Grand Theft Auto V could only be described as massive. I’d like to say this is something that I have heard often in my life, however we are not talking about my brain. This is by far the best thing that has ever come out of the Rockstar Games family and everyone involved should be sitting back on the fat couches with their fat wallets looking over to whoever may be sitting next to them and say: In the video game development world, I am the shit!. There is so much about this game, every little detail that it’s hard to even figure out where to start. There are things that you can just flat out say and then there are other things that are entirely considered spoilers but are so awesome to talk about you just want to do it anyway. So we will do our best and give you a review from top to bottom discussing the new things that Rockstar did in this iteration of GTA.
One of the very first things you will notice is that the game appears to be very polished. Rockstar knew that making a game that has roughly 42 square miles of playable space, there needed to be content and that content was not just thrown in there. If you recall when GTA: San Andreas came out, there was so much land mass that you could get distracted and head out into the middle of nowhere. Cool to be able to do that, but also very bad if you lose your vehicle and you have to hoof it back to civilization. This has been rectified because you won’t go long while meandering through the woods before you see some hikers, wildlife, or weird religious cult camp. And of course while exploring the fast space that is San Andreas and the city of Los Santos there is always going to be little side missions to take on. While taking a trip down the freeway or highway, why not stop in at a convenience store and either get some snacks to up your health or just go ahead and rob the place. Whatever floats your boat at that moment. Or you can be horrifically sadistic and buy something from the nice shopkeeper but shoot the oil tanks sitting outside of the store and just blow it to pieces.
These items can be done just about anytime and are not really marked on the massive in game map. What is marked on the map besides the basic mission icons for each of the three characters you will be playing, are options to play tennis, yoga, hunting, diving, car races, racing on the sea, airplane and blimp flying, and a ton of other things. All of which you can do right from the beginning of the game. The game slowly introduces them to you as you move along but if you want to go balls to the wall, it is there for you. The citizens of the world are just as phenomenal. You do get the feeling that it is a living and breathing place. Moving past a movie theater, in which you can watch movies btw, people will be discussing the movie itself or hanging out at the local coffee shop. Drive down the street in your city and you will get the same sense of what happens in the game. In some instances, people will be robbed and you can intervene if you’d like or just walk on like nothing happened.
As we mentioned earlier, you will be playing as three characters within the game: Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Michael is a man in his 40’s and going through what seems to be a typical mid life crisis, except he is an ex-con who has “made it” in his life. Trevor is all about him and he doesn’t care to take out anyone in his way or that may disagree with what it is he wants. He is in fact, the games wildcard. Franklin is in his 20’s and right out of the bad part of downtown Los Santos. The main missions within the game will revolve around the three characters and you will be introduced to them slowly over time allowing for the story to unfold as needed. In order to switch between characters while playing the game, if you are in a relatively safe position (read: no wanted level), you can hold down on the directional pad allowing you to select either of the other two characters. From there you will zoom out of your character into a sky high view of San Andreas and then zoom into where the character you chose happens to be doing whatever they would be doing in their life. So you can move from Michael who just happened to be finishing up his Yoga session, over to Franklin that just finished doing some pull-ups on Vespucci Beach. Not happy with looking at the bikini clad females, and males sadly, take over the role of Trevor who just may happen to be waking up on a desolate beach, in a dress, and dead bodies lying all around. The in game god only knows for sure what really happened the night before.
As you play the main game missions, you will have the three characters involved with you and you will be able to switch to them as the mission sees fit. Thus you can be flying a helicopter as one character and then need to quickly switch to another character that may need to act as a sniper to save the other character hanging from the helicopter. The best part of the main game missions is that with the older GTA games, if you failed to complete the mission for whatever reason, you had to start back over from the beginning. Int GTA V, there are now in mission checkpoints that are automatically hit allowing you to start from those spots if you fail making it nice to keep the flow going. And if you can’t seem to pass a mission checkpoint, you will be given an option to skip it after a few tries allowing for that extreme frustration that you may have had in the past GTA games to go by the wayside. The biggest of the missions, the heists are what make this nice because they are massive and can at times include the entire map. What makes it special during these times though is that you will be able to listen to the character dialog taking place filling in little gaps of the main storyline here and there. It shows that they need each other and also hate each other at the same time. It is very well worth it to take the time to listen to these dialogs.
The music, tv commercials, radio commercials, billboards, everything that you know from the previous games are still in existence and they have put in a significant amount of time and effort to make you just want to stop and view the spectacular surroundings while listening about the online application entitled Life Invader. Maybe purchase some stocks on the ingame stock exchange that will fluctuate according to in game activities. The other stock exchange will reflect what happens in the real time Grand Theft Auto Online. Thus as people purchase more cars or guns of a certain type, you can gain cash in the game for your online multiplayer experience. GTA V is ambitious and there was no expense in making sure that it was developed well. If you ever wanted to have a game in your hall of “I MUST HAVE FOREVER”, then Grand Theft Auto V is going to be the game you must have. As always Rockstar, well done.
5 out of 5 widows