Grand Theft Auto V review

Posted by Robert Brightling on Thu 31 August 2017

Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) is about Franklyn, Michael and Trevor. Each characters story is intertwined; while their personalities and motives differ to make each character unique. Franklyn is an ambitious businessman trying to make it big, Michael is a retired criminal escaping his past and Trevour... is insane. Working together, sometimes, they set out to achieve their dreams and pull of "The Big Score".

The world is Grand Theft Auto 5 is beautiful, with both scale and detail. While I can appreciate the feeling of scale given by the map, I felt that it could have been designed to involve less travelling. Travelling from one area to another becomes tedious when just wanting to play missions and as mostly the middle is filled with hills and space, it's nice to explorer, maybe once or twice.

I really liked GTA5's way of implementing the story from multiple character points of view. Normally games give you the point of view of one character, a few where you may switch to another to shows another part of the story where the _main_ character is absent. GTA managed to create a seamless narrative where you can switch between characters as their stories overlap, twist and diverge which gives it a unique style found more in TV than the single narrative of games which the developers really utilised to create a new experience.

Heists are at the core of GTA5. Given a target to steal, you select a team and approach on how you want to commit the heist, then process to try and pull it off. Choices affect how much of a haul you make, your teams cut and missions to acquire. The heists are a lot of fun, even if sometimes the rewards don't feel so great. I'm torn between feeling the choice is good (who doesn't like to feel they have choice) and feeling like I missed half the game as I only saw 50% of the heists. Replay value it might add; however, by the time I replay I'll likely have forgotten my choices...

I feel like this is in away the biggest problem with GTA5, every positive is just so slightly uncut with a flaw. By the end of the game, doing missions in a correct order and a bit of a guide, you'll be rich beyond any sense. But what do you want to do with it? There is property to buy, however, it doesn't seem to add any character and will only give you simple "kill this, get that" missions and more money... although the investment to return ratio means it likely never will. More fun would be just to replay the heists with a different choice, which don't net you any reward. Each character has their own stats and money, and is anyone going to over an hour on each character to raise lung capacity... I didn't.

Overall Grand Theft Auto 5 is an enjoyable addition to the franchise, if you've liked previous GTA games then you'll won't be disappointed while also bring enough new not to feel stale. I really liked the characters, their hints of backstory and family give then a realness, even in the unbelievable world. I wish the world was a little more compressed so the game could focus more on adding more crazy side missions and characters while also feeling some part of the game pacing were off.