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Disclaimer: This review is as spoiler free as I could make it, and if I ruined anything about the games story I apologize, that was not my intention.
*A review of multiplayer will not be included as I do not have a reliable internet connection and cannot play*
Come one, come all to the review of that grand ole game Grand Theft Auto V, for one blog and one blog only I'll relate to you my opinion of this lauded game!
Now before we start, I have to drop a bombshell on you guys. Are you ready? No? Well here it goes anyways! Grand Theft Auto V is my very first GTA game. I know, I know, please keep the pitchforks and torches away until you've read my review, okay? Since GTA V is the only GTA game I've ever owned and played completely, I'll only be able to review it as a game and not how it stacks up compared to previous entries in the series, so don't expect me to be talking much about GTA IV, San Andreas, and the like very much.
As a game, GTA V does so many things right. Rockstar set out to make a game that focused on 3 different playable characters, Michael, Trevor, and Franklin in an interwoven story while making sure none of these characters feels secondary to the overall narrative, and I can start out by saying that they succeeded in their goal by a wide margin. While, you shouldn't be the least bit surprised if you have a favorite out of the trio, each character feels like they're a real person even when your not playing as them. Whenever you switch from one character to another, you're usually greeted with a scene that shows you just what that character was doing before you switched to them. This makes each character feel like they're really living in this world and not just a robot sitting in a room waiting for the next character switch to come around. These scenes on top of adding a level of ambiance to the game's overall atmosphere, have the added benefit of being hilarious (especially when switching to Trevor). Since the 3 protagonists are all equally important to the story, I feel I should give my opinion on each character individually instead of lumping them all into the same paragraph, so here we go:
Michael: Despite his best attempts at having normalcy in his post bank robbing life, Michael constantly finds himself drawn to the very criminal activities he swore off of. Michael is a very important part of the trio because he represent a want to leave the criminal life behind, but out of necessity returns to it. He represents a more tired, almost war torn look at what "getting out of the game" does to a person. While Michael tries his best to do right by his family, they certainly don't make it any easier for him. A crack head, D-bag son, a self absorbed daughter, and a wife who has seemingly given up on their marriage. Michael's no angel, he even says so in the game, and that's what makes his character so endearing. A guy who managed to get out of crime, only to realize life on the other side isn't that much better. It's this struggle between the two world's that really makes Michael's character for me.
Overall character score: 9.5 of 10
Trevor: Arguably the face of the game now, many people are drawn to Trevor's character because of his "I don't give a sh*t" attitude, and his psychopathic tendencies. Indeed Trevor is the character many people will play as most simply because when you play as Trevor, nothing feels off limits. When I play as Michael, and jack some one's car I don't really feel right. I mean sure would Michael be above stealing a car? No. But I feel like his character acts mainly out of necessity instead of letting his inhibitions go and just going buck wild. That's what's so special about Trevor, he represents anarchy and fun. When you play as Trevor, it really makes you feel invincible, like you're free of all consequence and that you're really controlling a psychopath and not just a random character. It's because of the freedom that Trevor represents that he is my personal favorite, and is perhaps the best written character of the game
Overall character score: 10 of 10
Franklin: Franklin is actually the most mentally stable of the group (course that's not saying much), not surprisingly he is also often the barrier that keeps Trevor and Michael from being at each other's throats so much. To me he is also my second favorite character out of a trio of characters that I've come to adore over the past month. Simply because he realizes just how freaking insane the world and people around him are and whenever he tries to be rational it usually backfires on him. Franklin represents the budding criminal of a group two thirds made up of veteran felons, and as such he's willing to do what he can to make money whether that's mugging somebody or knocking off a convenient store, but he's out for more than that. He's looking for real opportunity outside of rather un lucrative gang activities. His rational mind and cynical view of things are what really make his character stand out and such a joy to play.
Overall character score: 9.7 of 10
Next up I'll discuss the story:
I promised to keep spoilers out of my review so I'll say as few words as I can about the story. As I said before, Rockstar has managed to craft a narrative that hangs upon the shoulders of three very different men without making any of the three feel more important to the overall flow of things than another. The story isn't quite average (Note: My standard of what's average is probably drastically different from yours) and that's what sets it apart. While the story 100% light hearted it still has its dark moments and dark themes. The story itself is more about good old fashioned fun than sending a serious message (though like I said there are some underlying themes) and with as few words as possible, I can only say that the story is incredibly well written and was just an amazing experience.
Now to discuss the gameplay:
Gameplay: The gameplay is where the real meat of GTA lies, gun play works perfectly and driving (apparently a divisive issue among veteran fans) is rather smooth in my opinion. Flight on the other hand is not so smooth but that's just me, some of you may find them easier to handle than I.
And finally what's the most important thing about a sandbox game? Why the sandbox of course?
The excellent gameplay goes hand in hand with a well fleshed out world that can only be described with one word: Alive. throughout my entire playthrough I never came across an NPC that seemed out of place. Los Santos and Blaine county are more than just Michael, Trevor, and Franklin's playground but it also feels like a real (albeit screwed up) place, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself.
I, like the dozens of other people you've probably talked to, can't recommend this game enough. If you still aren't decided on it, try giving it a rent. I think you'll find you'll enjoy it.
At any rate GTA V is a game that should not be missed, and will surely stand out as one of the best games of this console generation.
Final Score 10 of 10
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