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'[Game] Grand Theft Auto 5 - Review - 360/PS3'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Grand Theft Auto 5'.
Sat 28/09/13 at 00:21:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 437
Grand Theft Auto is back! And selling stupidly well, making in the region of six squillion quid in the space of half an hour. Or something like that. In fact, the chances are that youíve probably bought a copy for yourself, your dog, your cat and a few spares in case those copies spontaneously combust. But regardless, in case thereís someone out there who hasnít already bought it, Iíll continue.

If you havenít heard of the Grand Theft Auto series Ė which is admittedly kind of unlikely Ė then Iíll give you a quick crash (oh-ho) course. The GTA games Ė apart from the first two which were 2D Ė are 3D games where youíre plonked down in a big city and given the freedom to go pretty much anywhere and do anything. You can steal cars, shoot people and get up to all sorts of ultraviolent shenanigans. Granted, all the games have a plot of sorts, but their real selling point is the freedom they offer. Of course, that does present its own problems. Grand Theft Auto 4 cast you as Nico Bellic, an Eastern European guy who was supposedly after a new start. So having him roam around mowing people down created a big disconnect. Not to mention the fact that he willingly got involved in things like stealing drugs for a local dealer.

GTA 5, on the other hand, doesnít have this problem. You get to play as one of three characters Ė eventually being able to switch between all three at will Ė who range from being slightly shady through to totally psychotic. GTA 5ís plot is surprisingly well written as well, with a fair few twists and turns, and the characters are actually fairly interesting. Youíve got Michael, an ex robber who has to deal with his dysfunctional children and cheating wife. Then youíve got Franklin, a guy from the hood who keeps getting dragged into stupid schemes by his friend. Finally thereís Trevor, who is the aforementioned nutter. So much of a nutter in fact, that you - as he - torture a guy for information, a sequence which genuinely made me feel uncomfortable. It's also unskippable.

Should you so desire, you can even change their clothes and hairstyles, though not quite to the extent you can in the Saints Row games. Which is mildly disappointing as one of the most memorable moments I had playing Saints Row 2 was going through a touching character death scene wearing a hotdog suit. But whereas Saints Row 4 went all superheroey with the latest game, GTA 5ís feet are planted firmly in reality. GTA 5 takes place in the city of Los Santos and the surrounding area. Much has been made of the large map size, and it is pretty big. Itís certainly a more interesting place than Liberty City and is great to look at. The graphics are a bit better than GTA 4ís, but thereís not a massive graphical jump. Is it the best Grand Theft Auto map yet? Not quite. While you do roam around the surrounding countryside Ė which contains a few small towns and other locations Ė you canít actually go to other cities. One of the great things about GTA San Andreas was that you could drive between three separate cities.

However, GTA 5 does out-do San Andreas in the sheer number of activities you can get up to. Granted, these activities arenít always interesting Ė the tennis activity bored the hell out of me Ė but itís fun to have the option. And you do get your hands on some very cool vehicles as the game progresses Ė including a jet plane. You can even virtually invest in the stock market through the gameís in-game internet browser which takes jabs at a range of websites, including a facebook spoof. Then thereís the gameís story missions which are okay, if you really insist on playing the game properly. Thereís a decent mixture of shooting, driving, flying and so forth. The shootingís actually less of a pain than it was in previous games since the game has got a decent cover system now, though itís not quite up on same levels as most mainstream shooters.

The game main storyline also features heists, which are a cool addition, where you recruit people to rob various stores/banks etc. You get to recruit your crew , better crew members taking a bigger cut of your earnings, steal equipment and then carry out the heist. Theyíre not freeform, though Ė so you canít just arrange a heist at any bank, which is a bit of a shame.

Naturally the cops get a bit annoyed when you do this and you have to avoid their attentions. Which brings me to one of GTA 5ís other cool new features, the cop system. Whereas in previous games youíd have cop cars being spawned and chasing you relentlessly, the system in GTA 5 makes sense. Once you get out of their line of sight, they start searching for you, on foot and in cars. This means you have to hide, avoiding their cone of vision. So you can park your car up behind a freeway post and hope they donít see you, or stay on the move, ditch the car or whatever. It makes you feel like youíre in an episode of COPS, but without the wife-beating rednecks.

I wonít give away too much about the gameís storyline, but thereís a few missions that make good use of the character switching system. You can switch to any of the three characters once youíve met each of them, and you can also do this in the main game itself. I did try switching back and following one of the other characters to see what they did, but they just wandered off like a regular pedestrian. After complaining that I was stalking them, that is. Of course, thereís so much else to do in GTA 5, but it would have still been cool to see them actually doing stuff independent of my control. Multiplayer is unfortunately absent at the moment, apparently to be added later, which might disappoint some people.

Speaking of disappointing, a word of warning to anyone thinking of buying this game from the Playstation Network. The game actually suffers from more pop-up if you run it entirely from disc, a problem also affecting 360 owners who install both game discs to their console. Yes, youíre paying £49.99, a full fifteen quid more than the Amazon price, to get a game that doesnít work as well as its disc counterpart.

Is Grand Theft Auto 5 a revolutionary game? No, itís not. Itís better than Grand Theft Auto 4, but itís not a huge jump forward. It is, however, a damn good game. Itís fun to play and thereís just so much to do in the gameís huge world, ever after youíve finished the story. Itís well worth renting, though it might be worth putting off purchasing it till the price dips a bit. I got mine for £34.99 from Amazon pre-ordered but now the price seems to be floating around the forty-two quid mark. When you do buy it, however, youíll be glad you did.

Score - 8 out of 10

Pros:
It's great fun to play.
There's so much to do.
The cop pursuit system is great

Cons:
It's not a huge jump forward from GTA 4.
Multiplayer's still in the pipeline.
Mon 30/09/13 at 22:57:
pb
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,884
Admittedly, I'm only a short way in but this feels so much better than GTA IV already. I probably would have got it on PC if it came out at the same time, too.
Mon 30/09/13 at 17:19:
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,466
Still not convinced..

There's a bit of time before it hits PC's anyway, so a little time to think about it. Maybe it's that I feel the whole idea has been done to death and I just fancy something a bit different.

Perhaps I'll get it when the price drops.
Sat 28/09/13 at 00:21:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 437
Grand Theft Auto is back! And selling stupidly well, making in the region of six squillion quid in the space of half an hour. Or something like that. In fact, the chances are that youíve probably bought a copy for yourself, your dog, your cat and a few spares in case those copies spontaneously combust. But regardless, in case thereís someone out there who hasnít already bought it, Iíll continue.

If you havenít heard of the Grand Theft Auto series Ė which is admittedly kind of unlikely Ė then Iíll give you a quick crash (oh-ho) course. The GTA games Ė apart from the first two which were 2D Ė are 3D games where youíre plonked down in a big city and given the freedom to go pretty much anywhere and do anything. You can steal cars, shoot people and get up to all sorts of ultraviolent shenanigans. Granted, all the games have a plot of sorts, but their real selling point is the freedom they offer. Of course, that does present its own problems. Grand Theft Auto 4 cast you as Nico Bellic, an Eastern European guy who was supposedly after a new start. So having him roam around mowing people down created a big disconnect. Not to mention the fact that he willingly got involved in things like stealing drugs for a local dealer.

GTA 5, on the other hand, doesnít have this problem. You get to play as one of three characters Ė eventually being able to switch between all three at will Ė who range from being slightly shady through to totally psychotic. GTA 5ís plot is surprisingly well written as well, with a fair few twists and turns, and the characters are actually fairly interesting. Youíve got Michael, an ex robber who has to deal with his dysfunctional children and cheating wife. Then youíve got Franklin, a guy from the hood who keeps getting dragged into stupid schemes by his friend. Finally thereís Trevor, who is the aforementioned nutter. So much of a nutter in fact, that you - as he - torture a guy for information, a sequence which genuinely made me feel uncomfortable. It's also unskippable.

Should you so desire, you can even change their clothes and hairstyles, though not quite to the extent you can in the Saints Row games. Which is mildly disappointing as one of the most memorable moments I had playing Saints Row 2 was going through a touching character death scene wearing a hotdog suit. But whereas Saints Row 4 went all superheroey with the latest game, GTA 5ís feet are planted firmly in reality. GTA 5 takes place in the city of Los Santos and the surrounding area. Much has been made of the large map size, and it is pretty big. Itís certainly a more interesting place than Liberty City and is great to look at. The graphics are a bit better than GTA 4ís, but thereís not a massive graphical jump. Is it the best Grand Theft Auto map yet? Not quite. While you do roam around the surrounding countryside Ė which contains a few small towns and other locations Ė you canít actually go to other cities. One of the great things about GTA San Andreas was that you could drive between three separate cities.

However, GTA 5 does out-do San Andreas in the sheer number of activities you can get up to. Granted, these activities arenít always interesting Ė the tennis activity bored the hell out of me Ė but itís fun to have the option. And you do get your hands on some very cool vehicles as the game progresses Ė including a jet plane. You can even virtually invest in the stock market through the gameís in-game internet browser which takes jabs at a range of websites, including a facebook spoof. Then thereís the gameís story missions which are okay, if you really insist on playing the game properly. Thereís a decent mixture of shooting, driving, flying and so forth. The shootingís actually less of a pain than it was in previous games since the game has got a decent cover system now, though itís not quite up on same levels as most mainstream shooters.

The game main storyline also features heists, which are a cool addition, where you recruit people to rob various stores/banks etc. You get to recruit your crew , better crew members taking a bigger cut of your earnings, steal equipment and then carry out the heist. Theyíre not freeform, though Ė so you canít just arrange a heist at any bank, which is a bit of a shame.

Naturally the cops get a bit annoyed when you do this and you have to avoid their attentions. Which brings me to one of GTA 5ís other cool new features, the cop system. Whereas in previous games youíd have cop cars being spawned and chasing you relentlessly, the system in GTA 5 makes sense. Once you get out of their line of sight, they start searching for you, on foot and in cars. This means you have to hide, avoiding their cone of vision. So you can park your car up behind a freeway post and hope they donít see you, or stay on the move, ditch the car or whatever. It makes you feel like youíre in an episode of COPS, but without the wife-beating rednecks.

I wonít give away too much about the gameís storyline, but thereís a few missions that make good use of the character switching system. You can switch to any of the three characters once youíve met each of them, and you can also do this in the main game itself. I did try switching back and following one of the other characters to see what they did, but they just wandered off like a regular pedestrian. After complaining that I was stalking them, that is. Of course, thereís so much else to do in GTA 5, but it would have still been cool to see them actually doing stuff independent of my control. Multiplayer is unfortunately absent at the moment, apparently to be added later, which might disappoint some people.

Speaking of disappointing, a word of warning to anyone thinking of buying this game from the Playstation Network. The game actually suffers from more pop-up if you run it entirely from disc, a problem also affecting 360 owners who install both game discs to their console. Yes, youíre paying £49.99, a full fifteen quid more than the Amazon price, to get a game that doesnít work as well as its disc counterpart.

Is Grand Theft Auto 5 a revolutionary game? No, itís not. Itís better than Grand Theft Auto 4, but itís not a huge jump forward. It is, however, a damn good game. Itís fun to play and thereís just so much to do in the gameís huge world, ever after youíve finished the story. Itís well worth renting, though it might be worth putting off purchasing it till the price dips a bit. I got mine for £34.99 from Amazon pre-ordered but now the price seems to be floating around the forty-two quid mark. When you do buy it, however, youíll be glad you did.

Score - 8 out of 10

Pros:
It's great fun to play.
There's so much to do.
The cop pursuit system is great

Cons:
It's not a huge jump forward from GTA 4.
Multiplayer's still in the pipeline.

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