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Grand Theft Auto V - Review

Credit: Rockstar Games
Rockstar promised a lot for their latest entry, so much that some people believe that would not be able to deliver. I was one of those who feared that Rockstar had promised too much but after spending hours, among hours, Rockstar promised and succeeded in an every way.

Credit: Rockstar Games
In the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto series, you take the control of not one but three main characters that you would suspect to follow common stereotypes – a gangster, a high-class criminal and a fully-fledged psycho. However each character evolves into to something quite different than what I intentionally thought once their stories unravel. Michael, a 40-something year old retired bank robber who is going through a midlife crisis that his dysfunctional family doesn't help him through and just wants to go back to the life he used to have, a life of crime. Franklin, a young and ambitious up-and-comer who wants to leave his old “low-level crime life” behind him and is conflicted with which side of right and wrong he himself belongs on. Then there is Trevor, a sociopath who loves to go on rampages involving killing people and blowing up expensive things and just causing utter mayhem.

Each of the characters do missions that would fit them best, for example, the big-shot Hollywood type would go to Michael, the low-level crime type would go to Franklin and then all the chaotic, mayhem type would go to, of-course, Trevor.

Credit: Rockstar Games
Once you are unlock each of the three characters, you can immediately switch between them as often or as little as you like. This works by zooming out from one character then moves over and zoom in on another character in a sort-of Google Earth style view. That is what it is like to switch between the characters when not on a mission. While you are on a mission that would involve 2 or all of the main guys, the switching happens immediately in an instant. The time it takes between switching to another character when not on a mission can sometimes be inconsistent at times but that could be due to playing this game on a console that is nearing its end of the line. Another thing to mention is that when you are not on a mission and you are controlling one character, the other characters are also going about their own business, whether that be watching some TV, being chased by the cops or just causing mayhem.

Credit: Rockstar Games
The entire storyline of Grand Theft Auto V revolves around thefts, more specially heists. This is the first game within the series that heavily relies on the theme of theft since the early days of Grand Theft Auto. The three men are put in charge of a number of crazy and death defying heists. There are really the high points of the game and they wouldn’t be possible without the dramatically improved driving and gunplay mechanics. Before undergoing an major heist, the player is given the option of how they want the heist to execute, whether you want to go in a more stealth approach or go in guns a blazing, the choice is really up to the player. You also get to decide who do you want to accompany you, if for example you want an expert gunman to tag along then they would expect to want a bigger cut of the loot as compared to an amateur gunman.

Credit: Rockstar Games

The scope of the game is BIG, and when I say big, that seems like an understatement. The game creates a blend of large and small scale. For example, a simple thing like landing a helicopter, the details of the world are revealed in many layers: first, the panoramic views of the sprawling county; next, and the outline of the Los Santos skyline; just the architecture of one restaurant; the scene at the front entrance; and then the seeing a woman walking-by, while on her cell phone, complaining about how she was unable to land a role in some TV Show, and the distinct click of her high heels as she walks.

Most of the buildings can be seamlessly entered and contain well-decorated interiors that tailor to the people that work, live or play there. Each neighbourhood encloses different stores, shops, vehicles and people. Each part feels different and unique in its own right.

Credit: Rockstar Games

There are a lot of things to see and do in Grand Theft Auto V, but you won’t be able to see it all in one playthrough of the game, it will take countless hours. There are plenty of mini-games and side missions to keep you busy between main story missions, like Tennis, Golf, cycling, scuba diving, jet skiing, yoga, mountain-climbing, stunt trials and the list just goes on and on. There is one property within the game that you won’t be able to obtain with just one playthrough with all the heists; it costs around $150 Million. That would take a number of playthroughs in order to achieve that.

Credit: Rockstar Games
Grand Theft Auto V is not just an enjoyable game but it is smart and well detailed version of contemporary America. It shows the refinement of everything that was brought along with GTA IV, almost 5 years ago. It is more technically more advanced in every conceivable way but it’s also ambitious. No other video game world comes even close to something of this scope or size. There is sharp reasoning behind its sense of humor and mayhem. The game tells a compelling, unpredictable yet provocative story which never gets in the way of your own adventures in Los Santos and its detailed world.

It is absolutely one of the best video games ever made and that I have ever played.


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