GTA V is set in Los Santos – the city of Los Angeles and San Diego combined into one big metropolis. You play one of three main characters: Michael De Santa, a retired bank robber with a family; Franklin Clinton, a fresh-out-of-prison hood who’s looking to make it big; or Trevor Phillips, a Canadian psychopath with ties to the military. They’re all brought together by Lester Crest – an aging criminal who made his fortune selling arms to drug cartels in the eighties – who’s trying to put together one last job.
The three protagonists are all very different from each other, which has always been part of the charm of GTA games. Michael’s old-fashioned and boring; Franklin, who feels like the lead character in an action movie, is eager to make his own way in the world; and Trevor, an unhinged sociopath with delusions of grandeur, has little regard for anything.
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I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a chance to review Grand Theft Auto V, but thanks to a well-timed offer, I was able to spend the weekend playing and exploring Los Santos, the fictional city in which the game takes place.
I was pretty impressed with the game overall. The controls were new and improved from previous GTA games and it was easy to get used to them. The graphics were fantastic. You can see from screenshots how detailed everything is.
The story isn’t as good as previous games, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. There’s tons of side quests and mini games to keep you busy for a long time after you’ve finished the main storyline.
The only thing that slightly bothered me is that your character is always looking down at your phone, which would distract you from driving at times or looking around at your surroundings, even when you’re not on a call.
Overall I’d say it’s a fantastic game that fans of the franchise will love and newcomers will enjoy too!
The game takes place several years after the events of its predecessor and features a cast of new and returning characters. The main protagonist is Franklin Clinton, a young gangbanger who works for a crime family alongside his friends Lamar Davis (Travis Willingham) and Trevor Philips (Steve Blum). These two characters were introduced in Grand Theft Auto IV.
Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) is the latest in a series of games that allow players to drive around, shoot stuff, and cause mayhem. I’ve played a few of these games before and usually get bored after a mission or two. This time, however, the game was so engrossing that I spent 20 hours playing the game on my first playthrough without realizing it!
On top of being an awesome game, it has one of the best stories I’ve seen in gaming recently. The characters are well-written and interesting; they each have a lot of dialogue and you can see their personalities and relationships unfold as you play. The map is enormous—I didn’t even fully explore it until about halfway through my second playthrough—and there are several different kinds of missions for you to try out.
At first I didn’t really understand what GTA was all about—the premise seemed weird to me. You basically steal cars and do missions for people who want to give you money, but then you also rob banks and stores and kill cops instead of leading an honest life…but why? After I played it, though, I realized how much fun the game could be if you just go along with it instead of worrying about why people are doing evil things.
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As someone who has played every Grand Theft Auto game to date, this one strikes me as the most spectacular and fully realized of the series. All of its predecessors had elements that could be described as “excellent,” but GTA V is the first that feels like a complete package. I have no reservations about recommending it to anyone who might like to play a game that combines the thrills of driving, the joys of shooting, and the surprises of infiltrating a gangster movie plot.
In addition to its many moments that caused me to laugh out loud or at least grin stupidly, GTA V is also an accomplishment in terms of creating a living world that responds dynamically to your presence in it.
The driving mechanics are spectacular (the best they’ve ever been in any GTA), and while they get much better when you finally get into a sports car late in the game, even maneuvering your way through traffic with a crappy run-down sedan is incredibly satisfying. You can always find ways to have fun on the road even when you aren’t being chased by the cops or accosted by large men in funny hats.
The humour is self-deprecating and naturalistic; Rockstar Games knows it’s being silly with its game mechanics, but it never apologises for them. Grand Theft Auto V is about giving players freedom—and then watching how they use that freedom. And as much as you might complain about how NPCs interact with your new friend Trevor (seriously, everyone treats him like he’s crazy), or how you can’t have fun.
Grand Theft Auto V is a massive game, and it has a lot of modes to keep you busy. On one hand, you have the three main single-player campaigns, which are all interesting in their own ways (and significantly different from each other).
The first is an all-new story about three protagonists who do some bank heists and kidnap celebrities for reasons. It’s fun and entertaining, but my favourite of the three was the third campaign, which revolves around a gangster who gets deported back to the United States after spending several years living in Mexico.
This one is heavily influenced by classic heist movies like Heat and Goodfellas, and I enjoyed this campaign far more than the first one.
The most noticeable improvement is in the size of the open world. If you’ve been waiting for a new sandbox to play around in, you could do a lot worse than GTA V’s Los Santos, which is a vast and diverse landscape that feels hand-crafted rather than computer-generated.
The city and its surrounding areas are full of things to do, people to meet, businesses to run, and outposts to explore. It’s also full of details: you can pick up half-read books and magazines, take selfies with your smartphone, play darts in a pub with the locals. It’s a rich tapestry that makes the whole world feel more real.
The mission structure has been similarly overhauled. While there are still plenty of straightforward missions where you have to go from A to B while shooting everything in sight, there are also plenty of diversions along the way.
One mission asks you to help a director make an action movie; another sees you doing some illegal street racing on public roads; another sees you on a date with your girlfriend and keeping her safe from an onslaught of paparazzi. These diversions have an organic quality about them, too – for example, many missions feature optional objectives that aren’t made clear.
That’s my only real complaint about Grand Theft Auto V: it gives you so much to do and see, but it can sometimes be overwhelming. Sometimes you just want to drive through the game world and take in the sights and sounds, but you might accidentally run into a mission trigger or a police chase or something else that keeps you from just enjoying the ride.
Other times, you might be cruising around on foot, looking for cars to steal or people to hijack, and suddenly an objective marker will appear out of nowhere and the action kicks into high gear, leaving you scrambling to keep up. It’s a testament to how well-realised this world is that even when I’ve been playing it for hours straight, I never really get tired of running around Los Santos and its surrounding areas.
There are always new places and things to discover, as well as returning features like Trevor’s airfield that were added in the first DLC pack, and there’s still plenty more content to come in future updates.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth your time and money to play through Grand Theft Auto V again, the answer is yes. I have played several games all the way through multiple times, but after completing Grand Theft Auto V for the first time, I immediately started over in a new game.
It’s that compelling, with that much to see and do and experience. If you were on the fence about picking up the game last year, now is the perfect time to do so: the vast open world of Los Santos is yours to explore – with or without friends – for as long as you can keep your eyes open.