Grand Theft Auto V (Video Game Review)

Grand Theft Auto V has finally arrived from Rockstar Games, and with the largest amount of anticipation for any video game in recent memory backing the new release, it can't be bad can it? The answer is the game is a masterpiece that is a must purchase for every gamer on the planet. Grand Theft Auto V sees the return of much of the gameplay that made Grand Theft Auto IV one of the highest rated video games ever by critics and added even more great new features to the game series. A whole lot of time and effort was involved with the development of Grand Theft Auto V and it shows in every facet of the game from robbing banks in large heists and flying away in a getaway plane to simple additions such as the realism and detail put into pedestrians on the city streets. Grand Theft Auto V is a living and breathing world, and its large playground is open and begging to be explored from the moment players start up the game for the first time.

Grand Theft Auto V features three playable protagonists this time around rather than a single character. Michael is a retired con man, Franklin is a young man trying to rise above the hood life and Trevor is just a crazy bastard. The three characters are all playable throughout the game and each have their own unique missions that come from separate storylines. Michael may have a run in with an old business partner that is now threatening his new family life, while Trevor is the character most likely to go on a killing spree and take up some of the most insane missions in the game. Some missions in the game require the use of all three characters to pull off major heists and make the most money that is then split between the three party members. Each mission in the game is replayable at any point throughout the game, and replaying missions allows players to shoot for additional goals unlocked the second time through a mission for bonus rewards and bragging rights. Grand Theft Auto V features the most diverse selection of missions ever seen in the series, and there is something for everyone whether you're the type of player that enjoys realism and missions that fit the narrative or you just enjoy blowing the crap out of things and jumping out of planes.

Each of the three characters can be switched between at any time when not in the middle of a mission, which can be used to take advantage of each character's special ability or to see inside the life of the character when the player isn't in control of the person. This provides entertaining looks at the life of each character that makes them feel more authentic than any of the cast from the series. Switching to Michael may find him arguing with his wife or daughter or awkwardly trying to bond with his lazy son, while switching to Franklin may find him driving through town with music blaring or conversing with his girlfriend. Switching to Trevor is usually worth a laugh as well, since he can be frequently found dressed in women's clothing, drunk and high right after a killing spree or even sleeping with another man. The rest of the game's cast is equally as compelling and present some real characters that many gamers will recognize from their own lives even if they are a bit satirized. The world of Los Santos itself is a mockery of modern day America as well complete with trashy television shows, hypnotizing talk radio programs and plenty of websites including the social media giant, Life Invader.

There is way more to do in the world of Grand Theft Auto V than ever before in the series. When not tackling missions, each of the three characters can begin using their money accumulated to purchase additional properties, businesses, stocks and other items to gain additional income. There are even minor additions made to the game that combine to make a big difference such as purchasing car insurance to get the players car fixed up when it gets wrecked or heading to the local convenience store to rob the place for some extra funds. There are plenty of new leisure activities included in the game as well such as scuba diving, yoga, tennis and more that gives players even more to do in the game beyond bowling, darts and other mini-games included in Grand Theft Auto IV several years back. Everything in the game has been tampered with as well to make the world more interactive than before. If you see a building, you can probably go inside of it, and if you see a vehicle, including planes, boats and trains, you can probably drive it.

Grand Theft Auto is a series that set the bar for open world adventure and shooting games with the release of Grand Theft Auto III, and the best series has returned to reclaim its title as best in its genre. The series has never looked better with high definition scenery that looks most impressive when viewed from the air, but character models and animations have been drastically improved as well to make the world very refined. The game's voice acting and sounds are as great as ever including a soundtrack that offers fans of any type of music some good tunes to cruise with. The game's controls have been improved to allow weapons to be switched via a wheel as seen in games such as Red Dead Redemption, and aiming has been improved from Grand Theft Auto IV's release five years ago as well. Driving is also better this time around with tighter steering and more realistic damage for parts on cars or careless drivers who don't buckle up before driving away.

Grand Theft Auto V is bigger, better and more ambitious than any game the series has ever seen. The game incorporates so many new things to do and amazing mission design that no gamer that enjoyed a release in the series could be anything but enamored with the new release. With the release of Grand Theft Auto Online coming in October, the game will only get better with up to 16 player matches online and a fully explorable world that allows players to have the freedom to do what they want, when they want. Even without online play, Grand Theft Auto V manages to provide one of the best single player narratives that the gaming industry has ever seen, and every gamer should do themselves a favor and add the new release to their collection immediately.

Grand Theft Auto V is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Grand Theft Auto V is rated M by the ESRB for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Nudity, Mature Humor, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content & Use of Drugs and Alcohol. For more information on the game, check out the official Grand Theft Auto V website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-16
  • Three Playable Characters
  • Online Leaderboards
  • DLC Support
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Rockstar North
    Publisher: Rockstar Games
    Platforms: PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360 & PC
    Release Date: September 17, 2013

    Score: 10 out of 10

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