Grand Theft Auto V (2013) – Review

Spoiler free review from that guy that despised GTA4

You might have noticed I haven’t been posting much for the last week or so. Was I on a secret mission to North Korea sabotaging nuclear weapons? Was I receiving ninja training in a secret ninja village in Japan? No, I was doing something even better – I was playing Grand Theft Auto 5, officially the fasted selling videogame ever. Did I like it? To answer that all I can say is that its the first GTA I’ve finished since GTA3. It’s that good

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Would you rather be bowling?

I’m a person who totally hated GTA4. It was too serious, too drab, too difficult. It wasn’t Grand Theft Auto, it was a videogame version of a shitty homage to Scorcese gangster movies. I don’t even like going bowling with friends in real life, why would I enjoy doing it in a virtual world with my fictional cousin Roman?

Apologies for the rant but it needs to be considered when looking at GTA5. Over the past five years Rockstar North (the makers of GTA and based right here in Edinburgh!) have been beavering away to produce something epic, fun, exciting, funny and best of all – it has no bowling. The makers have stripped out anything approaching dull and replaced it with that element missing from the previous game – fun.

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The heists are incredible. It’s like acting out the movie Heat

You get to parachute out of planes, raid a burning building, rob banks, pilot a submarine, hijack a train, amongst so much more. Its GTA with all the fat trimmed and it’s been refined to its purest form. Rockstar deserve to be applauded for taking all of the criticisms of GTA4 and fixing them. And they haven’t just left it there. There are multiple innovations in the game that make it a joy to play.

The main addition to the traditional mechanics of stealing cars, punching mimes, or riding motorbikes off cliffs, is the three character system. You don’t play one person, you control a trio of hoods meaning you always have something fun to do. The ability to switch between Michael, Trevor, and Franklin on the fly means that if you’re stranded in the desert after a botched parachute jump you can switch to someone else instead of walking miles to the nearest town. It changes the way you think about the game meaning no more rage quitting after a mission goes wrong.

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This is Los Santos, and it’s a joy to explore

There’s too much awesomeness to describe in this humble blog – the characters are fantastic, the shooting has been fixed, Los Santos is an amazing setting and best of all you can roll your car back on its wheels if you overturn it! GTA5 isn’t a perfect game, it doesn’t have the surprise factor of GTA3, it doesn’t have the retro style of Vice City, but it’s the formula distilled and acted out in a wonderful, violent, ridiculous playground.

And there’s no more bowling!

10/10

Have you finished GTA5? I have! I just wanted to say that. Spill your guts about anything GTA related below and if you like this poorly written diatribe then please share it using the buttons below.

19 comments

  1. Yet more temptation to get this game and cancel the rest of my life… thanks a bunch.

    P.S. I thought you enjoyed all those bowling nights

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  2. I’m not a gamer but my late brother was a huge gamer and I remember him playing this one. It certainly is a lot of fun, but selling $800 mil worth of games in one day is mind-boggling!

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  3. Currently playing this, haven’t gotten too far but loving it so far. GTA: San Andreas was always my favorite of the series (and top 5 game ever) and this is like that times 10. The attention to detail is pretty incredible, and at first I thought the 3 character thing was going to be too much but it’s actually excellent and keeps things fresh.

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  4. My fella gets up early before work now so he can get a round of GTA golf in. The only thing I’ve done in this game so far was shotgun someone in the head and then drive their Land Rover onto some train tracks. But it was great fun!

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  5. I’m addicted. It’s a wonderful game. The only problem I have is the lack of blood if you know what I mean. 😛 I WANNA SEE GUTS ROLLIN’ :D. Great review man! If you got psn, add me, mine’s neejan.

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  6. OH MY DAYUM!!! I’ve avoided this so far. Like you, I couldn’t really get in to GTA4 – Niko was a bit of a wanker, and the humour wasn’t really that funny. Also, I hated driving through town every time a mission was unsuccessful (usually down to terrible camerawork or character control!) The Mrs is under strict orders to buy me this for Christmas so I can splurge on it over the festive season, absolutely cannot wait!

    Funniest thing I read anywhere was an answer to “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done in GTAV?” – ‘STORY MODE’. – lol

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    • Whole-heartedly agree with your review. About 90% through story mode just now. What a great game to play. Everything about it is enjoyable, and the characters are all likeable in their own way. The other night I just sat eating my supper on the couch while Travor overlooked LS at night time – beautiful.

      Favourite part is the news reports when you’ve just done a job… “HEY, THAT WAS ME – LOL”.

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