want to hire to help you with the job. Higher skilled criminals will help guarantee success but require a higher cut after the job is done, while a lower skilled gunman may be a weak link and cause failure. The game really makes it feel like you could play it for hours without getting bored.
The game engine is pretty well made as well. It is a vast improvement over the engine used in GTA IV as far as driving, running, and shooting is concerned. Driving in the last game felt like a chore but in this game it really is a pleasure. You can’t just go around a corner at full speed, you have to actually think like you are driving a real car. So you will obviously crash if you drive around a corner too quickly. It teaches you to drive fast but at the same time drive carefully else wise you could end up on the sidewalk because you flew out of the front windshield. Along with that are a great number of cars to choose from that greatly resemble real life cars that are out today. A great example would be Franklin who drives a car the looks 95% like a Dodge Charger. They really did put effort into making the vehicles as life like as possible.
The character controls are fluid and realistic. Climbing, jumping, and sneaking are all simple enough to do and as you play you don’t really think about what will happen if you do a certain action because you simply know. Shooting and switching between weapons is vastly improved. It is much easier to lock onto a target and shoot than before. Along with that is the new weapon switching menu. Before you could be switching weapons trying to find the right one while being shot at and before you knew it you’d be dead. Now they have incorporated a wheel that holds each weapon so you can choose which one you like while the game is slowed down so you can make your selection without being rushed.
The story is nothing short of amazing. It really does make this game what it is. Yeah, the graphics are good and it’s a fun game to play but the story is what makes you keep playing and you simply lose track of time. I don’t want to ruin any of it, but the way the characters are intertwined with one another really makes this game great. The story has 40+ hours of gameplay alone, so you will not be disappointed one bit.
I’m bold enough to say that GTA 5 is the most impressive game of this generation of consoles, kind of like a last hoorah of this gen. The only drawback about this game is that it’s not on PC yet. It’s a real bummer, I know, and it doesn’t help that we have no idea when it will come to PC, but when it does I think that with the mods that will be available, the game will be made even better.
So to summarize:
- Amazing Story.
- Great Characters.
- Amazing Open World.
- Endless Things To Do.
- Not On PC Yet.
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