Immersive. That is the one word that comes to mind when playing Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto V, the much anticipated entry in the popular franchise. GTA V immerses you into a fictional southern California setting with the city Los Santos and the surrounding country side. There is much to do in this big in-game world, one of the biggest of it’s kind.
Once you put in the game and get past the short but highly cinematic prologue, you are able to go about what you please. Want to rob a liquor store? Go right ahead. Want to go see a movie at the movie theatre or just watch TV at home? You can do that also. There is just so much to do once you start the game, with more things available while you progress through the story. You can play a round of tennis or go through all 18 holes of golf at a country club. Things like this is what makes Grand Theft Auto V so entertaining and immersive.
Then there is the awesome gameplay mechanics. Shooting, driving, and even the level design has been revamped to give variety and make things more enjoyable and chaotic. There are now checkpoints in missions so you don’t have to restart and drive far to do a certain task. Checkpoints were unforgivable in the past GTA games, but now they makes things less frustrating and more fun and fast-paced. The shooting is smooth and non-glitchy. It’s like Red Dead Redemption (also by Rockstar Games), but with a few added bonuses. Driving is also more simple and easier to navigate. The only issue is getting used to the flying mechanics.
A new addition to the GTA series is the special abilities. Each of the three playable characters has their own special ability that helps at certain points. Franklin has precise driving techniques, Michael has a sharpshooter (like Dead Eye from Red Dead), and Trevor goes in a rampage mode that reduces damage he takes and deals more damage. This adds to the game and gives variation.
The story of Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best in the series. It’s something that has never been a strong suit in GTA, but that changes now. Though there are subplots abound, the story is pretty linear. The game mainly focuses on six big heists, each one leading up to the perfect “score”. With these heists, you have to prepare by choosing the method to go about the job, who you want in your crew, and what kind of prep that is needed. It should be noted that the inspiration to these heists is taken from various movies from the 80s and 90s such as Point Blank and the Italian Job. The build up on a lot of the heists add tension in the story and it all leads to the big climax. There are multiple endings in GTA V, depending on the choice a character makes before the last mission. It creates replayability.
There is so much to talk about when it comes to Grand Theft Auto V. This review hasn’t even touched the game as whole. With so much to do and with so much to see, this game will last, even more so when the online component is launched on October 1st. Grand Theft Auto V changes the way games are played. It will set a new standard in the gaming industry. Is it the best game ever made? It sure feels like it. Waiting for next-gen gaming? Well it’s here with Grand Theft Auto V.