Grand Theft Auto V Review (contains spoilers)
GTA V has been hailed as the game of the century. Last week it was released and received rave reviews from numerous gaming publications, most notably IGN.
But has the game lived up the incalculable anticipation and hype? Does the game warrant a 10/10 score?
On the contrary; the game has a multitude of flaws, and is far from perfect.
But first we’ll walkthrough the strengths of the game.
The game is a depiction of Los Angeles
Protagonists: Rockstar have outdone themselves here; unlike GTA IV where most characters were insipid and unimaginative, the characters in GTA V are exceptional. There’s Michael who grew up in an penurious background, and lacked good exemplars and subsequently turned to organised crime.
He later met Trevor Phillips who is a perpetual sociopathic, irreverent, demented, reprobate. In his infancy Trevor had a history of rage issues, and violent impulses.
The two joined forces and became inseparable, accumulating wealth from multiple heists.
Trevor and Michael’s alliance remained successful, until they embarked on a fateful heist, along with an old accomplice of theirs named Brad.
As a result of the failed heist both Trevor and Michael erroneously believed the other to be deceased.
Trevor mangaged to evade police while Micheal made a deal with an agent in the FIB; it resulted in Michael Townley to be pronounced dead and for Michael to be renamed “Michael De Santa”. Back to the present and Trevor has a new business while Mike lives a lavish lifestyle albeit a turbulent one with his wife and two kids.
The last protagonist Franklin was born in a South Los Santos and lived in a dilapidated neighbourhood and he never had a family, money or an education to rely on. At some point in his young life his mother became addicted to crack cocaine, this addiction led to her subsequent death. Franklin is an ambitious and determined man with a desire to move beyond gratuitous crime and rise higher in the criminal underworld. After being acquainted with Michael and completing a job with him, both men grew a father-son relationship for one another which is one endearing part of the storyline. Trevor and Franklin’s first meeting was nowhere near perfect, as he was cautious of the new recruit and even insulted him and Michael for their father-son like relationship. He was eventually able to put his trust into Michael’s judgement of Franklin and the two were finally able to get along.
All characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, own set of personal relationships and own set of houses and vehicles.
Rockstar excelled here and produced captivating characters and implemented the character switching mechanism impeccably; changing between characters is fun, the camera zooms out on the current character, and slowly zooms in on the selected character.
Missions: Another commendable part of the game. While there may only be 69 missions, it’s rare you’ll fine a mission where you haven’t been mesmerised.
Whether it’s commandeering a train, flying directly into a cargo plane, or stealing information from an FBI building GTA V is sure to provide you with enthralling missions.
There is a lot of variety, and the heists in this iteration are significantly more intricate. You as the character have a lot more discretion and can choose your crew, your course of action and your getaway vehicle. Some may berate Rockstar for not having more, but I’d rather have fewer missions while being totally entranced opposed to an inordinate amount of missions while being left feeling neglected. You also have the ability to replay any mission throughout the game which is a nice addition.
Aircraft and vehicles: There is an abundance and a diverse range of vehicles in this game, so whether you’re an ardent sports car fan, an SUV fan, or a retro fan there’s something for you. Vehicles can be customised and you’re given an array of options to choose from so when you’ve accumulated great wealth be sure to give your local LS Customs a visit. One of the major disappointments of GTA IV was lack of aircraft. There were no planes, and while understandable due to the constraint of limited scope it was still a major shortcoming of the game. Rockstar have made amends however in GTA V: Jets, Cargo planes, military planes, fighter jets, and most notably 747 passenger jet which will make a lot of wannabe pilots very happy are all present within the game, and you also have a selection of choppers to choose from too.
Underwater: Underwater swimming makes a welcome return in GTA V, and what a return it is. The scope is inarticulable and there are many sights to behold.
You also have to be vigilant underwater; sharks are lurking and if you don’t proceed with due caution you may find yourself crunched to death by a shark, although they won’t devour you if that’s any consolation. There are packages to be found underwater too including money and weaponry.
Probably the most gratifying thing is the ability to buy a submarine and embark on a journey throughout the world down under.
Weaponry: They’ve provided an excessive amount of weapons and ability for customisations. The new weapon mechanism is more intuitive and makes switching between them seamless. It has everything a fervent gun fan could want, and you can really appreciate just how meticulous Rockstar have been with regard to weaponry.
GTA V is one of the finest games of the millennium, but there are flaws in the game, and depressingly many of these flaws are conspicuous:
Map: Initially I thought I may be the only one who had reservations with the diversity of the map, but I’ve seen a multitude of people reinforce my belief.
Many were apprehensive about the map upon first reveal, and sadly their fears have not been vanquished.
The majority of the map consists of mundane mountains, and monotonous fields.
There is one major city in the game, and that just isn’t sufficient; it just feels like there’s something missing.
A new city would of course enhance the game, and that’s why Rockstar should feel compelled to add at least another city on DLC.
Airports & airtraffic: While Rockstar delivered with planes and jets they’ve failed to deliver with regard to airports and airtraffic. There’s one international airport in the game and when you consider piloting planes is supposed to be an integral part of this game, that’s inexcusable. When I fly a 747 I don’t want to have to land it on a field or have to do a 180 and fly all the way back the airport it took off on, that’s tedious and attenuates the satisfaction of commandeering a jet. I want it to be resemble real life, and 1 airport doesn’t suffice. Airtraffic is poor; it’s basically non-existent. We get a 747 taking off and landing at the airport, but apart from that there’s hardly any aircraft in the air throughout the map. I want an emulation of real life, where you have dynamic air-traffic and you have to fly at a specific altitude to evade other passenger jets and avoid a calamitous mid-air collision.
Lack of interiors and purchasable items: These are the most surprising negatives. I feel deprived of interiors; no shopping malls, no airports, no casinos, no train stations, no car shops etc Secondly there’s nowhere near enough purchasable items. You can accumulate a lot of wealth in this game due to stock markets and lucrative heists, but you’re left dismayed at the lack of purchasable items; I want to purchase opulent mansions, colossal garages to store my cars, and underground car-parks. Lack of excitement after completion of game can be attributed to this. Again it’s a possibility DLC may rectify this problem but I’m pessimistic about that.
No drivable trains: There’s one instance in the game where you’re capable of commandeering a train, but apart from that mission, that’s it.
In GTA San Andreas one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game was hijacking a train and then derailing it.
There are many avid train fans out there who would have loved a metro apparatus in the game.
Graphics: Rockstar aren’t really culpable here, but due to technical limitations of the PS3 the graphics feel antiquated.
All year gamers have been introduced to 1080p, exhilarating graphics on the PS4 and they’re breathtaking.
The defects in graphics are very conspicuous if you’re a pixel junkie.
Hopefully Rockstar appeases the demands of people and releases this game for both PC and Next Gen console.
They hardly need the cash after the monstrous launch, but their fans are imploring them to do so.
I infer they will release this game on both PC and Next Gen consoles in 2014, and code has already been uncovered that indicates PC Support.
So that concludes my critique of GTA V. An unparalleled game, which will certainly gratify you, but simultaneously will leave you feeling unfulfilled.
It’s imperative to note that GTA Online is released 3 days after this review, so this is just a review of GTA V single player.
Once we’ve had time to fully absorb GTA Online, you can expect another appraisal.
My inkling is that will appease my unfulfilled desires.