For those of you reading the title of this piece, you must be thinking that nothing has really changed in Grand Theft Auto V. You can customise your character, drive a car very fast, take on the police, take part in hilarious missions and have interact with several memorable characters. While the basic mechanics of Grand Theft Auto have been refined in V, Rockstar are doing basic things which they haven’t done before. With the game only being out for a few days and with me only putting in around 10 hours so far, I take a look at what changes Rockstar has made, which may not be apparent to some of you, and look at how this potentially could be the greatest Grand Theft Auto game ever.
I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers, even if they are extremely small spoilers, they will be attempted to be avoided. Some of my descriptions of certain events or facts may seem like I haven’t played it but, they are to avoid spoilers.
The first thing that everyone will notice about Grand Theft Auto is that you now have three protagonists. This provides so much variety in regards to missions, skills and general situations each character can find themselves in. While you start the main story (after the prologue) you begin as Franklin. Franklin is at home in San Andreas and has friends and stays with his aunt. While the map is relatively new to most who play it, because it is nothing like the PS2 areas, it allows you to settle in far better with the characters and location because these relationships have already been forged. I am comparing this feature of the game to all other main GTA games from III to IV as the game always seems to be the same. Travel to somewhere new, make all new friends and try to make a name for yourself which is always the case in GTA games. CJ had arrived back to San Andreas after being away for years, Tommy Vercetti was brand new to Vice City, Claude had to rebuild his life after escaping from confinement and Niko was in a new country. Travel to somewhere new, make all new friends and try to make a name for yourself always seems to be the case in GTA games. The fact that Franklin already has a job, family nearby and friends, makes the transition into San Andreas (for the player) all that bit easier.
In regards to previous games revolving around making a big name for yourself, the story of GTA comes together so well right from the word “GO!” With Michael retired and having a family to look after, it seems as though he has already made his name with robbing banks in the past. With the way that the story turns, it differs from any GTA experience I’ve ever had. Normally you have to do anything and everything to scrape a few dollars together but, you already have a sense of being rich with Michael and it feels very strange but makes you enjoy playing as him, even more. Being able to play as a previously established individual makes the game feel more complete and the change is definitely one that has been welcomed, especially when he joins up with the other two.
Much like Michael, Trevor does have some credibility to his name, even if it is in an illegal industry. Right from the beginning of Trevor’s story, you are able to see what a lunatic he is and he only plays by his own rules. While we have seen many crazy characters throughout GTA down the line, Catalina from San Andreas comes to mind, Trevor takes crazy to a whole new level. The reason Catalina springs to mind is because San Andreas has always been my favourite game of all-time.
Catalina just seemed like a deranged person that had some serious mental problems, as was reflected by her personality. Robbing banks and gas stations were no problem but, she would snap in the blink of an eye and direct a tirade of anger towards CJ. Trevor seems, for no real reason, to shock almost everyone who has played the game. You can’t believe a word he ever says and although it’s funny, there are supposed to be some horrific things which Trevor takes part in. I’ve not reached that stage yet and I want to experience it in my own time.
From what I have described about the advancements so far, small yet subtle things in regards to the story. When it comes to gameplay, one major improvement which the game has undergone is the ability to flip an overturned car. How many times have you been driving too fast, flipped the car and ended upside down? Too many to count in my experience and I’m sure I’m not the only one to have been frustrated by this. Not only does this help preserve your wonderful cars, missions are easier to pass if you cannot fail for blowing up a car due to it being overturned.
Sports have been added in with the latest game and provide some simple yet fun distractions to the great mission structure. The gameplay of the tennis and golf are basic while triathlons make an appearance too. They may not be key to the game’s story but these activities show just how much detail Rockstar have implemented into this huge and interactive world. The detail that was shown in GTA IV has been developed and evolved with the internet, phones and stock markets playing even more of a key role in making money and experiencing all you can in San Andreas. These aren’t new as such but the updated feel makes them feel new, especially if you didn’t bother with them too much in the previous GTA, like me.
With all the hype surrounding Grand Theft Auto V, it’s hard not to have an opinion about it. Social media will continue to talk about it for weeks on end as the game will take so long to complete. I have to commend Rockstar for the huge effort they have put into the game and shows that good things come to those who wait after the game was delayed. The amazing this is, this won’t be the end of the phenomenal game. There will probably be downloadable content in the future as well as GTA Online coming on October 1st. Taking on so much and pulling it off successfully, from what I’ve played so far. With the game rumoured to be one of the most expensive titles to be produced, it is no wonder that this may be one of the greatest games of all-time. If you think this is just another Grand Theft Auto, you couldn’t be more wrong.