Grand Theft Auto V
by Craig Humphreys - 18th September 2013
GTA V (PS3) Review
Grand Theft Auto V, the sequel to end all sequels, hyped to the max it has the fans, the haters and the protesters out in force. Rockstar North the developer behind the hit franchise know when they’ve got a good thing, and boy do they have a good thing.
Grand Theft Auto has evolved significantly since its first two incarnations which featured top down graphics. In 2001 a transition began and at the time this reviewer wasn’t sure just how the game would translate into a 3rd person 3D game world. Thankfully all doubts were demolished when GTA III arrived. This paved the way for a plethora of sequels and even a GTA-esque Western franchise. Now five years on since the last main installment (GTA IV) what have Rockstar North achieved?
When it comes to the core mechanics of the game, Rockstar North have been hard at work. The cars are a real treat, they still have that arcade feel to them but the physics seem to react so much better and that changes dramatically depending on the car. Nearly every vehicle has its own unique driving style, from the Mini-esque go-kart handling through to rear-wheel muscle cars and 50s Cadillacs. You’ll soon find yourself winding through traffic on busy freeways, pulling handbrake turns around the tightest of corners or woefully spinning out after clipping a telegraph pole. The character animations are silky smooth be it climbing ladders, taking the stairs or swinging a haymaker at a passerby... there’s a finesse behind all the actions that stands out.
This time round the narrative focuses on three characters Michael, Franklin and Trevor, each with their own background story, style and abilities. Their stories intertwine at various points throughout the story missions and this change stands out as one of main adaptations to this title. Previously we’d have a single protagonist such as Niko or Claude. Players will also find the incessant social interactions that featured in GTA IV and were panned by many critics have been toned down, no more playing a game of darts in order to get your missions here.
Elsewhere the technical achievements continue as the graphics are truly pushing this generation of consoles to the limit. We look forward to seeing a PC version in the near future and also the game’s debut on the next generation of consoles... hopefully Rockstar will tell us more about that sooner rather than later.
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