After years of waiting, the wait is now finally over! That’s right I am referring to the most highly anticipated game of the year Grand Theft Auto V. So it’s time to start planning your approach of attack, starting with robbing liquor stores and working your way up to bank heists earning high amounts of cash in Rockstar’s next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series.
Grand Theft Auto V still has its key features from previous Grand Theft Auto titles such as its still a third-person type sandbox cross shooter game. Also just like Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony you are ranked by how well you perform a mission by completing certain tasks or objectives and are rewarded with a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal. But Rockstar’s biggest game changer in GTAV has to be the fact that you can now play as three different protagonists with completely different lifestyle backgrounds as opposed to just one.
First up we have Michael De Santa, a retired bank robber who is having a mid-life crisis and is running out of money slowly drawing him back into the life of crime. Next, there is Franklin Clinton who is a 2-bit gangster repossessing cars for a luxury car company while slowly working his way up in the criminal world and out of the hood. Last, but not by the least of any measures is my personal favorite Trevor Phillips. Many words can describe this character but the quickest and best way to describe him is, a drug addict, sociopathic criminal, with some real emotional problems and a lust for violence and weapons!
You begin Grand Theft Auto 5 in the middle of a Bank Heist in Ludendorff, North Yankton and can switch roles straight away as one of the three available characters, two of them being main protagonists. As you progress through the mission as Michael, Trevor and Brad the mission acts as a short tutorial showing you the ropes and potential features of driving, shooting and using the new ability to swap playable characters during mid-mission. After escaping from the Police, Michael, Trevor and Brad find themselves in trouble as they have been ambushed on their way to the escape helicopter. They then end up splitting up from each other on the run. Nine years have passed and you find yourself taking a trip back down memory lane in the all new looking beautiful city of San Andreas.
Each player is also equipped with personal skills and also new abilities which can be worked on to be increased while playing. Franklin’s ability makes him able to focus more when driving such as being able to brake a lot quicker, turn a lot more sharper and drive in slow-motion for a short duration of time. Sort of like Franklins ability, Michael has the ability to slow time all together when only on foot for a small duration of time to help shoot and kill enemies and vehicles. Lastly Trevor’s ability is more of a frenzy mode, doubling the damage he gives and halving the damage he receives for a short period of time.
In the previous title Grand Theft Auto IV they had added a small portion of side missions called stranger missions with characters that have nothing to do with the story and send you on weird and wacky quests. Grand Theft Auto V has now expanded this great feature by adding it to the game with many more strangers and more funnier and weird missions, offering more gameplay. Hanging out with friends is more of an option now, rather than a necessity in Grand Theft Auto V, which is far better than being called up every 5 minutes and asked if you wanted to go bowling all the time! More activities such as playing darts, tennis, golf, watching movies, entering Triathlons, drug trafficking, street racing and even buying shares from companies to help your money grow so you can also buy more properties, offering a lot more to do in Grand Theft Auto V than just playing main story missions.
Car customization have been brought back to Grand Theft Auto ever since they dropped the idea in Grand Theft Auto IV, giving you the ability to change and enhance your car to not only to look the part but also the ability to enhance its performance and speed. On the downside, the cars I upgraded and stored in my garage tended to also disappear from existence which has been put down to a bug or glitch which kind of defeats the point in collecting and storing your awesome rides. Also, the amount of car customization allowed was minimal and it would be great to see more options made available perhaps via DLC in the future. Player customization is also back giving you the chance to not only dress up your character but choose from the very limited different hairstyles for each specific character. However, at times no matter what look you give your protagonist there seemed to be problems with holding onto that look given each time you switched to another protagonist the look you created seemed to disappear entirely. If improvement of skills is more your thing you can go back to flight school and learn some moves whilst flying or even go to the shooting range and test your skill with some targets.
Finally it needs to be mentioned that the game missions were not a huge challenge for me personally. There was nothing that really made you have to give that extra push to complete a mission which to me felt like a small disappointment. However, the slightly easier difficulty makes the game far more accessible to a wider audience which is a positive thing.
Audio and Visuals
The visuals in Grand Theft Auto V have certainly taken a noticeable step up from previous GTA titles. Things such as player models, environments such as the city, ocean and the desert were spectacular and very realistic and the draw distance to populate these environments was also very good. It’s the small details on buildings, billboards and store fronts that give the city life rather than the same buildings all over the place. However on the other side of the coin though GTAV does lack in certain areas visually. For example, there were still a few badly designed and blurry items around the map such as signs and when watching videos on the mobile phone, movie theatre and the television were all very blurry. However these are small shortcomings for a game as large and huge as GTAV and they don’t alter your experience in any way, shape or form.
The voice actors for Trevor, Michael and Franklin were very well executed and brought their characters to life and they are the type of characters you grow an attachment to or dislike depending on what your character is and how you bond with each character. The all famous radio stations are back and the selection of music is fantastic. There is everything from pop music to gangster music, rock, classical, talk back radio, country music and more meaning there is something for everybody here. Personally I couldn’t stop listening to the music which is a real testament to how many awesome tracks there are in GTAV to tune into.
Grand Theft Auto V sure had a lot of ups, but it also had its downs. However most of the negative points are small in nature such as texture pop, blurry signs or cars and hairstyles that mysteriously disappear. Further, none of these issues really detract from the story and experience in any way, shape or form. Grand Theft Auto V is an amazing title and lived up to my expectation of a juicy storyline, interesting characters and many things to do when you have finished the game! If you haven’t picked up this game by now, I urge you to purchase Grand Theft Auto V as soon as possible so long as you’re over 18. If you don’t then you are missing out on one of the biggest and most epic games of this generation.