Grand Theft Auto V is another example of Rockstar setting the new standard for video game developers. With a vast and beautiful open world to explore, incredible missions to take part in, and an innovative structure that gives you three protagonists to control and switch between GTA V gives you a lot of ways to enjoy Los Santos. It’s a brutal and fascinating game that fumbles due to technical issues but never disappoints. Rockstar has done what no other open-world game has done such as pulling off multi-layered missions that can be tackled multiple ways with three different characters without being burdened with vexing loading screens.
Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t have one main character, instead you take control of three characters that you can switch between. Michael is a retired criminal living in witness protection with his dysfunctional family that consist of a unfaithful wife, a lazy son who blame’s others for his failures, and shallow daughter attempting to making it big on television by any means. Franklin is a talented driver seeking to become more than what his family and friends expect from him, that’s until he meets Michael. Franklin and Michael develops a connection and the experienced old criminals takes the promising gangbanger until his wing and mentors him into a life of the professional criminal.
The last protagonist is Trevor Philips, former best friend to Michael and business entrepreneur living in the desert who runs a methamphetamine and weapon operation north of Los Santos. Trevor is a violent, terrifying, and psychotic human being who would make Vaas from Far Cry 3 seem emotionally stable in comparison. Despite his mental instability Trevor possesses an above than average intelligence, capable of performing feats that are not only insane but brilliant as well. He is a monstrously violent and sometimes truly frightening, especially when complemented with amazing voice acting and animation. Michael and Franklin each have winning personalities but it’s without a doubt that Trevor will be the one that everyone remembers from Grand Theft Auto V in the distant future.
When circumstances of pasted mistakes force these characters to work together once again the drama that follows is unforgettable. These three characters may come to each other’s rescue and aid them in complicated missions but they don’t always get along. Their conversations are sharp and high-tempered, it’s a joy to watch them speak to each other. Grand Theft Auto V is an intelligent and well-written game that uses relative commentary on current events such as America’s economic crisis and pop-culture to create relatable satire. You’ll hear the characters and the media touch on subjects such as politics, video games, and social structure everywhere showcasing how greed, corruption, and hypocrisy are littered everywhere.
Rockstar didn’t hold anything back with GTA V, with more sex, drugs, and violence than any other GTA game. Their are several moments in the game that will have you shocked, wondering if you just witnessed what you think you saw. In one particular scene you take control of Trevor in a vicious torture scene that may have some people on edge. Grand Theft Auto V pushes the barriers further than any other game.
The missions are frequently entertaining and varied. Each mission has you undertaking tasks for building skills and preparing for large jobs planned by Michael and the gang. In these heist you’re presented with a different options of how to tackle the situation, changing how the job will play out when the heist starts. In one job your given an option to invade a private military’s tanker, blow it up, and steal a powerful weapon or steal another one that is being held at the bottom the sea. Usually the missions are clearly separated between going in quietly or guns blazing.
These intricate and multi-staged jobs require prep work. This revolves on Michael, Trevor, and Franklin preparing by acquiring equipment ahead of time, stealing a getaway car, and choosing supporting members for your crew. These roles can include a gunman, getaway driver, and hacker that will assist you in the heist. The more skilled the crew member the bigger their cut will be, but if you hire inexperience people you could end up loosing more than if you hired the more skilled individuals. However with each completed job the experience from those individuals grow, making them more valuable for future jobs. Not every task preparing for the upcoming event is thrilling but when everything is ready you feel invested in this specific task, failure is no longer an option.
In certain missions you’ll be required to switch between Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. You may be flying a helicopter as Trevor then switch to Michael to rappel until Franklin is needed to cover Michael using a sniper rifle: all in one mission. Swapping between the characters is exhilarating and swapping between these roles is what makes GTA V the current apex of open-world design. Each character is blessed with a specific special ability that include Franklin able to slow down time while driving, Michael being able to mimmic Max Payne’s bullet time ability, and Trevor going into a feat of rage granting him 50% increase damage and reduction. The mission design is frequently amazing and rarely gets repetitive: infiltrate a hidden government facility using underwater passages; jump from a crashing cargo-plane; or steal a submarine from a private military organization. You’ll witness so many memorable situations that it’ll be almost impossible to keep track of all of them. Most importantly Rockstar finally resolved one of the biggest complaint of the franchise and allows players to use mission checkpoints instead of having to endure the tedious drive when failing a mission.
When not on missions you can switch between each character using a satellite view sequences that zooms out from your current character, finds the current location of the selected one, and zoom onto that person. Best of all you won’t know what that specific character may be doing, sometimes you’ll find them in ordinary situations such as Franklin eating chips or Michael relaxing by the pool. Other times their present situation is more chaotic than you would expect. Trevor might wake up on top of a mountain wearing a lady’s dress or surrounded with bodies and a bottle of booze with no idea what happened. Each character has their own contacts and specific missions that tailor to their personal lives, making the game feel more varied. The contrast between Michael’s urban life and Franklin and Trevor’s existence in a poor environment adds new layers to each character.
The character swapping structure also means that you can engage in different activities such as street races and hunting. It’s unbelievable about the amount of activity that is available through GTA V’s world. You can play tennis, golf, darts, participate in races in land, sea, or air. But if you want to watch movies or supplement your account by buying businesses and participating in the stock market that responds to the player’s actions. Other activities include yoga, hiking, cycling, skydiving, and swimming. Speaking of the world, random occurrences happen from time to time such as police chases and pickpockets that the player can choose to get involved with. You can witness a woman who was just robbed and chase down the criminal or rescue a bank-robber from the cops who in turn becomes a new getaway option for future jobs. The world of GTA V has an abundance of small and large moments that make the environment feel like a living world where anything can happen, especially when you can go throughout the entire world without a single loading screen.
Of course like past Grand Theft Auto games you can create your own fun. You can choose to stock up on weapons and ammo in preparation for a future rampage through the streets of Los Santos or steal a jet and pick a fight with the military. Whatever mayhem you cause will attract the attention of the authorities that will pursue you until captured or dead. Unlike pasted GTA games the Police are limited to a cone of vision and can be avoided if the player remains clear from their view for a specific amount of time that depends on how high your wanted rating is. At times the cops can be easily avoided but other times possessed some sort of GPS system on my present location.
Regardless your evading the police, joining in a street race, or simply driving around the city the handling in GTA V has drastically improved. Each car has it’s own specific handling and operates differently, giving you more incentive to storing your favorite vehicles in the many garages available for all three characters. Driving is so much fun that you won’t feel as annoyed when having to traverse extensive distances, taking in the beautiful environments, incredible artwork, and fantastic radio selection available. But if you’re feeling lazy you can simply call a cab using your customizable cellphone and instantly drive to your destination.
Shooting has also improved dramatically, and as professional criminals expect a lot of people attempting to kill you. You have an excellent array of weapons at your dispose that can be modded with new attachments such as suppressors, flashlights, scopes, and tints. Those who aren’t confident with their shooting skills can choose an auto-aim option, but it’s not a requirement. Since you’ll be facing overwhelming odds on multiple occasions you will need to use cover wisely, those familiar with Max Payne 3 will be able to grasp the shooting mechanics with ease.
Grand Theft Auto V is an astounding game that once again pushes the standard of what is expected from open-world titles. With great characters and exciting narrative GTA V is not only an entertaining video game but an intelligent title. It’s an evolution of every GTA game that preceded it and technically ambitious, easily overshadowing all other open-world games. Like other open-world games random glitches do occur such as the environment not loading or character behaving strangely but these are rare. Grand Theft Auto V is a compelling title filled with activity and undoubtedly contender for game of the year.