Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Grand Theft Auto V

After five years in the making, Grand Theft Auto 5 has hit the shelves. For such a critically acclaimed series, hopes weren't just high for this instalment, but instead gamers were literally expecting a masterpiece, a game that would be considered the game of the decade. Have Rockstar achieved the impossible?

The short answer is yes, basically.

GTA5 approaches the series differently this time in the fact that there are three main playable characters, each one instantly accessible at any point during the game. They come in the form of Franklin, a young man that grew up in the hood, Michael, a “retired” bank robber turned family man that has lost any passion in life, and Trevor, Michael's friend and a character that is genuinely insane and a complete loose canon. Over the course of the game, the main characters work together to pull off a big score, a pay-day that will set them up for life. As expected from a GTA title, the characters and story are absolutely fantastic, and the new three main character angle Rockstar have gone for is expertly pulled off.

The city of San Andreas, which is a fictional take on California, is the greatest open-world to date. It's breathtaking both in scale and presentation. Much like in GTA4, Rockstar have constructed a living, breathing city here, a city that feels like it lives on even after you turn off your console. Homeless people band together under bridges, rich people soak up the sun in the Vinewood Hills, hikers make their way to the summit of mountains to take pictures, gang members in the hood are quick to pull out their guns to any unusual presence, deer and mountain lions populate the woods and hills, while Police will chase down other criminals as you sit back and watch the action. It's those details, those little moments that YOU will experience that make GTA5 a very personal journey.

One thing that comes to mind that demonstrates the minute details Rockstar have added to the game happened when I found a small, tiny flyer outside of a bar. The flyer had to be zoomed into to be read and said, “Want to lengthen your penis? Call Stevie”. It provided a number. I called the number via the in-game phone. It answered. “Stop fucking prank calling me!”, a guy shouted. Epic.

Within San Andreas there is plenty to keep you busy. Of course, there are loads of main missions to do, many of which are the most inventive Rockstar have come up with so far. Train hijackings, killing Aliens and killer clowns while high (Yeah, I know), tracking down enemies with a dog, flying a small plane directly into the cargo hold of a military plane, and multiple heists are some of the better ones, just to name a few. But beyond these GTA5 is chock-a-block full of shit to do; Golfing, Tennis, Parachute jumping, bike riding, Yoga, buying multiple businesses and working with them, being a Taxi driver, underwater exploration, boat riding, mountain climbing, customizing guns and cars, drug and weapons smuggling, watching in-game TV, and full in-game internet are just some of the distractions throughout the city. In fact, there's almost too much to do, as when you're first let out into the open-world, you'll think “Oh fuck, what do I do!?” You'll be a kid in a candy store, if the entire candy store and employees were made of Hershey's chocolate!

It's a game that is so perfectly constructed, so wonderfully told and so epically presented that is pretty much the best GTA ever. It's a fantastic mix of GTA4 and GTA: San Andreas, and is quite literally one of the best fucking gaming experiences you will ever have. Fact. From the serene and silent moments on the gigantic Mount Chiliad, to the epic and rage fuelled shoot-outs in the city streets, Grand Theft Auto 5 is an absolute must have. At the end of the current generation of consoles, Rockstar have literally came in at the last second and have made something that will give PS4 and Xbox One games a run for their money. It's that good. This is why we game, to experience something this good.

Grand Theft Auto 5 gets a perfect 10/10

Denis Murphy

Grand Theft Auto V at CeX

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