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Awards

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • Giant sandbox game to roam around in
  • 3 distinct characters with their own lives
  • Many interesting details to find in the world
  • Popular and lively online mode
  • Great price point

Might Not Like

  • Outdated controls
  • Game is showing its age a little
  • Not much gender representation
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Grant Theft Auto V PS5 Review

GTAV

I know what you are thinking. A review for GTAV? A game that has been released almost as many times as Skyrim. Almost. But in many ways, I was the perfect guy for the job. I haven’t played a GTA game properly since it was still in its top-down form. I played Vice City briefly but the disc I had was scratched and crashed constantly before I gave up and moved onto other pastures.

I have some knowledge of Grand Theft Auto V of course. Anyone who claims to be a gamer knows this game. It is an absolute powerhouse in the gaming world. But should it still be a mainstay in 2022? An entire 3 generations of gaming after its initial release? Let’s find out…

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks…

The main thing a lot of people will be wondering about this: what has changed from initial release. As far as I am aware, the game has been improved in the usual ways games usually are.

It has improved lighting and a range of graphics modes to choose between, ray tracing, 60 FPS etc etc. But honestly, coming at this from the perspective of someone who is new to the game, it doesn’t seem as impressive as it sounds. That is not in anyway meant in a way to put down on the game. It is just simply a game that is almost a decade old.

Anyone coming from the older versions of the game will notice an improvement, but not anyone in the same boat as me. No matter what polishing gets coated on the game, there is no getting away from the fact that the game is old now. Skyrim is a game in the same boat. As it also suffers from the same stipulations, as it is also showing its age. Even through all the newer releases and newer generations of gaming consoles. This of course does not reflect on the quality of the game itself. It is just something worth mentioning off the bat.

I avoided GTAV for the longest of times. Gangsters, crime, speaking in slang etc all these kinds of things just aren’t my kind of theme. It is for the same reason I am not interested in certain board games or films of the same ilk. I never quite understood why it was a game that survived on the top selling lists for so long. For years and years, it has maintained its silver medal of most sold video game, right up there with the gold awarded Minecraft. For almost ten years I have been blown away at its popularity, at why it was still being played, still being sold, still so highly regarded. Now that I have actually played the game, I can see a little more as to the answers to these questions.

Swallowing my misconceptions about the game was hard to do during the initial few hours of play. When the game initially opens up in a clunky bank robbery, and then opens up playing as Franklin it was a hard sell for me. Franklin is the stereotypical “boy from the hood” character who has very “gangsta” friends. I couldn’t help but sigh as I expected the game to engulf me in all the stereotypical gangster-esque notions that I am just not a fan of. It wasn’t until the game opened up even more to several other playable characters that I started to enjoy the game.

Whilst it is true that Franklin envisions a lot of the stereotypes that I dislike, it became apparent that that was a deliberate narrative choice. Each of the characters have very distinctive personalities, motivations, and lives apart from each other. And it was this that eventually got me enjoying the game.

The Power Of Three Will Set Us Free

The characters in GTAV are what set this game apart from many others. The more I played, the more I found myself enjoying the musings of each of the characters. Even Franklin warmed on me after a while. As he very much so is ingrained in the stereotypes that wear on me, they also wear on him. He wants to do better than his peers. Which makes his own story more enjoyable as time goes on.

I appreciate how different each of the playable characters are. They each kind of take on their own archetypal elements of gangster life. My favourite character is of course Trevor, who I think will be most peoples’ character of choice. He brings an element of chaos and unpredictability that undercuts the dryness of Michael and the eagerness of Franklin.

Coming with each character having their own lives is the availability of different side missions. Each character has unique side characters with which they will interact. This is one of my favourite parts of the game. The stranger and freak missions are some of the most entertaining aspects of the game. Having your character get roped into some weird situations is the icings on the cake in the mad world of GTAV.

This also comes with an interesting little detail which I believe is pretty unique to this game. Switching between characters will take you on an out of body experience to the chosen character. Each of the characters go about their own lives whilst you are controlling someone else. Plopping back into someone else can give you snippets into their private life. This is because you could pick up with them in the middle or at the end of a situation they have got themselves in.

The online part of the game is also still getting support. I myself felt a little lost when trying it however. That may be partly down to me not being much of an online gamer. And also, partly down to the online part being almost a decade into its support. It felt like I was wading into a swimming pool from the deep end.

GTAV: A Tale As Old As Time

As mentioned earlier, this is an old game. And unfortunately, that comes with some noticeable wrinkles. Thankfully, the wrinkles don’t affect the game all too much. The game could have benefitted from some simple quality of life improvements. There are some controls that feel clunky now that wouldn’t have back at initial release. Things like tapping X to run just feels outdated now and could have easily been changed between releases by now. The shooting also has a crazy amount of auto aim. Most skirmishes can be dealt with by simply taking cover, popping up, letting auto aim do its magic, take a shot, rinse, and repeat.

There are also some other trivial details that grind on my nerves a little bit. For example: during missions in GTAV, there is no option to simply restart. You could be way into a street race for example and know you aren’t going to win, with no option to restart. You need to deliberately drive yourself way off course in order to force a “mission failure” screen. The game has 18 radio stations to tune into, which is amazing! Each one of these stations has their own personalities to them, but none of them are ones that I personally enjoy. Every time I get into a vehicle, my first action is always to turn the radio off. It would be nice to have an option to have a default radio station for those who have a favourite, or ones like me who prefer it off completely.

Avoiding police simply comes down to a time trial. It often comes down to hiding for thirty seconds or so until they give up. And then you can drive/walk straight past the policemen that were giving chase, only for them to suddenly not recognise you because the chase is over. This seems a little trivial.

Ahead Of Its Time

That might seem like an odd sub-title in a review for a game that everyone has played by now. I think I may have actually been the last gamer on the planet to play GTAV. But it was clear to me that the game was surprisingly ahead of its time. With it being an open world game from the PS3 era, I was expecting certain caveats that just never came. I was expecting the game’s map to come littered with question marks for example. And it doesn’t. You can also hide the majority of icons in order to keep the map mostly clear.

I love that each character has their own lives. There are zany little side challenges apart from the strangers and freaks missions. The first one to open up is the wildlife photography challenge that only Franklin can do. The character dependant things like this give each character their own ways to approach exploration in the game. Swapping between these distinct characters throughout the game also helps keep the game from getting stagnant. This is due to each of them having very different personalities and side content to engage with.

There are also lots of small details in the game GTAV that make me smile. Even down to the general populace also having personality. Standing in the middle of the road for example will have different outcomes depending on the drivers nearby. Some will beep you; some will yell and flip you off, some will simply try and barrel through you. It is all the minute details in the game like this that really make the world feel lived in. And that is a great achievement for a game as old as this one.

Credit Roll

Grand Theft Auto V was a game that I was expecting to dislike. It held all the cards that makes me wince and groan in theme and setting. And yet, I found myself oddly enjoying the game. It has enough tiny details that made me smile and kept my curiosity at large. I feel as though it is a game that has well earned its merits over the years. Whether these merits are still worth their weight in this generation of gaming is another matter.

I would find it really hard to recommend this game if it were being sold at full release price. But considering it is being sold at a very reasonable price, it swings heavily in favour of recommendation. The game is cheap enough to give long lasting fans enough improvements to enjoy a game they love. And the game is cheap enough for outliers like myself to jump on and give the game a try.

I think, if I can enjoy GTAV with all my misconceptions, then there is easily something to enjoy here for anyone. Even if it is just for a sandbox game to roam around in and cause unstoppable chaos. Check it out!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You might like

  • Giant sandbox game to roam around in
  • 3 distinct characters with their own lives
  • Many interesting details to find in the world
  • Popular and lively online mode
  • Great price point

Might not like

  • Outdated controls
  • Game is showing its age a little
  • Not much gender representation

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