The immersive, chaotic world of Grand Theft Auto is back with GTA 5, and this newest installment of the mega-hit franchise elevates the series to a new level of realism. This GTA V review will provide a detailed look at the GTA V world.
|Type of game:||Third-Person Action Adventure|
|Total Play Time:||41 hours|
|System Requirements:||Windows 7 or newer
Intel Core i5 3470 3.2GHZ
65GB Hard Drive Space
NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
The World of GTA V
I’ll be assessing the features of GTA V in the following sections, discussing the game environment, the characters you’ll be controlling and interacting with, and the main storyline (as well as the many side quests and activities of interest GTA is famous for). I’ll also briefly cover some of the DLC content available for GTA.
Before we get into the specifics, I’ll just say: GTA V is truly a great leap forward for the GTA franchise, and is one of the most immersive sandbox gaming experiences in existence. Whether completing the storyline or hewing your own path, GTA V is the closest thing to a living, breathing world I’ve encountered.
Atmosphere & Location
A review of GTA has to start with the setting. The city of Los Santos and the surrounding suburbs and rural outskirts is the true main character of the game, in a sense. GTA had previously featured the Los Angeles inspired Los Santos in its 2004 title GTA: San Andreas. But in GTA V, Los Santos is an order of magnitude more vibrant and alive.
Whether running missions in the main storyline or simply meandering around looking for adventure and entertainment, GTA V’s Los Santos feels for the first time in a GTA game like a genuinely interesting place even without you to cause mayhem and chaos.
More than any previous GTA installment, the intelligence of the NPCs and situations around you as you make your way through the world. Part of it simply that GTA has never looked this good before, as the rendering of the physical space and especially the people are a clear step up from past GTA titles.
You’ll find purse snatchers and gun battles between random gangs of criminals and the police, and will explore the many sub-regions of Los Santos, each with its own distinctive flavor. From the Hollywood-esque Vinewood to the gritty South Los Santos, GTA V offers a world so detailed and expansive that it would be borderline worth playing even if no main storyline existed.
And that’s not even getting into the sharp, on-the-nose satire that’s trademark to the GTA franchise. From radio to the internet, GTA V delivers the laughs and uneasy funhouse mirror look at the America of today.
In GTA V, you’ll alternate between controlling three characters: Michael, a retired middle-aged con man living an unfulfilling lifestyle, Franklin, a disaffected young man torn between the allure of crime and dreams of a better life, and Trevor, a maniacal career criminal with a troubled past and a violent present.
The three main characters allows GTA V to interweave distinctive and contrasting storylines and themes over the course of the game. The game can switch from Michael’s mid-life boredom to the unhinged lunacy of Trevor in the span of minutes, giving almost a whiplash effect that can often times be both hilarious and provocative.
In many ways, the Trevor character is a key one for GTA V. The GTA franchise has always been an immoral one, to a large extent; Almost everyone you encounter is venal, corrupt, narcissistic, lazy, or an out and out criminal of some variety. But GTA games have always wanted to preserve some core of moral redemption for their main character.
At times, this could prove jarring, as main characters such as Niko from GTA IV would swing wildly from murderous psychopathy to glimpses of a man with the capacity to distinguish between good and evil. For GTA, there’s always been a tension between trying to tell a story with shades of gray and the tendency of players to want to put on the black hat.
In this capacity, Trevor is perfect, as his deranged criminal allows GTA V to indulge in almost cartoonish bloodshed and violence to satisfy the player’s baser impulses. Then, we can switch over to Michael or Franklin to get a taste of a character (and storyline) where there are moral ambiguities rather than sheer carnage.
In the three main characters, GTA V has done a good job of splitting apart the overall character that GTA tends to explore, allowing them to focus on one aspect or another as the story demands.
The storyline of GTA V is rooted in the kind of sordid crime stories we’d expect from the GTA universe. The three main characters, bound together by a shared past and an increasingly interlinked future, navigate a world of crime bosses, drug dealers, street gangs, and corrupt government and law enforcement agencies.
What’s impressive about the evolution of the GTA franchise is how they’ve managed to make missions more and more interesting and varied. The early days of GTA III, where most missions fell under the umbrella of ‘Drive to a location, shoot a guy, then escape from pursuit’ are a long way from GTA V.
Missions can take you to the beach to try to deal with Michael’s unmotivated son, to the outskirts of town to deal with Trevor’s murderous travails, to the increasing variety of motor vehicles GTA is known for. One very welcome tweak to GTA V in relation to past installments is that the handling of cars is tightened considerably, which is most welcome when trying to complete a tricky driving mission.
Another outstanding addition GTA V brings to the table is a checkpoint system, long overdue to the GTA franchise. No more will players have to suffer through the experience of replaying the same mission over and over from the beginning if they haven’t quite mastered some part of the end of the scenario.
All in all, GTA V is the best, most stimulating entry in the series from a mission standpoint, and the storyline is up there with past installments in wallowing in the intrigue and criminality of the GTA ethos.
DLC & Expansion Packs
GTA V has a massive amount of supplementary content in the form of a huge number of DLCs of various kinds. In addition, the world of GTA Online, the multiplayer portion of GTA V, has been patched, tweaked and expanded upon massively in the years since GTA V hit the market.
The bread and butter of GTA V DLCs are new outfits, skins, weapons and vehicles, and the list of guns to shoot and vehicles to drive is almost too long to catalog. Beyond that, DLCs allow players a wide range of options to customize their gaming experience.
DLCs can be purchased for in-game money, earned doing a variety of missions and in-game activities, and players who want the DLCs more quickly are able to purchase in-game money with cash through Rockstar’s interface.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a world of adventure, crime and humor, GTA V is the game for you. From its sprawling world teeming with interactive content to the engaging missions and signature storyline mix of dark humor and crime-caper thrills, GTA V is nearly a perfect game.
Feel free to share your own experiences with GTA V, or any thoughts and questions you might have.
The immersive, chaotic world of Grand Theft Auto is back with GTA V, and this newest installment of the mega-hit franchise elevates the series to a new level of realism. This article will provide a detailed review of GTA V, taking a look at the digital world of Los Santos and its cast of characters.