Grand Theft Auto V Review (Xbox 360)

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Gaming, Gaming Reviews
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So it has arrived, finally after months of snippets and teasers, deadlines and set backs we are finally graced with the behemoth of open world sandbox and what is set to be the greatest GTA ever to be released, but how does it actually live up to the hype?! Well read on and find out.

So here we are back in Los Santos and what an improvement it is! The first thing I have to say about the game is that it looks gorgeous, albeit some minor graphical errors but That’s nothing to be worried about, the game looks crisps and sharp and the cinematic cutscenes look like they’ve been taken out of a modern day motion picture! Although I am accustomed to the ultra graphics of PC games I will admit I was a little disappointed when I first saw the initial bank heist but about an hour into playing its starting to look pretty damn sexy!

We get to play as three different anti heroes; Micheal, a retired bank robber and criminal now forced out of retirement and back into the fray; Franklin, a repo man from the ghettos of Los Santos who partners up with Micheal after Micheal loses him his job. And last but not least, Trevor Phillips, a Meth lab owner and former partners with Michael and just all round crazy fecker! Personally out of all three of these characters I find Michael the best to play as but it’s all about your own playstyle.

Each character has their own little abilities which are unique to them, for example Trevor is a fighter and during gun fights Trevor can enter bullet time and take less damage from opponents, where as Franklin is a driver and his ability let’s him slow down time whilst driving to give the player more control of the vehicle. Just like San Andreas each characters stats can be improved by doing various stunts and activities. Maybe if you like Franklin’s driving but are not happy with his shooting skill you can take him to the shooting range and have some target practice to make you into a sharpshooter!

Since this is a collaboration of all the best features of every Rockstar game to date it has a lot to live up to, and I’ll let you know this, it does! It’s actually quite strange to be able to activate Max Payne’s bullet time in the middle of a fight and then rush away from the cops with immense car handling, something similar to that of Midnight Club! Let’s touch on the controls and how they feel for one moment now, I have always been picky with my controls in GTA games and the handling in GTA 4 was quite shit to be honest, but now they have made the car handling and player controls feel so good I actually really enjoy running and drifting. To that I raise my glass and say well done Rockstar!

In the trailer we were shown the new feature that let’s us switch between characters at any time and it looked smooth and precise, sadly this wasn’t the case for my copy of the game anyway, for what should be an exciting feature to use actually feels like a labour, it takes such a long time to hover over the player and is quite laggy. But that’s just me nitpicking!

So now that we’ve touched on the graphics and the handling let’s talk sound and voice acting. Absolutely superb, some of the best voice acting I’ve seen in a long time, and the soundtrack could rival that of San Andreas, although I’m not that much of a music fan, from what I can see and hear on the radio station playlists I don’t think you audiophiles out there will be disappointed!

Being GTA there had to be more than just the story mission for us to delve into and this time Rockstar have gone out of their way to provide us with a multitude of different side missions and activities. But just because they are side missions doesn’t mean you are left with a half assed activity, quite the opposite in fact. For example, I decided to have a game of tennis as Michael and was pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of the gameplay, to be honest it was like playing a game of Virtua Tennis or Grand Slam Tennis! Maybe they took some of the things they learned in the peculiar release of Rockstar Table Tennis, who knew they would bring out a table tennis game really!?

From what I have played I can honestly say I am pleasantly surprised at how well GTA V has turned out, I thought; due to the demand, set backs and sheer size of the bloody map, that this game was going to be riddled with bugs and glitches that will have to be sorted with numerous patches and updates! But no, I was met by a game that runs very well, has a damn decent storyline featuring characters that really do grow on you (even though you might not like it, I’m talking about you Trevor!)

As always a Grand Theft Auto game shouldn’t be played by kiddies but it will be in their little mitts eventually, but if any parents are reading this to see if it would be suitable for their young ‘un then let me put it like this….DON’T LET THEM NEAR THIS GAME!! I usually have a high tolerance to vulgarity, swearing and the likes but this game takes it to a whole new level, it doesn’t diminish the games rating at all but this should be left well away from the little kiddies that might want it! One scene in particular stands out for me when a character, is tasked at torturing an informant. Your job is to torture this guy to get info and the means of torture are just brutal. This was one mission I really did feel uneasy playing. So once again…DON’T LET THEM NEAR THIS GAME!!

I know this was a lot to take in but that’s the nature of GTA V, it’s a lot to take in but you have all the time in the world to explore and find all of the hidden activities and easter eggs that I’m sure are sprawled all over Los Santos! And this review was merely the single player, we still have the multiplayer to look forward to on October 1st. Which should add at least 2 stars or whatever the equivalent to the reviews!

Overall I think Rockstar have gone out of their way to provide the ultimate sandbox game with a truly immersive story and flawless controls. The story line is pretty epic when it comes to the variety of missions and isn’t afraid to drop the player into the deep end, one mission that will stick with my memory is when you use a tow truck to bring down a full house from a cliffside, just goes to show that there is no way to mess with Michael and think that you can get away with it. It is definitely a game that will have a long life and people will be finding new stuff to do in for years to come, and if that isn’t what people look for in a game nowadays then I don’t know what is!

9/10

Adam.

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