GTA V was released in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, and just when nobody hoped, it was released for PC in 2015. That being said, the game is almost 3 years old now, but it doesn’t age badly. In fact, GTA V is still one of the most played games, just like it was released a few months ago. So, as I played this game over and over again, I feel like I should give you my two cents on the game. In this review, we are going to take a look at a game which needs no special introduction. It’s a juggernaut in a PC gaming industry, a masterpiece, and a Rockstar’s magnum opus. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is Grand Theft Auto V.
What’s Notable in GTA V
Grand Theft Auto series is known for some amazing games and I’m glad that Rockstar took their time with this game. Because of that, GTA V quickly became the best game of 2015 and even one of the best games ever. It’s an amazing singleplayer game, but also a multiplayer game. Boasting some high-end graphics and visual fidelity, GTA V requires a beefy PC to be played and enjoyed. Let’s take a moment to check the key features of GTA V, shall we?
Great Singleplayer Story and Setting
One thing that impressed me about the game is its start. The game wastes no time and immediately drops you in the middle of a mind-boggling bank robbery in Ludendorff. You pick up some cash and the game introduces two out of three main characters- Michael and Trevor. This first mission is enough to catch your attention and keep it through the whole game. The shooting, police chases and overall action is amazing! After that, the game starts to develop slowly and you are slowly but surely introduced to various new characters. The main feature of the singleplayer campaign is characters and GTA V nails it in that compartment.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how well the story is balanced here, with the excellent voice acting from every single character. For example, Michael is a more steady character who solves his problems “peaceful” way. On the other side, we have Trevor, who is a lunatic. He thinks that everything can be solved the violent way, he often swears and is generally a very authentic character. Then we have Franklin, a young ghetto boy who is “lucky” to meet Trevor and Michael. I mean, you must play the game to see how well they are done; simply amazing! Singleplayer campaign offers around 10-15 hours of gameplay, which is more than enough, and if you add side missions, you can pretty much get over 20 hours easily.
For the setting, GTA V returns to its roots and it’s set in Los Santos. Do you remember this city? Well, I have no doubt you do. In fact, I know this city better than my own! The in-game world allows for very versatile gameplay, making it interesting even if you traverse on foot. The city is full of stuff to do and see, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get bored here. You can go to the club with your friends, drive some fast cars or simply provoke the police and start a chase. The story and the setting are top-notch and are enough to keep you entertained. GTA V leaves nothing to be desired here and I’m glad because of that.
Fun and Versatile Multiplayer
Let’s say you finished your singleplayer story and you are VERY satisfied with the game like I am. So, what you are going to do? Well, the great choice is to focus on the multiplayer. When you exploit this part of the game at some point, you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s abso-fucking-lutely badass! Here’s why.
GTA V’s multiplayer allows you to do literally everything! On top of that, it doesn’t require a special option in the main menu to be started. You just sign in with your Social Club account and there you go. You can play the multiplayer from the free roam. Get some of your friends to play with you and you can do some heists or just free roam and admire the beautiful graphics. Furthermore, GTA V allows you to participate in various activities such as scuba diving, racing or BASE jumping. Should you want to go head-to-head with your friends, you can do some of those and it feels so good.
GTA V even introduced a smartphone which works like a real smartphone, no jokes! When you open it, you can call your friends and even take a photo to keep it as a memory. Character-wise, the game allows you to customize your chosen one with a different outfit, tattoo or haircut. If you earn enough money, you can easily buy some vehicles, weapons or properties to show how rich you are. Of course, that depends on how good at robbing you are. Wait, so you can do heists in multiplayer? Yup, pretty much. Take a look at the next section.
So, here we are, folks; the most fun online feature of GTA V. Oh, those amazing heists, I wish there were double the heists for double the fun! When it comes to the online heists, GTA V offers five of them, which is still a good number, considering how well they are done. For beginners, planning and doing the heist might be a pain in the ass, but once you get a grip, it becomes fluid. The only downside here is the number of heists, which can sometimes be underwhelming, especially if you play the game until its release. However, GTA V does a great job of keeping the heists entertaining and heart-pounding, as we mentioned.
Basically, every heist requires two to four players. I would suggest that you play the heists with your friends only, as they can sometimes be very tactical and require a proper cooperation. With that in mind, I always like to play with a single friend, but I don’t mind the other heists because every single one is interesting and immersive. You can try heists if you want to get some serious cash for buying stuff like weaponry and properties.
Great visuals are the staple of open-world games. You can build huge open world, but if it doesn’t look appealing… well, sorry, I’m not buying it. GTA V took care of that by incorporating great visuals and top-notch graphics. Everything in this game looks amazing and Rockstar added nice details to make it more realistic. For example, the population in the game looks varied, avoiding that cheap “copy-paste” look where developers just overuse their assets. I’m sick of that. Characters’ animation is quite nice, looking good in both cutscenes and gameplay. The environment is splendid, featuring a highly-detailed sky, plethora of colors, varied terrains and beautiful scenery during the night and the sunset. Prepare your smartphone, you might need to take a few shots!
Now let’s talk a little about graphical settings. GTA V offers a plenty of them. You can toggle anti-aliasing, MSAA, play with textures and even with population variety and density. With these options, GTA V is one of the best-optimized games I’ve ever seen. For example, MSAA is the main performance destroyer. Should you turn it off, you’ll gain a massive performance boost, but decrease visual fidelity. On the other side, you can increase or decrease population density to gain more FPS at a price of a less-realistic experience. I’m actually quite surprised with the game visuals mainly because it’s a console port. And we know that they are almost always a disaster. Even though GTA V is a few-year-old game, it still takes my breath away when I see it on my ultrawide monitor. It’s simply a sight to be seen.
As we said, GTA V is an extremely fun game. And you can’t help but wonder if the gameplay is polished or not. Well, let me tell you- it is. Gameplay is maybe the strongest point of this game, as it’s smooth, responsive and satisfying. As you’ve probably known, GTA V is played from the third-person perspective, but Rockstar introduced the first-person camera here, which is quite important. You can now play the game both as a third-person shooter and first-person shooter; that’s cool!
Because I mentioned the camera, I must praise the details once more. When you drive a car, you can switch to a first-person view and see how the characters are reacting during the talk, and yes; they open mouth and react to various situations. Furthermore, your character isn’t just sitting in a car and keeping his arms on the steering wheel. He presses the throttle, brake, and clutch and uses his hands to steer. I mean, the details are mind-boggling.
When it comes to shooting stuff, I have a little complaint, and that’s weapons. The problem here is that the weapons are REALLY deadly and there isn’t a huge difference between some automatic rifles. On top of that, the game lets you carry as many weapons as you like, leaving me using just a couple of weapons and forgetting about other firearms. The guns aren’t sounding that great neither they gave me the feeling of the “kick” when I shoot with, let’s say shotgun. Having in mind that you’ll shoot a lot of enemies at the same time, the guns are still pretty optimized for the gameplay style.
Aside from shooting and driving, GTA V allows you to use various other vehicles to traverse the world. Hell, even the bike feels nice! Depending on the character you choose, you may have a unique ability. Michael has a bullet-time, Trevor has an Adrenaline mode while Franklin uses his lightning-fast reflexes when it comes to driving. Overall, the gameplay is very balanced, but there are some limitations when it comes to the selection of characters. When going on certain missions, you may have to play with Michael or Franklin for example, and then there are those missions where you can play with all of them, which is pretty nice.
Much Better than GTA IV?
Some complain that GTA V isn’t a huge improvement over the past game and I simply can’t stand those people! Now, let me be straight, I’m not bashing GTA IV. In fact, that game was awesome, plus it has a Slavic protagonist and I’m Slavic myself. However, GTA V works much better. It simply flows. The game looks like no other game, which is a great return to the franchise. While GTA IV wasn’t graphically strong, plus it was badly optimized, GTA V shined in both compartments. The core gameplay, the story, and the in-game world are one of the best I’ve seen in my gaming years. And I’ve played games for over 15 years. With that in mind, I’m confident to say that this is a huge leap in the franchise and I simply can’t imagine how would GTA VI look… if it ever comes out!
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve come near the end of my GTA V Review and the only thing left now is to give this game a mark it deserves. I will not waste your time, it’s 10/10. Simply amazing game! GTA V managed to do what the past games couldn’t. It made a huge world, giving the players a complete freedom in terms of exploration and character customization. On top of that, it has an amazing singleplayer campaign and even better multiplayer component.
Let’s be honest, GTA V is a versatile game that can be everything but boring and uninspiring. The heists are fun, side activities and missions are a joy to participate, leaving the player with nothing more to desire. If you like a pure, non-filler gaming experience, GTA V is an excellent option. I have nothing more to say, except to encourage you to try it. Rockstar once again proved their awesomeness, with GTA V becoming their magnum opus.