Grand Theft Auto V Review
Grand Theft Auto V proved to be one of the most anticipated games of all time but with such hype comes an incredibly high level of expectations. Does Grand Theft Auto V make the grade or has the franchise finally reached a tipping point? Rockstar reported that the game broke $800 million worth of sales on the launch day alone, showing that the massive advertising campaign and incredible cost of the game has been enough to at least entice players to buying the latest GTA title. But will the excitement continue?
Despite the fact that Grand Theft Auto V was one of the most hyped titles of our generation, I wasn’t all that excited. I found Grand Theft Auto IV to be among the most disappointing in the franchise and the announcement of three main protagonists really threw me off. I crave the immersive experience within video-games and I wasn’t sure that Rockstar could deliver the depth of character required to make three completely different characters so easily appealing; boy was I wrong.
Grand Theft Auto V Review
The three main characters in the game Michael, Franklin and Trevor, couldn’t be more different if they wanted to. As the self-obsessed family man, Michael struggles to come to terms with his past while his family falls apart in the present. The trademark gangster, Franklin, is doing everything he can to escape the hood life with the hopes of achieving something greater. While Trevor…Well..Trevor is one of the greatest characters ever to grace the art of video-games. He’s insane, psychotic and completely irrational but somehow still likable. The three personalities clash on a regular basis and it doesn’t matter your background or your preference for past protagonists, you’ll relate and become attached to each of these unlikely lunatics.
The characters help to create a story that is easily the best in the franchise, and one of the best in gaming. In true Grand Theft Auto fashion you’ll be taking out crime bosses, knocking the mafia down a peg, dealing with a vigilante style group of mercenaries, and everything in-between. I would love to go into greater detail but we do our very best to avoid spoilers in our honest game reviews so you’ll just have to take my word for it. The story has more twists and turns than the Kingda Ka and it will keep you on your toes every step of the way.
The three character mechanic doesn’t just benefit the story, it’s also a great addition to the game play. There are a number of missions with all three characters involved and you’re given the task of controlling each of them. Switching between the driver, a sniper in the distance and a guy gathering intel adds so much depth to the missions, it’s incredible. Selecting different vantage points for each character, giving them different roles in the heists; it all comes together to create an experience you won’t forget.
Outside of the story San Andreas offers plenty of other activities. You’ll be boosting cars, helping innocent civilians claim back stolen goods, investing in the incredibly lucrative stock market and participating in tons of side missions. Although some of the random events and strangers & freak side missions do lack a certain depth at times, they do give added insight into the characters and the world they inhabit.
The mission variety in Grand Theft Auto V is one of the games greatest assets. I cannot think of another entertainment medium that boasts even close to the variety of excitement on display in GTAV. Within the space of 30 minutes I was landing a plane inside another plane, taking a submarine to the depths of the ocean, assassinating leaders of massive corporations, and shooting aliens after a dodgy dose of Marijuana. It takes the comical approach of Saints Row IV but manages to embed them with a more serious underlying tone. Sure the game is ridiculously stupid at times but the emotions felt through the main characters, the experiences they face, it all comes together in a perfect balance of fun and emotion.
At the risk of sounding like a complete fan boy, Grand Theft Auto V is the product of a long established franchise, and it’s obvious. The mechanics have been fine tuned to near perfection, the content expansive and the open-world of San Andreas is one of the finest accomplishments in gaming history. Whether you’re cowering behind cars as you take out waves of mercenaries or biking around San Andreas looking for some fun, the game world creates jaw-dropping moments time and time again.
Although GTAV is, in my opinion, one of the greatest achievements in gaming; it’s not completely without fault. The cover system can be sketchy at times, forcing your character to remain in the open despite the fact there’s an abundance of cover nearby. The quick-switch shooting mechanic can be faulty, giving the enemy ample time to fire-off an entire clip while you panic in confusion, and some aspects of the game could have been even better.
I’m talking about the heists. These missions give players complete control over how they approach the situation. Do you want to steal some uniforms and attempt to sneak in? Or maybe you just want to grab a rocket launcher and head through the front door? All of these and more are available in a number of heists throughout the main campaign but that’s the biggest problem. The heists are only available in the main campaign and players are not able to create their own outside of the main story. This element of wasted potential is ripe throughout the game but the fact it can still deliver such an amazing experience is a massive credit to the developers.
Sure, half the side missions don’t offer any rewards and sleeping with strippers is about as rewarding as catching syphilis, but it’s all still well designed content. Every game has room for expansion and very few games release without issue. However, the fact I can still score Grand Theft Auto V so highly proves, to me at least, that this is a game worthy of anyone’s collection.
Grand Theft Auto V is the perfect combination of story-telling and excellent game mechanics but most importantly; it’s one hell of a time. If you’re waiting for payday, or have yet to pick it up, get it. You’ll never spend a better $60 in your life.