Yep, let's challenge the hype.
You can correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect probably most of us played the game, beat it, and loved it, but after the story, there wasn't a big incentive to return. The multiplayer maybe, unless the bugs are scaring you away from it, but I mean the single-player game in general. Los Santos just isn't a place you want to return to. I mean, I return to it to cruise around, but only because there aren't any better open-world games out there.
It's against our instinct to criticize GTA V. I mean, 1000 people worked on it, it's probably the most expensive game ever made and there was just so much ambition and attention to detail put into it. GTA V tried it's hand at a lot of things, and did all of them well. But all of these diverse things just don't seem to connect together.
It's like mixing 40 different chemicals together. You may know their properties individually, but how will they react with each other. The game just feels in many ways inconsistent and unfocused. It feels like a result of teams working apart from each other on each of the game's individual aspects.
It takes pride in it's size, however Los Santos feels diluted and could've been just fine being a bit smaller but focused. The world tries to mix fantasy and realism together. It feels like a completely different game when you're vulnerable on foot than when you are near-invincible in a car. It's story wants to be a crime drama you can relate to, and an unbelievable Hangover-like comedy at the same time. It's satire attacks anything and everything, but with no sense of direction.
Game worlds need not be realistic, but they should be believable. Grand Theft Auto V doesn't feel like an actual world, even by the standards of fiction and fantasy. The whole game feels contrived just to provide the best entertainment experience on all levels, which it does, yet it lacks the immersion and togetherness that have made other games unforgettable.
Anyone else notice this?