Grand Theft Awe-inspiring
It’s been a long five years since we were last graced with a numeric Grand Theft Auto release, and an even longer nine years since we last set foot in the sun-bathed Los Santos, but boy has it been worth the wait.
At the heart of Grand Theft Auto 5 are the three extremely colorful protagonists — a lovable crew of rogues, despite their sociopathic tendencies. Franklin, the young up-and-comer, Michael, the frustrated family man, and Trevor, the unmitigated loose cannon. Perhaps the most significant introduction is the ability to change between these characters both in and outside of missions. This allows the player to quickly change gameplay types, as well as locations, alleviating any risk of the game becoming stagnant.
As the undisputed champion of the sandbox, gamers generally know what to expect from Grand Theft Auto, so it is testament to Rockstar that Grand Theft Auto 5 feels so fresh. The mission types are varied enough to ensure you won’t lose interest, with the driving mechanics giving each car its own unique feel. During shooting segments, a relatively forgiving lock on system could be criticized as too easy, but keeps the fire fights hot and heavy.
In particular, the heist missions provide some of the most memorable moments in recent gaming history. These multi-part missions usually involve the casing of a target, the set up, and then the heist itself,which serves to provide the player with a sense of choice and help to build the tension to a nice crescendo. All missions are scored on a bronze silver or gold system and are also replayable to obtain a better ranking after completion. However, the objectives to achieve these medals are not shown until after the mission is finished.
Outside of the mission structure there is still a wealth of things to do, and in such an impressively well imagined set of environments. The world genuinely feels alive whether you are hiking up Mount Chiliad, flicking through television channels, or switching characters to randomly find yourself as Trevor, lying in his underwear on the beach surrounded by dead bodies.
Simply put, Grand Theft Auto 5 is arguably the most complete gaming experience that there has ever been. With a compelling cast of characters, locales and an interesting storyline, backed up by a solid set of varied gameplay mechanics, the hype is truly justified. With record breaking sales figures and the hugely promising multiplayer still yet to be released, the outlook for Grand Theft Auto 5 is brighter than a summer afternoon on Vespucci Beach.
- Release Date: September 17, 2013
- Genre: Sandbox style Action Adventure
- Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
- Developer: Rockstar North
- Publisher: Rockstar Games
- ESRB: M for Mature
- MSRP: $59.99
Review Statement: The impressions in this article are based on a copy of the game purchased by the writer.