Customer Review

106 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After five years on the east coast, it was time to go home., 18 Sep 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Grand Theft Auto V (PS3) (Video Game)
First impressions. Straight from the install screen you can tell this game is going to be a masterpiece. Maybe it's was the music or the fact that it had a countdown in MB, of which there are 8486, at 9MB a second, that's a long wait...but well worth it.

Then suddenly you're thrust into the action...not saying how though, no spoilers...but it's far superior to getting off a boat or plane. Here you get your first taste of the new gunplay, which was overwhelmingly great after playing GTAIV recently. Later on, after the title sequence, you get your first real go at driving...it's incredible, much improved over GTAIV (and I loved the driving in that). More on those later.

This time around we have three characters to play with...and you can switch between them mid-mission. This adds another level to how the player can complete a mission, without being tied down to the exact same mission structure, as with previous games. Simply hold down on the D-pad, select a character that's available and it switches instantly to that character and you take control. This isn't confined to inside the mission, though. When outside of a mission you can drop in (with a camera movement that zooms into the sky and back down on your character...basically, the coolest loading screen you've ever seen) on a character while he goes about his day...and he could be doing anything. The first time I tried it, I found Michael sitting in a car, clearly bored with his life.

These three characters are classic GTA. Michael, the retired criminal with a family bleeding him dry. Franklin, gangster from the hood trying to make a bigger name for himself. And last - but definitely not least - Trevor, a complete psycho living outside of the city in Blaine County.

That's all the stuff you probably know already, and obviously I haven't come close to completing this, and I wouldn't spoil it anyway. This is a day one assessment of how the game runs and controls. Do I really need to tell you how to play GTA? :D

Anyone expecting The Last of Us level of graphics will be disappointed, GTA has never - and will never - matched the highest a generation has to offer. You can't compare a linear non open world game to GTA, they are made differently. TLOU uses a smaller stage and can fit more polygons and greater quality textures. GTA has to load huge amounts of polygons and textures on the fly, so they can't be the highest quality, just the most efficient. This is why GTAV requires an 8 GB install, to maximise the games ability to stream those polygons and textures. GTAIV used a 3.3 GB install, so you can see why this game would need 8 GB of data to play with, because this game is HUGE. Los Santos and the surrounding area of Blaine County...and the rest, are said to be bigger than San Andreas, GTAIV and Red Dead Redemption put together.

While it isn't as good visually as TLOU, it's most definitely a better technical achievement. Naughty Dog have had a whole generation of success on one system. Rockstar have had major trouble with their PS3 versions of GTAIV and Red Dead Redemption. But this time both versions run almost identical (both at 720p native resolution...no sub-HD for PS3 this time), with Digital Foundry even recommending the PS3 over the 360 - the minor difference being better ground textures (not that you should spend much time looking at the ground). In terms of framerate, these consoles are being pushed, but typically keep a pretty good rate around 25-30fps (even pushing above 30 on occasion), PC gamers will roll their eyes at that, but most console gamers won't notice a thing. It is still a vast improvement over previous titles. It seems the power of the Cell has final paid off in multiplatform gaming...better late than never.

One thing that surprised me is the lack of pop in. Even in TLOU there was a fair amount of it (Firefly pendants were particularly bad), but here you are driving around at speed with mountains and bridges seemingly always there. One mission - the one from a trailer with a man jumping out of Michael's second floor window (seen here from Franklin's perspective) - sees Michael and Franklin driving up to some posh Vinewood hills location. And mid-mission I had to stop, because the view just didn't seem real..."I'm playing on a PS3, THAT shouldn't be possible", but it is.

What Rockstar have done is nothing short of a miracle. The draw distance is incredible. The words "Scope", "Sprawling", and any others reviewer's tend to give, don't do it justice. Light Source, it's an amazing feat to pull. I went to the top of a mountain and in the far distance I could see lights of cars and lights of buildings...all of which aren't just there for decoration, they are from the cars and the buildings. It makes for beautiful night time vistas. Lighting in general is superb, a great improvement over San Andreas' over saturated orange.

A lot of people have questioned how this game can run on current generation systems? The answer is simple; 5 years development and $265 million! Only one other film in history cost that much (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End cost $300 million), so it goes without saying...this is the most expensive video game ever produced, and you can see why. There just isn't another open world game that looks as good as this...for me it's up there with MGS2 on the PS2, with both punching well above their weight.

Franklin's first mission (with San Andreas funny Lamar) gives you the chance to test the new driving system. And it's as expected. Halfway between GTAIV's realism and SA's arcade. You can now pull off power slides, but with the chance of messing it up. It's the perfect system. Holding (or tapping to cycle) Left on the D-pad brings up the new radio wheel (with the game effectively paused) you choose your station using the the Right stick. Far simpler than cycling through loads of stations. This system is also used to select weapons.

The combat has had a dramatic improvement. The camera is now a lot tighter, before it was a battle with a strange system that seemed intent on moving the camera in the direction of movement. You can now shoot while running, a definite benefit, because the cops are now super aggressive.

Before GTAIV, the cops would basically just all charge towards you brainlessly...now they all charge towards you using their brains. Just a three star wanted level is a pretty tasty challenge, with even police helicopters shooting at you. They now use a cone of view to search for you, meaning you can cleverly out fox them by hiding in a back alley. They are super smart and super tough, don't even think about standing out in the open, you're dead. Don't worry though, because a nice helping of mid-mission checkpoints and the ability to save your game at any point using your phone, mean you will be straight back into the action. There is no more bringing up your phone to restart the whole mission...there is no bringing up your phone, you die, you hit one button and you're back to the last checkpoint. You keep all you guns, there is no need to keep going back and forth for more. The guns themselves can now be upgraded, right down to the colour of the weapon. Then there's the customisation of the cars...and more...in fact...why am I wasting my time even writing this!?

One last thing. If you're live on TV, whatever you do, don't answer your phone! :D

This generation goes out with a bang. The best game of the series...by the distance from one end of the map to the other...and I've only had it a day...it's quite possibly the best game ever made...apart from LittleBigPlanet 2 ;)
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Sep 2013 16:36:42 BDT
Pat & Mike says:
Thanks for a really good review, I was particularly interested in The comments you made on draw Distance, because Im a veteran of Second Life Virtual World nearly 6 years now, done everything from owning working public Airports, Sailing on my Cigar Cruiser,( Like you see in Monte Carlo Berths). Ran as a manager, several Clubs, both Adult content, and Jazz type venues. I also been in Air combat, Urban combat, rather like GTA, where 4-5 factions fight to rule the Streets, all on a square grid though. These grids are empty, and then players/ grid land owners create the environment they wish by texturing or building, or buying a ready made structure, on Market Place. A grid is just one Square, and there in, lies the biggest weakness of second Life, its not seamless, like SWTOR, or EA Battlefields etc. Draw distance has a huge effect on how Second life works, If you are flying a virtual Boeing 737 into an Airport, if you have draw distance to short, the Runway/ lights wont show until its to late, But On, even high end computers, draw distances set to 300 meters or more, slows down the whole application, because of the rendering/rezzing of numerous items. What you describe, using a camera angle to look afar and see those other two characters, is what we use as standard to Roam & peer miles away into other grids in Second Life, We use that in combat, to try find hidden enemy's. Also the odd avatar can be caught doing adult things with another, haha. Using a keyboard button held down and the mouse used to pan in and out, up and down, is how we zoom in and out. If The Devs of this game have managed to Up the technology on something near to a Virtual World, then they should seriously consider developing a contester to Second life, because, (A) its very expensive to own land and buy things, (B) There is no competition anywhere to challenge its overpricing. (C) To sail or fly, to another Airport, means you have to cross each consecutive grid, maybe 20 in total, if in a straight line, however, the Server has to load you - the avatar, any scripts your wearing, plus the plane, with scripts for engines running, under carriage operation, lights, passenger announcements, flaps altimeters etc, through EACH individual Grid. 60% of the time, you never get to your destination, because, the hardware is so old now, it cant handle the data quick enough, hence you crash, go offworld, or plane just disappears leaving you on ocean floor time and again.

Unfortunately Amazon's Just sold out of GTA5, so I have Pre ordered it for end of the week. I look forward with huge interest to try this out for myself, and compare the camera Draw distance technology with the Second Life PC type virtual world. Cheers for that review

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 13:56:46 BDT
Alsatian1 says:
Agree, totally brilliant review for one of the best games of all time.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2013 15:46:20 BDT
Pat & Mike says:
You should see this Video, "how Elders react", This episode, shows 4-5 people of my age, about 60+ how they feel about GTA5 after being shown it the first time. Its honest and a credible review on how Controversial, GTA has been over the years. But this video, has a lady in this, who is the devil in disguise :D , ITS SO funny, Even though the review has its sombre moments, some parts of it had me literally falling on the floor Laughing. The link is scam/ virus free, and no advertizing, you can watch it securely. Enjoy:)

http://youtu.be/3Jyo62HaeFs

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2013 23:03:48 BDT
Balli Telly says:
Yeah, I saw that video in the run up to release :D

It was very interesting reading about Second Life, I haven't given anything like that a thought...or even GTA Online, maybe in the future GTA will be capable holding large numbers of people in a community. And I have heard talk of it going that why ;) Although, what kind of community I don't know!? :D

I did Flying School today, and let me tell you, you can most definitely see the lights on the runway for quite some distance ;)

Posted on 10 Feb 2014 15:07:00 GMT
Keir says:
Completely agree with the first statement you made. I just love it when a game won't play out of the box.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2014 17:00:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Feb 2014 17:01:14 GMT
Pat & Mike says:
Well, seems quite a few over hyped titles have had a very short shelf life this year. GTA5 suffered obviously from huge launch problems, but, it seems, even the 20 something lad with a family,across the road only had it a few months and got tired of it, sold it on. The "Beyond two Souls", has gone off the radar far quicker than I would have thought. Online MMORGs seem to be what people seem to be playing these days, Im on a 2009 made EA games battlefield 1943 on my playstation3. It has me hooked every night battling it out with other teams. Its hard and sometimes frustrating, its a slow learning process, but worth getting there, and knowing a few tricks. My computer wont play BF3 because processor not good enough, though everything is way over specs, just cant change the 3gig basic dul core Celeron processor to a decent one without changing motherboard,hence PS3 comes to the rescue:) Never got as far as flying school, to me, flying school is something wierd, mismatched into a violent turmoil. the only way to fly in and out, without being shot at I am told is to buy a hanger, then a plane. tried online mode twice, hated it, got shot at as soon as appeared, then the server crashed end of story, and end of saving anything i had done,oh well :))

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2014 03:48:39 GMT
Helena says:
Hey, does Gta online interfere with single player mode? Thanx :)

Posted on 22 Feb 2014 20:31:35 GMT
Chris says:
Oh yeah, love your title, very catchy!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2014 12:36:42 BDT
Balli Telly says:
Thanks...I stole it off of NeoGaf :D
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