GTA 5 Review – Welcome to Los Santos

Wednesday,October 16, 2013By Debabrata Nath

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Grand Theft Auto V is probably the one game which gamers the world over were following since its announcement. It had to carry the weight of the expectations of millions of gamers worldwide who wanted an experience unlike any other with the latest entry into the long running GTA franchise.

We will try to take a look in our review as to how far the game manages to live upto those expectations and if Rockstar has managed to score a home run. It’s practically impossible to describe everything that you can get to experience in Los Santos but this review should serve as a primer.

GTA 5 is the story of three very different characters, who all happen to be criminals and bought together by a chain of events to carry out specific heists. Franklin is the younger of the lot, who is skilled in driving, while Michael is an ace marksman who can also plan well. Then there’s Trevor, a maniac who loves getting into fights, and being the guy walking out of them alive. The characters together form a cocktail which, although hard to swallow at times,gives you just the right flavour and taste.

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You’ll directly control them all, switching freely between them between missions and at opportune moments while on the job. All of them have their own unique special ability and start off with different higher stats than the others. Michael’s gun handling skills are unmatched, while Trevor can fly planes better than the others. Franklin is good at driving vehicles and so on. However, all of these can be improved overtime for all the characters.

Having access to three different storylines at once keeps things fresh for most part of the game and it’s something unseen of in previous GTA titles. However, the real fun starts when all of them are involved in a mission together. All hell, as they say, breaks loose during these sequences and it’s arguably the most I’ve had all year.

The game’s main plot holds  a lot of meat but what makes it really hit the homerun are the additional side missions and heists that you can pull off. Also, allowing people to have a multi-layered approach for most of them is also very welcome. Choose between stealth or assault or even a mix of both. Fun.

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The combat mechanics of GTA V is by far the best ever in a GTA game and Rockstar’s finally managed to find a good balance between cover, aiming and shooting.  The enemy A.I’s also improved quiet a bit. The auto-regenerating health up until the 50% mark also is an welcome change which gives you more of a chance against baddies than ever before.

GTA V isn’t about going to point A to B or completing a specific set of objectives. We’re talking about living a life in Los Santos, San Andreas and its outskirts. There’s literally so much to do that it’s impossible for me to list them all and bore you. Exploring the world and taking part in the activities and events is what makes the game really fun and possibly, no, I daresay definitely the best open world game ever made.

The visuals are also stunning to say the least, considering this is one of the last gems from this gen of consoles, it’s commendable how Rockstar’s managed to make it look this good and one can only imagine what they’ll achieve with access to next-gen hardware in years to come.

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Like every GTA game, this one too has a lot of connectivity intrgrated into the game. You’ll have your own smartphone to keep a tab on contacts, access to internet to buy cars, and also stock exchanges to invest money in and even e-commerce websites.

The radio stations are also back and quality and diversity on offer is by far the best seen in a GTA title yet. Choose between a wide genre of music or simple fall back and listen to Rockstar’s sarcastic and satirical take on the media and events. They manage to score a home run every single time with those.

The game’s violent, let me be straight about that, although I don’t want to discuss any of the shocking moments strewn across the game, but there’s plenty, especially the ones involving the maniac Trevor. However, is it overdone? I don’t think so, Rockstar’s known for its usage of violence and we’re no one to judge them for it. It’s part of its development and gels well within the game and situations.

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The overall gameplay also is really crisp. The voice-acting is on par with the pedigree Rockstar’s known for and even the scripted events don’t feel like a drag and keeps you on your toes most of the time. The main campaign isn’t rushed either and has a lot of emotions and you feel as if you’re a part of it.

I’m yet to try out the GTA Online mode but I’ve heard good things about it and bad things about it. It looks like it’ll take some time before Rockstar manages to stabilize it but the start is definitely promising.

What We Liked

Open world experience unlike any other.
Trevor, Michael and Franklin.
Great gameplay.
Shining Gem at the end of the gen.
List can go on, and on, and on...

What We Didn't

Nothing really.

Final Score

10

Rockstar has created a game which not only manages to live upto the expectations of millions like me worldwide but also surpass almost every aspect. It's made a game which can be played for hours without ever feeling bored and provides for an experience which is by far the closest the virtual world can get to the real deal at the moment. This is the game people will write about for years to come as being the shining example of what the current gen hardware was capable of.

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