Top positive review
359 of 397 people found this helpful
Prepare to call in sick/fake your death/have a missing persons report filed
on 17 September 2013
-Firstly, ignore the 1* reviews, they're pretty much all about Amazon not delivering on time rather than this game. (I ordered from Gamestop, chose non-recommended free delivery, got it this morning.. It's down to Royal Mail I guess)
Ok, remember that game GTA IV? erase it's awful movement, shooting and car mechanics from your mind along with the storyline that soon plunged into monotonous two bit thug favors with pointless dilemma's thrown in. Forget about the big lack of features missing from the previous installment Sanandreas. Forget about the overwhelming and chore like take on realism in place of fun gameplay.
GTA V is finally here, some got it a week ago or yesterday, hopefully the rest got theirs today. The chances are, between the information already released and the leaks, you probably already have a good idea of the game, it takes place in a parody recreation of L.A; Los Santo's, and a vast expanse north of it called Blaine county (taking notes from their successful wild west open world, Red Dead) that features desert and Montana-esque country side whose motorway's don't look out of place in police chase programs. You play three protagonists Michael (a retired mid life crisis former bank robber) his best friend Trevor (former partner in crime and all out scizophrenic, sexual deviant violent bully.. Yet somehow you just gotta love him) then Franklin (street hood turned car repo man trying to take the right path) The game is essentially an amalgamation of R*'s best recent efforts (Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption and Midnight Club L.A) and is back brimming with it's wonderful blatant humor taking shots at America and many things from pop culture to politics, even Call Of Duty. But the reason you're here is to find out why it is a good (exceptional) game. So onto the ridiculous amount of features new or improved, and why you should buy this game. This might take awhile...
DRIVING; It is greatly improved, it no longer feels like you're going around a corner on ice with a piece of jelly. Where braking plus hand breaking in good time still leaves you veering into a lamp post. Some may worry it's arcade like and not realistic anymore, but it wasn't realistic in GTA IV, it was a pain and sluggish. Now cars are more akin to R*'s big racer Midnight Club, they are fast and very responsive, you can weave in and out of traffic at high speed which is fun and thrilling along with the games other effects. But the car's that're lighter and heavier still handle differently, having enough weight so that your average 15 year old COD fan will probably handbrake in a circle rather than 90' a corner everytime. The same improvements apply to motorbikes and aerial vehicles as well as boats.
MOVING & AIMING / SHOOTING; Again greatly improved, having learned lessons from Red Dead, the movement is easy and fluid, you can easily step or vault over fences and small obstacles, or climb over fences and onto vehicles, ledges etc. Holding A allows you to jog and tapping it to sprint, there is no longer a crouch button (L Stick) which feels odd, but it's been replaced with stealth mode which allows for stealth takedowns and still fast movement. RB allows you to take cover just as with Red Dead and works nicely, aiming is also similar and not a mess like with GTA IV. You no longer have to worry about how hard to press R Trigger just to free aim, it's easy and responsive, plus you can move at speed while aiming by pressing A. Also pressing X allows you to do an evasive roll. LB brings up the weapon wheel which is a welcome and intuitive addition, even making it's way to the vehicle with radio stations being selected that way. The D-Pad has more use now, controlling the cars lights, roof, character stat screen and character switch. Your characters health regenerates past 50% but if badly injured need a health pack or sleeping. You also have a armor, health and skill meter which allows you to use characters individual abilities (slo-mo driving for Franklin, slo-mo bullet time for Michael, double health and damage for Trevor.
WEAPONS; There are a nice number of weapons in this game, all the types you'd expect, except they are customizable (scopes, silences, magazines skins etc) and can be purchased from the resurrected Ammu-Nation stores, these stores also feature different clothes and body armor. Some even with firing ranges where you have 3 challenges per weapon and can sequentially unlock weapons with Silver or Gold scores, this is reminiscent of the N64's Perfect Dark and is fun to see what weapons the game features. The weapons are meaty and sound authentic, reloading them looks the part too. There are also a number of melee weapons; knifes, baton, gold club etc. The crosshair is a white dot but can be changed to have a circle and white dot.
VEHICLES; They are out in numbers, coach, tow truck, 18 wheelers with containers and logs, jeep, jet ski, crop duster, Chinook helicopter, trains, dirtbike, superbikes, quad, moped, lavish sports cars, boats, giant quarry trucks, forklifts, tractors, a 1 birth submersible (lil yellow submarine) you name it and it's probably in this game. With the improved controls these are all a joy to try out and the diversity really adds to the games realism.
CUSTOMIZATION; It is back after a seemingly vacant appearance in GTA IV, the three protagonists can now get various haircuts or purchase different clothing, changing them in their houses wardrobes. Cars can now be customized to a degree like in Midnight Club, meaning both each vehicles performance, and look. Allowing to change the bumper, skirting, hood, spoiler, tires, many different paints from metals to chrome. Then there's the weapon customization mentioned above which is indeed a nice addition.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?; Well.. Tennis, Golf, Yoga, Darts, sea races, street races, triathlons, sky diving, offroad truck, ATV or motox racing, Bong Smoking, Watching TV, Towing Cars, Firing Range, Deep Sea Diving, Catching Illegal Immigrants, various find the missing pieces quests, hunting, a nice amount. The mini games if possible to play with friends will be quite enjoyable, then there's the vast expanse of the map to enjoy, traveling at around 130MPH it takes 7 minutes to go across the maps motorways to the other end, that's around 14 square miles to explore. The game has a large number of random events or miscellaneous side quests that can happen at random (helping someone who is mugged for instance) investigating random occurrences make the world feel really alive with it's own series of events. Simply exploring the environment or getting into cop chases is more fun than before thanks to improved AI, offering more of a challenge. Then of course there's a main storyline. Or simply trying to max and level all your stats or find all the hidden stuff. So running out of things to do in singleplayer won't happen anytime soon, and that's before even touching on the Multiplayer dubbed GTA Online, launching on OCT 1st. Which is where the games lifespan will really come from.
REALISM; The game is really quite realistic, but whilst retaining fun, and Los Santos feels teeming with life.
- You can get a dog that you can train (even with a app Ifruit for a real phone)
- There are animals like deer that'll jump out in the country roads, great white sharks that'll eat you, wolf's or coyote's out in the country and desert, plus those evil cougars again.
- With the smartphone you can use it to take camera shots, or turn it around clicking R Stick, and actually take a selfie. On the internet you can purchase stocks, check up real estate, cars, media. Just to show the amount of content in this game, I typed in "porn" and it came up with a funny parody site on Japanese Hentai, so just the games own internet is fun to browse.
- The car engine stutters as it turns off, and you can hear gear shifts.
- The ocean contains ship wrecks and other things to find.
- You can purchase food and drinks to restore health.
- You can watch TV and do the list of mini games listed above.
- The motorways are full of traffic and 18 wheelers, you can cause traffic jams and mini pileups (Don't shoot the oil tanker connected to your cab while driving an 18 wheeler, it does kaboom..)
- Cars can lose petrol in a trail when damaged badly that can be ignited, the same effect possible with a jerrycan.
- You can do hunting in the wild, assassinations, etc.
- Tires only burst when shot, not the rims, and eventually burn away to the metal rims. Cops in helicopters seem to try aiming for your wheels. Stingers at roadblocks are back too.
- People react to where shot, leg shots drop them etc.
- Bullet holes and other injuries show up on you and NPC's, and scrapes to hands/faces.
- The three characters even have their own walk and animations for some things.
- The water looks very realistic and puddles form that your character will tread in making a splash, the waves also come up against the shore. If entering water your clothes get soaked upto however far in you go.
- When changing characters they will be doing their own random activity usually correlating to their personality, the psycho Trevor for instance might be running about in underwear from cops or wake up drunk in a dumpster.
- The car actually goes into cruise if you press R trigger gently but not all the way as though the clutch is down but you're not accelerating!
- Drive over grates etc and your controller will vibrate, or speed through a bridge with tall girders or past oncoming traffic and you'll hear them whiz past. - Try walking down a hill that's too steep and you'll lose your balance tumbling to your doom, it's funny.
- Aim your gun at someone in a car and they'll try to run you over, shoot them in the face and a blood spatter on the screen will ensue along with their head pressing the horn and the car veering into a wall somewhere.
- Pressing LB in a car with no guns makes the character give the finger.
- Rain and storms affect helicopters making them harder to control.
- If you run and jump into a wall, you'll knock yourself over.
- The police response to crimes is probably one of the best things in the game, their radio chatter as the character specific ambient music kicks in and choppers start gunning for you riddling your car with bullets makes it quite eerie and tense, they will actually respond realistically via radio to your crime and it's location; that's the games 1000 page dialog for you. They'll use their door as cover and shout through their cars tanoy (Try driving through a fort army base..watch out for tanks and swat though, they don't play around in this game, hanging out the windows shooting you, or tanks turning their turrets quick to waste you.)
- Kill someone and an ambulance will pull up and they'll assess the person, write notes etc.
- There are firetrucks with a usable hose on top that can knock people over.
- There's parachuting too I should add which is fun and controls rather well.
- The vehicle damage physics worried me at first, but only because your car doesn't look half wrecked from one bump, I got my car stuck down an alleyway hiding from cops, in anger shot it, stood on it stamping on it etc. Then kicked a bin and of course freed it, the damage in the suns reflection is crazy (can see each individual dent from Michaels foot.) and scrapes of missing paint along with severe dents in the sides.
- You can take pictures and send them as messages to a character on your phone contact list, getting a individual response.
- Pressing Right on the D-pad will make your character say something, usually suited to them. It can be a friendly gesture or often something rude, ending in a phone call to the police. Or you can mock a policeman making them want to arrest you.
- You can swim of course, and swim to the bottom of the ocean with a breathing apparatus and at times find various wrecks and loot.
The list goes on.. The amount of detail R* has put into this game is huge, and really pushes the games boundaries, making many other games or franchises feel a let down in comparison.
The game will also make many own unique stories for everyone, I drove through a fort in a firetruck avoiding tanks (if you enter an army base it's auto 4 stars) then drove over a mountain and crashed down a ravine with police cars, then jumped out as it was on fire and got pretty much washed down a fast river while being shot at by 3 copters..came out and ran through tall grass and into the shotgun barrel of a cop.
A wonderful job done with the visuals, most notably the games lighting (the sunset glistening on the sea, or shining in the camera, the shimmer of it against cars or glass, the reflection of headlights against the road) it all looks great, especially at night in conjunction with the neon signs and street lamps. The draw distance has been greatly increased making skyscrapers in the distance give a real sense that you're in a sprawling metropolis. Cars etc can be seen from quite a height too which is nice when in a plane. The weather effects are also improved and are enjoyable transitions to see take place, when the rain gets heavier the roads start to fill with puddles and water churns round the tires, looks great. The vehicles themselves look nice, the character models are fine and don't seem fake at any point. The animations especially like with Max Payne 3, are great so all good on the visuals front. But installing the GTA 5 playable disc can for some reason reduce texture performance so avoid doing that (R* said this on their twitter) The best testament to the visuals are standing on the dam, and looking down the mountain vista at the city, it's almost real looking.
The radio stations are back and regardless of your music taste are well selected, suiting the mood of cruising down the street at night, there are modern tracks ranging from Elton John and Rhianna to Queens and 80's tracks. A genre missing is Metal disappointingly, but given everything else on offer it's a small preference based niggle. The games adverts, TV shows, dialogue are a lot of fun, and R* has quite a good sense of humor as before. The cars and vehicles sound authentic too, whether taking off with a burnout or smashing into something. (200 hours of real ambient audio was recorded from people's homes and real gangsters were used for some dialogue) There's also the character specific ambient music mentioned above which kicks in during intense moments (police pursuit namely) and are a great new feature.
It's very good, mainly thanks to the great characters and the brilliant dialogue. Whereas GTA IV started off funny and quickly delved into repetitious boredom, GTA V manages to always surprise you and at times make you laugh in shock from (mainly Trevor's) outbursts. The ending isn't as much an impact as Red Dead Redemption, but it tidy's the game up nicely (depending on how you choose to finish the game) so overall an enjoyable singlplayer storyline.
There was a number of bugs with this to be expected, and no one could really connect, but patches have been released now and the online is quite fun. 700 missions, 16 players, your own house, cars and crews. Plus room for much more updates offered by Rockstar, so all good on this front. The character creation isn't bad, albeit a little fiddly at first, will take a few minutes to make your character not look like a complete fool, or ugly. There are still server connection problems where for no reason you'll lose connection to xbox live (not with any other games) and also randomly be disconnected for no reason, frustrating but still a fun mode that'll pave the way for future games and content.
There's not much more to say, the storyline I will update upon completion, though so far its highly enjoyable with a good script. I have come across only one minor bug involving Michael's family standing on a chair, and a kitchen counter, don't know why, was a one off I think. The visuals are both the same on the xbox 360 and the PS3 having seen a direct comparison between the two.
The only real disappointment with this game is lack of an army wanted level. With a more realistic than ever game and army (tanks with functioning turrets, jeeps, etc) it seems a huge waste you cannot make them actually pursue you. It would've made for a better challenge than just police and swat/FIB.
To summarize, the game is brilliant, and definitely worth purchasing, it's on par with Skyrim easily (it has much less content and side quests, or characters who live a real life, but makes up for in attention to detail or realism) Also Gamestop did an offer where you can trade in 2 of 200 games on their list, they'll give you £35 refund. If the offer's still available, go for it.