If you have a successful gaming franchise, there are two approaches you can take. You can follow the Call of Duty blueprint, and, like clockwork, churn out a new cash cow every holiday season. Or you can take Rockstar Games’ approach, take your old sweet time, and deliver the best damn game you can possibly deliver, no matter how long it takes. It’s been a long time coming, but Rockstar’s latest, Grand Theft Auto V, shows just what a game can be when its developers give it the time and attention it deserves. Read on, as Gizmag reviews GTA V.
Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA 5) is the hotly anticipated role playing video game, where your character steals cars, causes mayhem, and makes money, as they climb the career ladder of a gangster in a fictional Southern California.
We’ll concentrate on the driving element of the game here, and GTA 5 (also known as GTA V) is the first in the series to have three playable characters – Trevor, Franklin and Michael – and each has a different driving ability. We spent a lot of time with Franklin, as he can slow down time in order to execute difficult overtakes or manoeuvres. However, if you spend long periods of time behind the wheel with one character, you’ll improve their driving skill level.
GTA 5: CARS
There are loads of vehicles to choose from, and while they’re not licenced models, it’s easy to see where the developers have taken their inspiration from when designing some cars. Often you’ll mistake the ‘Obey 9F’ for an Audi R8, or a ‘Lampadati Felon’ for a Jaguar XFR.
Such is the broad choice of vehicles that you’ll find it all too tempting to abandon your car for something tastier, but be warned. If you leave your car in the street, it will get towed to an impound lot at a local police station, and you’ll have to pay a fee to get it back.
GTA 5: CUSTOMISATION
If you grow particularly attached to a car, you can take it to a workshop and use the game’s customisation features to great effect. Whether that’s spending your hard-earned cash on a new set of alloy wheels, tints or vinyls, there’s sure to be something that appeals.
GTA 5: GRAPHICS
So detailed are the graphics that you’ll often find yourself doing a double take. Look around at the landscape as you drive, and you could easily be in Southern California. The motorways surrounding the city of Los Santos are wide roads that allow you to weave through dense traffic, while the inner-city streets are more tangled, but provide plenty of opportunities to dump your car and escape the attention of the local police. If you’ve ever been to America, you’ll find it easy to navigate through the blocks of Downtown, while heading north out of Los Santos quickly deposits you into rich countryside. Further afield, there’s mountainous scenery. The deserts of Las Venturas mimic Las Vegas, while San Fierro is a dead ringer for San Francisco.
GTA 5: MAP
It’s easy to drive between these places, as the map is cohesively laid-out, and the cars’ handling is much more responsive than GTA 4. Rear-wheel-drive coupes still oversteer if you get on the power too early, and perfecting the handbrake turn will take time. The surface you’re driving on alters the cars’ handling – grip is dramatically reduced when you venture off-road. While purists will miss the ability to use a steering wheel, the weight of the steering and the effects when you crash are really satisfying, even with a handheld controller. The steering is a lot less twitchy than previous games, and as such, it’s far easier to pick up and play than ever before. Dedicated console driving simulators would do well to take note.
Still, if you get bored of the cars, there are plenty of other vehicles to commandeer, including bikes, boats, helicopters and even a tank. Outside of the driving seat, there are mini games like playing tennis or go skydiving. With this much choice, it’s easy to ignore the violence and controversy surrounding this game.
GTA 5: VERDICT
GTA 5 may not be a dedicated driving game, and it’s surrounded in controversy thanks to lashings of violence. However, petrolheads will find that it provides hours of fun.
We’ve said enough. Part of Grand Theft Auto V’s magic is discovery, and enjoying the thrilling, unpredictable ride the story takes you on. Whether you’re in the thick of a bank heist or exploring the wilderness listening to Johnny Cash on the country station, it always feels tight, refined, and polished. The world is breathtaking, the script is funny, the music is superb (both the licensed tracks and the atmospheric original score), and, most of all, it’s really, really fun.
Formats: Playstation 3 (tested); Xbox 360
Rating: Five out of Five
Girls, don’t be surprised if you don’t find your boyfriends after 17th September, because the GTA franchise is here with yet another installment – Grant Theft Auto 5.
Rockstar Games knows what a user wants. The game series which has a genre of its own. From stealing cars to controlling the mafia underworld. Very rare would you find someone who doesn’t know about GTA. This game will be really addictive with it’s huge storyline and amazing gameplay, that you better be prepared for a huge outburst from your parents.
GTA 5 will consist of a huge map, with amazing graphics (yes PC users, start upgrading your graphic cards), which looks almost too real.
See the trailer for yourself to see what I’m talking about.