Grand Theft Auto V is not only one of the best games this year, it is also one of the best to come out this generation. Grand Theft Auto V tells the story of three protagonists Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Each protagonist feels different in their own right, and they have different sets of goals throughout the whole story. Before the game came out I was a bit skeptical on how Rockstar was going to tell this story, it seemed like they were just going to throw a bunch of heists into the game for you to do and that would be it. But thankfully I was wrong, the story is not only fun, but truly compelling. Michael, a retired bank robber is living in Los Santos, you follow him as he deals with his family Amanda, Jimmy and Tracy. He's trying to settle down and be a real family man, but in the world of Grand Theft Auto, you know that his crime filled urges come rushing back. Franklin, a young street hustler, dreams of getting out of the hood and making a bigger mark in the world. Franklins story arch is one that GTA fans will truly love, for me, I loved C.J. from San Andreas, and the fact that Rockstar had a protagonist that felt to me truly more humane and likable than C.J. did. Then there's Trevor, and Trevor's well...Trevor, he is the epitome of chaos. Rockstar knows that in previous games we would always cause chaos to the city. Well Trevor is just that except more. I found him to be quite unnerving at times, you would love him and you would also hate him. While the game has been criticized as being misogynistic, and I might not agree with GameSpots review, I find all they characters despicable in the game. Not one is redeemable, while they are charming and you grow to love playing them, they are terrible people regardless of sex.
With these three protagonist, you follow there stories as they entwine with each others. Without going into too many details about the story, I will just skip to the heists. Grand Theft Auto IV had a mission called "Three Leaf Clover," in which Niko Bellic and Packie McReary robbed a bank in which cops followed them through subway systems until they got away. Well if you liked that mission then you will love the heists in GTA V. Each heist is elaborate and you choose how you want to go about executing it, you can do the heist the smart way with less noise, or you can be loud and carefree. You can also hire crew members that will help out with the heists. There are about 5-6 heist I believe, while you might think that is a low number, this is easily overshadowed by how fun the heists are. Not only are the heists fun, but every mission is fun too, Unlike other GTA's where you would take a person to point A, wait for them then drive them back only to get $1000, GTA Vs missions are always fun and never feel strenuous, at least to me. Another thing that helps these heists are the dynamic score, first time introduced into the series, each piece feels more tense and adds to the tension. The music in general is great like all of the GTA soundtracks. Grand Theft Auto V also has activities such as racing-land/water, triathlons, 9-hole golf course, tennis, parachuting, flight school, hunting, the list goes on and on and its sure to keep you busy.
There have also have been tweaks in combat and driving. Rockstar have learned from their previous games and have used the best assets from their library to make essential the "best of Rockstar" experience for the play. Shooting feels more Max Payne like, which is good considering that game had good shooting mechanics. The driving feels less boat like compared to IV(which I really didn't have a problem with), it feels like Midnight club with more arcade style driving. Now on to my personal favorite part of the game, the map. Los Santos really does feel like a modern day L.A., especially at night, if you look at photos of L.A. you will see all those small street lights that blanket the skyscrapers of downtown L.A. In GTA V that same level of detail is evident in the design of the game. As you fly over head you can see all those little light's you can see the Vinewood sign, and the ridiculous draw distance that goes forever. The map truly is huge, there is also Blaine county with its huge mountains, deserts, and forests, as well as some other locations that I wont spoil. The level of detail in the game is phenomenal, I'll give you some examples. If you are driving without your lights on npc's will flash their lights to let you know. If you break a door window and walk on the shattered glass you can hear the 'crunch' underneath your feet. As you drive further away from the city toward Blaine County the radio becomes static. If you jack an npc's car they will most likely try to fight you instead of run away. With all of these details I kept asking myself how is this possible on current gen. There is also GTA Online, which some people already know is having a rocky start, I myself lost a level 25 character, but I was able to level up quickly, the online component is still in need of some tweak, but it still is fun nonetheless. With all of the games to come out this year as well as this generation, GTA V stands on top with the likes of Red Dead, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Bioshock, the list goes on and on. To me GTA V is a amazingly fun, and a real blast to play, and its sure to keep you busy for years to come. Back when I reviewed GTA IV five years ago, I stuck to my review, I still stick to it, GTA IV may not of had alot of sandbox activities San Andreas or for that matter GTA V has, but was a landmark in its time with the physics engine, and mature story. Grand Theft Auto V is a landmark as far as how far you can push eight year old hardware to its full potential, creating a believable world, a final swan song, as well as a sure masterpiece.