Grand Theft Auto V

Review by Bony 4D

Grand theft auto V is the long awaited sequel to grand theft auto IV, which for me was a great disappointment in the series, but unlike its predecessor GTA V is an absolute joy. For many reasons I enjoyed GTA V over IV; this includes, a better campaign, more likeable characters, improved controls, a variety of activities not revolving around missions, and a better online mode. To get into depth, let’s begin with the campaign; in GTA V you play the roles of three different main characters: Michael De Santa, Trevor Phillips, and Franklin Clinton. Michael is a retired criminal who no longer wants to be a bad guy, but gets pulled back into the game, because of a debts that he owes to a certain characters, Trevor is a crazed meth addict who is a successful criminal and is trying to run a successful business in drug trade and gun smuggling, and Franklin, the youngest in the group, is an up and coming criminal who wants to make it big and get off the streets and out of his aunt’s house in the ghetto. These characters story intertwine with one another and they develop a strange friendship amongst the game’s campaign, causing their missions to revolve around the madness they create and the heist they must perform. 

For example, missions surrounding the drama of their relationship, Michael and Trevor have a history together, they had mission that went awry, causing both parties to dispute against each other and Franklin always being caught in the middle. Another example, are the other missions surrounding big heists; like jewelry stores and banks. Before describing these missions, I would like to say that these are some of the most amazing missions I have ever seen; especially in a Grand Theft Auto game and other third person shooters. But before you can start these heist you must chooses between two different strategies, one is a subtle stealth approach and the other is more like a Rambo guns a blazing approach. Either choice you make you must prep for them, and this can go a number of ways per heist, both choices will require you to go out and collect different supplies you may need for the heist, for example, get away vehicles, weaponry, disguises, and so on and so forth. After these prep missions, the game will shower you with amazing scripted moments and puts you in many situations in which you need the use the three main characters to pull off a successful heist.

 Each of these characters have special abilities, Franklin can slow down time while driving cars, which is useful when you need to make a quick turn or maneuver around cars, Michael has the ability to slow down time during a gun fight, allowing you to make precise shots on your enemies, and Trevor has the ability to go on a rampage and this allows him to take more hits and receive less damage. All these abilities can be used to make mission progression easier, but the game allows you to complete these without the use of the abilities too. Without spoiling the story, I can say that this game offers a better story than GTA IV by letting you play with these more relatable and entertaining characters, especially Trevor whose rants and dark humor kept me laughing throughout the campaign. Other than the main cast, I was consecutively entertained by the stranger missions; I was even more delighted when I saw stranger markers on my map, because they were not hidden from my sight like in GTA IV.  Also I would to point out that the scenery and location of GTA V was a more pleasant and entertaining place to be than the grey and dull liberty city. 

Everywhere I traveled I saw amazing landmarks and set pieces that stretched far beyond Vinewood. I was surprised and excited to see a new set piece on my travels. Now being able to dive into the ocean, it was an interesting distraction, but could have been better used for making missions more interesting and could have been better implemented for the stranger mission related with deep sea investigation in a submarine. Besides those faults in location I can say I was thoroughly satisfied with Rockstar placing this whole world available for me to travel offline and online. I was especially shocked with how Rockstar did online this time around. Online mode is now like a story on its own, just less detailed, but still well done. Besides implementing a short narrative in the online mode, featuring most of the cast from single player, it also has many other missions, races, parachuting races, death matches, and other modes to keep you coming back for awhile. Even more exciting, is that Rockstar has started featuring user created content on its online mode and will be continuing to do so. Rockstar went far beyond the call of duty with the overhaul they did for Grand Theft Auto’s online service. Anyone wanting to get a group of friends together and run wild together in San Andreas should be content to do so. 

All in all, Grand Theft Auto V was a wonderful experience on all fronts. The campaign’s use of three main characters to tell its tale was an interesting change of pace from the previous GTA’s and the ability to change between these characters throughout the story inside and outside of missions was an exceptional game mechanic. Also giving players the choice to replay missions and give them the chance to do some missions differently was a great way to go about spending time after finishing the game. Besides this, Rockstar did an excellent job with online multiplayer and I find myself wanting to return to San Andreas with a rambunctious crew and enjoy racing some tracks or play some fun cooperative missions. Lastly, I find this to be the very best Grand Theft Auto game I have ever played and one of the best sandbox games that has been designed period.