Grand Theft Auto V – Game Analysis and Review
By Christopher Jester
Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Distributors: Take-Two Interactive
Director: Adam Fowler
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: September 17, 2013
There are many things to love about Grand Theft Auto V. When committing to GTA V, one of the first things that becomes obvious is how easily it is to get lost in the world of Los Santos. Rockstar games has given players an abundance of memorable scenes, interesting characters that are easy to relate to, an amazing track list and a world that is seemingly alive at the seams. This is Grand Theft Auto at its full potential.
The world is alive. Shootouts can take place between criminals and police – and this event can have absolutely nothing to do with you. Pedestrians standing on the street will go on and on about their personal lives, which gives you the feel that their life actually exists. It is this sort of realism that keeps the player engraved into the world that they are occupying.
This happens to be one of Grand Theft Auto V’s best strengths. The narrative of GTA V takes the player into the lives of three main characters – Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Each of these characters is unique, and has full-fledged storylines of their own while also giving players the opportunity to switch in-between them on the fly when applicable. Michael, a former bank robber, struggles with a mundane lifestyle in Rockford Hills his defective and broken family. Franklin is introduced as a repo man who gets caught up in an bad situation with his employer when he crosses the wrong man, and the last of the three is the lunatic Trevor, former bank robber with Michael, whose drug-fueled actions are some of the funniest moments in the entire game. These three are well developed, perfectly voice-acted, and will remain some of the most relate able characters in a video game in a long time.
Depending on how you look at it, one of the problems that surfaces in GTA V with having three characters is that the ability to switch between them sort of takes away from the character development that each character needs. In some ways it seems episodic. This is not a problem when all three of them are together, as these are the moments when the character development and relationship between these men truly shines. However, it ultimately depends on how the player switches in between the characters. With that being said, Rockstar does a great job at attempting to provide each character with notable moments.
Mechanically the game plays better than ever. When driving each vehicle has noticeable different handling, speed, and other characteristics. With the addition to modding vehicles to perform better with chop shops and other garages, it nearly makes every vehicle unique and different from the next. The characters themselves can also become stronger, better shooters, drivers, etc. with the right amount of practice in all those areas in the game, which sort of gives the game a RPG feel to it. But the biggest standout in the gameplay is in the on-foot shooting. The cover system is much better and quicker. The character sticks to the wall and is no longer a hit-and-miss like it was in Grand Theft Auto IV. With quick-aim and aim assistance better integrated with the cover system, shootouts are tough nail-biters yet fun and entertaining.
As great as the gameplay is it is the dialogue and the interactions between characters that steals the show. The conversations oozes sarcasm, providing laughs that you would fine in a comedy but enough serious moments to make the players remember that this is not all a joke. The point is, just when you hijack a plane or have shootouts with cops in the middle of the street, it is the well-written script for the characters that make you realize that these are some of the most relate able characters in a video game today; albeit who find themselves in some really, really fucked up situations.
Grand Theft Auto V is just what it name implies – its grand. Large, eventful, and full of areas to explore and to get lost in, this game is easily one of the last great games of a waning console generation. Rockstar had to know this because they put all that they could muster into this iteration of their top-selling franchise. Grand Theft Auto V is a fully realized near-masterpiece that is chocked full of entertainment that should not be missed.
PunchDrunkGamer Score: 9.5 out of 10
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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