"Yeah, GTA 4 sucked". This was pretty much my first impression when I played GTA 5 for about one hour. It's been five years since the last addition to the Rockstar series, but time treated GTA very well. We're back in Los Santos, the sun-showered metropolis and its countryside we all loved in the memorable GTA: San Andreas. For the first time ever, the game features three main characters: Franklin, Michael and Trevor. Each character's introduction is unique and beautifully told with many cool interactions not only with people of their social circle, but also with random wackos, that could lead to a side-mission or them trying to beat the crap out of you.
I don't want to spoil anything about the protagonists' profiles, so I will just give you a quick backdrop. Franklin is a small-time crook doing repo jobs and trying to find out what to do with his life. Michael is a retired bigshot from the criminal underworld, living like a king in Rockford Hills with his wife and two kids. He's also bored to death doing so. Trevor is probably the craziest human being you'll ever encounter in the videogame universe (him and Vaas from Far Cry 3 would make a charming couple). He's Michael's best friend, he presumes he's dead, he lives in a trailer on Sandy Shores and he generally does things that a sane guy wouldn't even dream of (like trying to shove a human foot in the toilet).
Beside the storyline missions, the essence of GTA 5 is heists. Plan them, pick the right crew and approach them as you see fit in order to make the big $$$. Whatever your choice may be, the heist missions are so cinematically designed, that will blow your mind either way. Keep in mind of course that switching between your three characters during the heists, not only will give you tactical advantage, but it immerses you even more to this thrilling experience.
The switch can of course be applied at any time when you're free-roaming. Each character has hobbies of his own and some are common for all of them. Clothes, businesses, cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, helicopters, everything can be bought if you got the dough. Got bored of the city? Grab your bike and go for a bike ride on Vespucci Beach or explore the vastness of Blaine County's countryside. Many activities for you to discover and many collectibles to gather.
As for the game mechanics, the car handling is vastly improved compared to the awful GTA 4 controls. Now you can break like a human being without crashing onto a traffic light post. Although, the motorcycle controls feel a bit stale, especially when you're turning. The aiming system is also better than GTA 4. No more stupid circles to indicate the enemy's health and now you can switch beetwen shooting targets faster and easier. You can always change the targeting system to suit your needs or skills. Choose between the easy aimbot system where your gun locks instantly on an enemy, or try free-aiming for a real challenge.
GTA 5 is definetly the absolute next-gen GTA experience. With a stunningly-created Los Santos and Blaine County, with amazingly-written characters and storyline, and with a huge amount of side content, GTA 5 is guaranteed to keep you hooked up for a very long time.