Grand Theft Auto V is finally here. It’s in millions of peoples homes and in the first day it made over $800 million in 1st day sales. Gamers have been promised a lot for the newest title in the huge GTA franchise, so much that people were thinking that there was no way it’ll be able to deliver. A lot of us thought something is going to be left out or changed. Some other fans are certain the game is destined to fail. Even I thought that Rockstar promised too much. Thankfully and gratefully, I have seen the entire world promised and delivered in GTA V.
One of the biggest changes to the franchise is to have multiple protagonists in the game. Yeah I know that it happened in GTAIV but not in the same way, those characters were part of and not all controllable in the same game.This huge feature marks the first time Rockstar employs interweaving characters as the main focal point of the game. A lot of people fear that having this will detract from a personalized gaming experience.
The three protagonists in the game are Michael, Trevor, and Franklin.
- Michael is a retired thief, who has the worst family of any character in gaming.
- Franklin is a young entrepreneur looking to get out of the hood by any means necessary.
- Trevor is the crazy deranged, psychotic friend we all wouldn’t.
All the characters are different and have their own skill and this is why they make the game enjoyable.
Each character has a certain skill, or power if you will, that will allow them to perform better in certain situation than another. For example, Trevor’s skill allows him to go into a rampage mode, thus allowing him to receive and inflict more damage than normal. Franklin can “slow down time” while shooting from a vehicle. These extra special moves are not the only thing separating the characters. Franklin is the best on motorcycles, and Trevor is the best in air-based vehicles. However, for as much diversity that was put into each character, there is one flaw in the design of multi-protagonists. Even though I knew I had other characters to play as, I spent the majority of my time with one character. Not that I didn’t like the other characters, I found one character’s story to be more engaging to me than the others’.
The real issue came into play when you are forced to play as the other characters. Maybe if this were just for a mission or two, it wouldn’t feel so in your face, but when it’s for a good chunk of time, you really start to miss the option of switching between characters. While this is a fault, I can’t help but admire the ambition behind the decision.
Speaking of ambition, as I stated in the beginning, Rockstar promised us the world with GTAV and that’s exactly what they gave. While separate activities are nothing new in the series, having so many is. To name a few we have golf, tennis, scuba diving, plane flying, parachuting, and of course darts. Each extra activity has unique controls, depending on what it is. For example, tennis may not control exactly like your typical tennis game on the market, but you will still get an enjoyable experience and will want to return time and again to work on your backhand. You can even sit and watch short films in the cinemas dotted around town. If you are into deranged, sexually charged, confusing cinematic experiences then you will love the short films.
In addition to these fun-time activities, you will also find other activities to really help you in the game, such as stealing and then delivering ammo drops, robbing armoured trucks, buying homes and businesses, and stock trading. The message in GTA V is that cash is king. Everywhere you look in the game, you see this message reinforced, and these are just some of the activities that will allow you to become the richest person in Los Santos. The biggest way to make money is through heists.
This is probably my favourite feature added to GTA. While the concepts of missions are still there, the heists allow you to feel a little more in control and not just someone’s errand boy. The heists are multi-layered missions. First, you have to get the information about the place you are robbing: the camera placements, ventilation vent locations, alarm access, how much will the take potentially be, etc. Then you enter into the planning stages. An associate will explain how the place is set up, and will also describe the options you have for performing the heist. Two examples are “loud” and “smart.” After making this decision, you have to pick your crew. You have sheets on some of the best in the business; from them, you have to decide whom you are bringing with you. They all have different levels of experience, but this also comes with a different cut of the pay. Choose wisely, because I can tell you I have seen heists go stupid wrong all because I wanted a larger cut of the money. Even after all of this, there are still separate, smaller missions to do before you are ready to perform the main heist. This is such a refined approach to GTA’s normal mission routine. It is easily my favorite aspect of GTA V.
I must add thought that all the screenshots and all the videos do no justice to the visual experience of the game. So many times I found myself sitting at the top of a hill or mountain while looking at the skyline of Los Santos and being in awe of the visual prowess of the game. The roads look rough and beat up. The buildings are not paper cutouts. The people are not carbon copies at every new block. I know GTA IV shows great progression in the graphics already, but GTA V really raises the bar to a whole new level. It may even challenge some early next-gen experiences.
If, like me, you are still a fan and a player of GTAIV you will notice that Los Santos feels as if it is more alive, with five kids, and several regrets with its life. It will definitely make you sit back and wonder what goes on in the city in your absence. This is especially true for the conversations you overhear. There is loads of voice acting in this game and you notice this with the conversations people have around you; you don’t want to miss a single one of m. While this has not been an area Rockstar has stumbled in the past, it is worth mentioning due to the sheer commitment made to make you strongly dislike certain characters. These characters are voice-acted so annoyingly well that you almost wish the character would never speak again, just like some of the main characters. The music and talk shows are also great to listen to as you are traveling around. All in all, the sound department is not one lacking in GTA V.
This is probably the easiest statement to make about the latest entry into the mega-franchise, but here it is anyway–It is not lacking. There is so much to do in the game; you just might be playing this game until next year. Rockstar really outdid itself with this entry. The company gives players more to do and then refines those things to make each extra addition an enjoyable experience. It is a feat many other games will now pick up on to try and utilize. The Grand Theft Auto series has always been one to lead the charge into new and exciting things, and this time, it may have raised the bar too high. Which I am perfectly fine with, at least until Rockstar returns to Vice City and raises the bar some more. For now, though, I am just fine living in Los Santos with my three new best friends….until the switch for GTA Online is flipped at least.
Another thing worth mentioning is the companion apps are worth getting. You can feed Chop the Dog, play minigames or even teach him some new tricks which will then be sent over to your game. You can even upgrade your vehicles via the iFruit app and check out Lifeinvader if that’s your thing.
More details on that here: http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/51371/the-free-gtav-ifruit-and-game-manual-companion-apps.html
Im going to give this game a 9/10 because I love it!
Look out for our GTAOnline review, in the meantime why not check out its awesome soundtrack.