It has been five years since the release of “Grand Theft Auto IV,” one of the greatest video games ever made. Following such a successful game is always a difficult task, but Rockstar Games handled the challenge flawlessly. Saying that “Grand Theft Auto V” is an improvement on “GTA IV” would be a complete understatement. Everything has been improved since the 2008 game. Elements such as gameplay, visuals, and the storyline are all magnificent in “Grand Theft Auto V.”
“Grand Theft Auto V” tells the story of three main characters as they dive deep into the art of robbery. None of the characters are moral role models, and it’s clear Rockstar is pushing the boundaries of character development. Having three characters is an interesting take, but it works. You never get bored playing with the same guy over and over again. Each character has their own unique storyline and abilities that enhance the experience.
The gameplay feels very natural in every type of scenario, quite an impressive feat due to the expansive nature of the game. Controls for combat are very easy. The specialty vehicles, such as helicopters, airplanes, and even a submarine, are simple to learn too.
Much like the gameplay, the visuals in “GTA V” are simply beautiful. The map in this game is enormous and diverse, more-so than “GTA IV” and “Red Dead Redemption.” At some points, you are driving a four-wheeler in a desert-like landscape. After a little drive, you are roaring through the streets of downtown Los Santos. It never gets old.
Now comes the storyline. The most interesting feature of the storyline is the three different characters. Their skills, such as driving, shooting and running, can even be improved throughout the game. The pivotal element of “GTA V” is the heists. These missions are much more engaging since the player gets to plan the play style. Want to rob a bank with grenades and automatic rifles? Want to strategize a silent entrance? It’s all up to you. Once you choose the style, you are required to go on a few side missions to prepare for the big heist. All of the preparation may seem tedious at times, but it really builds up tension and excitement for the big heist.
While “GTA V” is an incredible and addicting game, there were three aspects that have been less than fantastic. First of all, the satire gets very old very quick. The references bashing capitalism, politics and even big business are funny at first, but it is way overdone. Second, the storyline is very difficult to follow at times due to there being three separate characters that are rarely united. Third, the game pushes the moral line a bit too far at times. I know the “Grant Theft Auto” series has always been a sore subject in the media due to what you can do in the game. But the difference in “GTA V” is less what you can do in the game and more what you need to do to complete the story mode. In one section, you could not progress the story mode without severely torturing a suspected terrorist. It’s brutal to watch and play, and it definitely stretches the player’s comfort level.
Overall, “Grant Theft Auto V” is a fantastic, beautiful and addicting video game. The hours of entertainment stretch far beyond the storyline and make it worth the $60 price tag. You will not be disappointed with this video game.
Steven Uhey is a junior history/pre-law major and is pursuing a career in law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This review reflects the views of the writer only.