Grand Theft Auto V - So Fun It Should Be Illegal
Grand Theft Auto 5 is the latest release of Rockstar's most well known franchise. Instead of focusing on a single character for the entire story, there are 3 playable characters you can switch between at any given time, even in the middle of a high octane gun fight. Each character has things they excel at more so than the others, but with enough practice, they can all be balanced out pretty well as you increase your stats. This game probably has the largest map to date in a Grand Theft Auto title, and the most things to do as well. The depth of this game is literally epic, and I mean that by the true definition of the word. I really can't praise this game enough, as it took every thing the franchise stood for, and improved upon it in every possible way. It even features a fun multi-player mode, where you can pull heists / missions with other users online, or just go around blowing things, or other users not currently participating in a mission / heist, to pieces. Ok, that's enough rambling for now. On to the review!
Graphics 9 / 10 -- Every thing in the game looks fantastic, especially considering just how much content is packed in to it. I'm actually amazed every thing looked as good as it does considering the level of depth involved. All of the characters look realistic, down to their facial expressions. All of the many customization options available for each character have an incredible amount of detail, down to each individual tattoo or hair cut they can get. Even the wrinkles of every possible outfit look great, as well as the glimmer of their worn jewelry, or "bling" if you will. All of the characters involved in the story, no matter how small their part, also have the same level of detail put in to them. Even the random people who litter the streets look pretty darn good for the insignificant cannon fodder they'll probably end up turning in to. The environments are all rendered beautifully, my favorite thing being how the sun glistens in the back ground of the screen over the ocean. Every thing from the buildings in the city, to the mountainous or woods-like landscapes look fantastic. Every thing from the window panes to each leaf on a tree look amazing, especially for a game of the franchise. One of the best looking things in the game is many cars and other vehicles you can use, as they all look exactly like they would in real life. Some of the cars in the game look so good I was actually a little jealous I couldn't have one for real. All of the effects in the game are on the same level. Be it the frequent explosions, the blur of a helicopters blades spinning, or the "draft" of wind from sky-diving, shooting bullets, or racing extremely fast in a vehicle such as a car or jet all look extremely accurate and spot on. The visuals of the game are phenomenal over all.
Sound 10 / 10 -- This game's audio is pretty much perfect in every way. The sound track the game features is massive, and every song can be heard from radio stations in pretty much most vehicles available to you. The game features about 20 or so different radio stations, each with a ton of songs for it's specific genre or sub-genre of music. No matter what taste in music you have, from hard rock, to smooth jazz, or even rap, this game has it all and more. All of the quality of the music is amazing as well. All of the voice acting is phenomenal. Every character has the perfect voice behind them, and every voice actor does an amazing job with their role. Not only do the 3 main characters sound exactly how you think they would / should, but every detail down to the level of emotion put into every single sentence is spot on for what the games story is currently presenting. This applies to not only the main cast, but even a random passerby on the street making a comment to your character for some thing as simple as bumping into them. I really can't praise the voice acting enough for this game, or do it justice with my poor writing skills. All of the sound effects are about what you would expect, though they are all accurate. It should be noted that the sheer quantity of them in the game is absurd, though it makes sense with the large amount of different things you can do. Every effect from using a deer call to peddling on a bike sounds exactly how it should, which is impressive considering just how many they crammed into the game over all. One of my favorite effects is the sound of a plane's / jet's engine when it has the Doppler effect taking place after jumping out of it to sky-dive, not to mention the "whir" of the wind while free-falling.
Addictiveness 8 / 10 -- This game has a little bit of every thing, so most gamers can find some thing to love here. Of course if you enjoy the signature play style that the franchise is known for, you will love this title immensely. Sadly, the game doesn't really offer any thing in terms of actual replay value, but it is definitely a game I would think most would come back to play again at least more than once, albeit not consecutive times simply because of how long it takes to complete. The combat of the game has the same formula from previous titles, offering third person shooter game play with the ability to take and fire from cover. The mechanics for shooting while driving have been improved, and even offer some customization options. The game has tons of other things you can do, be it for missions or just "side quests," like sky-diving into a predetermined target, bike racing, triathlons, deer hunting, street racing, boat racing, smuggling missions ( by car or plane ), and so much more. Like I said, no matter what kind of game you like to play, it's almost certainly included here to some extent. The actual heists are one of the most fun things I've ever done in a game, and I love how you must complete missions to obtain all the necessary tools ( like stealing an armored truck, or obtaining scuba gear from some where ) to be able to under take the heist in the first place. You even have the option of choosing between 2 different ways of going about each heist, generally differing between a "kick in the front door" or "sneak in and out through the back" approach, though explaining it that way doesn't hardly cover how intricate the plans end up being. If nothing else, all of the different "mini-games" through out the game are a pretty good incentive for coming back, if not how fun the core game is in it self.
Story 9 / 10 -- The story in this game, in my personal opinion, is really good, and by far the best of the franchise. This was the first time any game in the Grand Theft Auto series has ever really pulled me in as far as the story goes, and made desperate to know how things played out. One of the best aspects of the story is the fact the game follows 3 different characters instead of one, but their stories also constantly intertwine along the way. Two of the three characters also have a long history together which doesn't exactly involve them being on the best of terms. This leads to a lot of friction between them, and some of the most hilarious back-and-forth banter I've ever heard in a video game lol. The three main characters are a young guy who grew up in the ghetto of the city, doing mostly petty crimes just trying to get by ( think stereotypical african-american male youth from the hood. no offense, just saying that's how they depicted him ), a retired bank robber who lives the good life excluding the constant issues in his home-life, and a life-long criminal who's about as redneck as they come and just as bat-s*** crazy to boot. The story starts off small, with only minor ( well, minor in the grand scheme of things lol ) crimes being committed among the characters, each just trying to get by in life for one reason or another. The more crimes they complete, the deeper a hole they are digging for themselves, meaning they have to do more and more under-handed activities to try and get back out of it. Obviously this only leads to more problems, and the cycle continues. All hope is not lost though, as 3 criminals who could be considered the best in the under-world may just have a way of thwarting the world's plans to see them fail, I love how much detail went in to every character's back story, and the way they develop as the game progresses. Even a hardened criminal can learn life lessons, believe it or not. The random people you meet from each character's past even bring up stories about what they used to do together, or how they affected each other's lives, which adds another level of depth and realism to the cast.
Depth 10 / 10 -- As I said before, the amount of content packed in to this game is unbelievable. In the main story alone, there is probably 50 + missions to complete at least, and that's not counting the other 100 + missions available to complete on the side. I would say the core story line has at least 40 + hours of game play to it, if not plenty more. Even beyond that, there are dozens of miscellaneous "side quests" that can be done which involve taking pilot lessons at the air-port, sky-diving into designated targets, bike / car / boat racing, smuggling missions, stealing cars to deliver ( and keeping them in good condition ), and so much more I can't even remember it all. You could spend just as much time completing these side quests as you could on the core game, or even more if it's to your liking. My favorite of these would have to be the ones where you must ride a bicycle down a mountain as quickly as possible, hitting certain check points as you go, competing for the best time. I couldn't even count how many times I ended up playing through that one section alone, let alone all the other mini-games offered. The game's map is massive, and driving with one of the fastest cars in the game, to go from one end to other at top speed would probably take 10 - 15 minutes going in a straight line with no obstacles. The inner-city is packed to the brim with stores of all kinds like clothes, tattoos, barber shops, Ammu-Nations ( gun / armor / gear shop ), and even restaurants to eat food from ( which restores health, or even makes you fat if done too much ). The best part about how much depth this game has is the fact that it can all be explored completely at your choosing of when to do so, having a complete "open-world" feel to it. As long as you've unlocked the missions, any of them can be done at any time you choose, and the world is truly your sand box to play in. I know people who can spend hours simply running around blowing things up, running from the police, or just driving / flying a plane only to jump out mid-flight to plummet into the earth intentionally avoiding deploying their parachute. And they enjoy doing all this for hours on end, never accomplishing any thing, and have a blast doing it. Each character also has stats for things like Endurance, Aiming, Driving, Piloting, Stealth, and a handful more that can all be improved with use. They are all proficient in their own areas in the beginning, but with enough time invested to practice, they can all be extremely well rounded in every category as well.
Difficulty 8 / 10 -- Now, it should be noted that my score here is a general score for every thing, not only the combat of the game. If any thing, the combat of the game is generally one of the easier aspects to progressing. The difficulty of the game lies in all the other tasks you must complete, such as getting a car from point A to point B in a time limit, while also making sure the car sustains a minimum amount of damage. The tasks like this can be extremely challenging from time to time, and may really test your patience depending how proficient you are at what ever it is being required of you. Granted, there's nothing in the game ( that's mandatory ) that should be so difficult your average player can't get through it with some practice, but there are some events that come close. For one mission, you must use a computer program to hack in to a computer, which is done by playing a mini-game on the computer screen. This game can be extremely difficult until you get the hang of it, since each successful puzzle you solve only raises the progress bar slightly, on top of the fact every so often you are forced to switch to another character to fend off hordes of enemies trying to stop you from succeeding. The main heists of the game can be pretty difficult, which makes sense considering they are the high light of the main story, but there are ways to make it a little easier on your self. For each heist, you can choose your own crew to hire to pull it off. Each option has different levels of skill for what position they are being hired for ( such as a get-away driver ), and hiring a more efficient crew member, some of which can be unlocked by completing certain optional missions, means they will take more of the burden off of you during the heist. The more skilled the crew member, the higher percentage of the take they will want, so it's entirely up to you to decide if you want more money, or an easier time getting away with the crime ( in one case, you actually lose half the money you stole if a certain crew member isn't up to snuff, so be careful with your choices ). Over all I would say the game provides the perfect balance of difficulty, while retaining a good level of accessibility to new players.
Overall 9.5 / 10 -- This game is a master piece, and Rockstar really capitalized on every thing this franchise is known for. Every thing this game tried to do, it did extremely well. I highly recommend this game to any one who hasn't played it yet, and unless you hate all things Grand Theft Auto ( can't imagine why any one would lol ), you will not be disappointed.
Hope you enjoyed the review :)