Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most ambitious undertakings in video game history. With a development cycle of over five years and an estimated budget of $265 million, the expectations for the game are very high. The game is set in Los Santos an exaggerated version of Los Angeles that players will come to love. The setting is huge and feels like a fully realized living world. Citizens are hiking, cops are in high speed pursuit chases after criminals, and there are even animals under water and on land.
There are three main characters in the game and players get to play as all three simultaneously. Michael is a retired con man that is forced to live in witness protection after a bank robbery goes awry. He longs for the days of excitement instead of sitting around by his pool drinking margaritas. Franklin is a college dropout who goes from job to job looking to make ends meet to support himself. He longs to get out of his aunt’s house and become successful. Trevor is the third and most interesting character in the game. Trevor used to pull heists with Michael, but now lives in a trailer park where he conducts a drug operation. Trevor is a crazy character and the thing people will like the most while playing as him is his unpredictability. Each character has a special ability such as a slow motion and rage mode that gives infinite ammunition for a little bit.
The story has one main arc, but each character has their own things going on as well. The main story arc deals with the characters pulling off heists which are unlike anything seen in any video game beforehand. The premise sounds simple, but lots of planning is required to pull off these robberies successfully. They also become more complicated and sophisticated as the game goes along. “My favorite heist so far was stealing a bunch of exotic cars for a high level criminal because it sounds simple, but takes turns that caught me off guard,” said GCC student Terran Drey. A new feature here allows the gamer to switch from one character to another. This allows the heists to play out differently each time as the characters are always doing different things to ensure the heist is successful.
Gone are the days where characters would drive to locations and just take out all of the enemies. Even the simplistic missions offer a rewarding payoff that will entertain people and keep them playing all the way to the end. Every gameplay feature is improved on mightily. The cover system is fixed, the car driving is smoother, and the shooting mechanics are among the best of any game to date. The graphics are the best on video game consoles which is quite impressive considering how vast the setting is. Radio stations return and offer numerous genres of music for everybody. “I like that they included punk, dub, and old school hip hop radio stations which made this iteration my favorite in terms of musical choices,” said GCC student Billy Hoffman. The game is very long as well and should take players about 35-40 hours to finish the main storyline.
Besides that the game features an online component which is its own game. The player creates their own character and gets to build their own story in the online world. This portion offers 500 missions which can be completed with up to 16 other players. These missions include heists, racing, and sports such as tennis to name a few. This is the biggest game ever made and it succeeds largely because of that. No other game before this has pushed the medium this high in terms of scope and innovation. There will be warranted controversy over things like torture and sex mini games. However, the thing people should remember Grand Theft Auto V by most is its fearlessness to push video games forward in storytelling and gameplay.