Well, here’s something I never thought I’d say, I’ve seen the end credits roll on a Grand Theft Auto game. Over the years, I’ve played them all, but until now, I’ve never completed one. This game for me, was the full package. Great story, good looking game, great mechanics, and most of all, so much to do!
Now I could write a small book on the things I enjoyed, but I’ll try to keep it streamlined and simply highlight some of the outstanding stuff I experienced in the game.
Let’s start with the music. Grand Theft Auto games have always had such a great variety of music, and something for everybody’s taste. With GTA V giving you not one, not two, but three protagonists, I found myself tuning into radio stations that I felt better suited the characters. For Michael I had him tuned into Rebel Radio, as I thought it was something he might have listened to, Trevor I had listening to Channel X due to the high octane music that blasted out, and Franklin, a trip down memory lane, listening to West Coast Classic. I then had a rule, if I was to ‘borrow’ a car, I would leave that station as it was, to simply listen to that. I have to say, I listened to some outstanding music while playing this game.
Next, the visuals. I totally missed this on the 360 and PS3, at the time I was busy with other games and never got around to picking it up, however when the HD button had been pressed and it had been release on the current generation, I felt it was time to give it a go. I can’t say how it looked on the last generation, however, the current generation version looks amazing! I found myself parking up on a number of occasions to get out of the car and taking screenshots, as the scenery was beautiful. The attention to detail on even the smallest detail, really was mind blowing. With the added first person mode, I found myself simply going for walks, and taking in the sights and sounds.
For me, the characters were without a doubt the best thing about this game, and in one way or anything I clicked with them all. As mentioned above, while controlling their vehicles, I would listen to music that best suited their persona, and found I’d play the game differently dependant on who I was controlling. For some reason (not sure what this says about me), but I clicked most with Trevor. There was something about his selfish, couldn’t give a f**k attitude that I found really refreshing. Maybe it’s the fact that in pretty much every game I play, where I have choices, I ALWAYS play the good guy. As Trevor was a grade A dick from the start, I continued that persona throughout the game. I found myself making selfish choices, running over people, killing people, and simply looking after number one….refreshing. Michael I played differently, I played him as a down trodden family man, with some real family issue. I got myself a sensible car, listened to sensible music, obeyed the traffic lights (yes, I sat waiting for lights to change), and generally had a very relaxed time. I also had a lot off with Franklin, anybody that knows me, knows I love modified cars, so I spent a lot of time on Los Santos customs with Franklin making sure I had a pimped ride. It was lowered, had a custom body kit, sweet paint job, tinted windows and all geared up for cruising. Again, I followed the traffic rules, didn’t run red lights (unless I needed to), and generally tried to keep my car scratch free. There had however been enough tweaking under that hood, so if I had to floor it, it really shifted. Each character had their basic stats that improved with using them. For example, if you ran a lot, you’d build up your stamina…you know, like real life. They all also had a their own specific skill, which pressing the L3/R3 buttons would activate for a short amount of time. To be honest, the only one I really used was Franklin, as this slowed down time and helped you recover from a potential crash.
So the story. How the three character seemingly different stories intertwined was a work of art, and I honestly wasn’t sure how it was going to work at first. As I’d struggled to complete a GTA game, even with a single protagonist, I wasn’t sure if three would have been a little too much for me, however Rockstar managed to pull this off. As well as the main three, there were a handful of supporting characters, all with their own personalities, quirks and background story, making the entire gaming experience feel so deep and rich.
If you wanted time out from the story, there was just so much to keep you entertained. Whether it be a full eighteen holes of golf (yes a full golf game), a game of tennis (yup, you guessed it, a full tennis game) or simply walk the streets and take in the atmosphere, there was loads to do. Bored of looking around, pull out your phone and go online, (yes, they’d created a fully fledged internet style interface into the game) allowing you browse and buy houses, cars, boats, aircraft and even stocks and shares. Additionally you had Life Invader, a mock Facebook style social media hub, so you could see the thought and posts of the people you interacted with throughout the game.
Something new to GTAV was heists. Throughout the story, there were a number of these, which would start with a planning board giving you a few options. Option A was normally the safe, stealthy option, option B was normally the ‘all guns blazing’ option. Throughout the game, I tried both styles, and both were as rewarding. Once you’d picked the heist style, you then picked your crew, each of which would have a specific skill set, however the better they were, normally came at an increased profit share. If you wanted to take the safe route, hire the best people, but get less of a cut, you could, however if you felt a little greedy and fancied a challenge, simply go for the cheapest people, as they’d usually not make it, thus not getting a cut. Once the decisions had been made, you then had to go and ‘borrow’ a few things to make the heist possible, helicopters, submarines, get away cars and the likes, all with their own unique challenges. Once everything was in place, you’d do the heist, switching between characters as their unique skill was required. When the heist was complete, you’d all go your separate ways, until everything had blown over.
One of the interesting things here was, with the heists and a number of other missions, buying shares in a particular company, (one that you know would gain from the work you were about to go) could reap you a massive profit. For example, if you where going to assassinate the head a of business, and bought a lot of shares in their competitor, the share prices would go through the roof once the new got out of the assassination. Due to this, I had loads of cash by the end of the game, and found it a really interesting feature.
Ok, I’ve harped on about this game long enough, as you can probably tell, I really enjoyed my time in the game, and look forward to jumping into GTA Online sometime soon. If you have a current generation console, and have yet to play GTA V, I highly recommend playing it. There’s enough content to keep you going for many, many hours.
Approx Time taken to beat – 41 hours
Difficulty setting – Easy
Score – [Rating:5/5]
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