Ring Side Report- Video Game Review of Grand Theft Auto 5

Video Game– Grant Theft Auto 5

Producer– Rockstar Games

Price– ~$50

TL;DR– Slight story issues, but a fun ride! 93%

 

Basics– Time to go back to the GTA universe again!  GTA5 is the newest game in the GTA series, and this one pulls out all the stops.  For the first time, players play as three different characters.  First players are introduced to Franklin, a black man trying to find success in a world against him.  Over the course of a repossession scheme, he meets Michael, a former bank robber who is living under the protection of the Federal Investigation Bureau.  Michael starts to mentor Franklin as Michael resents his retirement.  Together they piss off the local mob leading to Michael having to go back to his old bank robbing ways.  This tips off Trevor, Michael’s former bank robbing partner and all around sociopath, that Michael is alive.  Trevor begins to look for Michael causing all kinds of hell along the way.  Together these three are drawn into a web of the FIB, the agency, Chinese drug cartels, movie stars, and local hoods as they deal with success, money, and life.

 

Story- I wouldn’t call this game the story of the year, but it’s not just stupid shooting either.  The character have a life of their own are well executed.  Even Trevor, who kills someone in his opening cut scene, ends up somewhat likeable.  They all have their own, well-defined personalities.  You will have your favorite, but all of them are good additions to the story.  The story has some issues with purpose as the characters only motivation at some points is to deal with the world around them instead of their own goals.  I would put this more akin to Oceans 12 as it’s a heist story, but motivated by the villain instead of the characters.  Not bad, but not Oceans 11. 4/5

 

Mechanics and Play- Rockstar did an awesome job with this one.  It’s easy to get lost in the world.  There are several radio stations each with their own personalities.  There is a whole aspect of the stock market where characters can make millions.  Even the missions where its go to X and steal Y are not that boring as the missions have enough variety to make it interesting.  Speaking of missions, the game has bite size chunks of story in its missions, so if you just want to spend only an hour playing, you can!  Heck even the story is delivered via driving.  The game has cut scenes, but more often than not, two characters will drive through the country and talk.  You control the car, so it’s not a boring monolog between two characters.  It feels organic, and you feel involved.  In addition, you get to play in the air, on the land, and in the sea.  YOU GET TO SWIM! 5/5

 

Delivery and Execution- Again Rockstar hits a home run.  This game has so many small touches you will lose count.  Road sounds when you drift out of lane, the internet, the cell phones, the noises a car makes when you turn it off.  You feel like you’re in a different world.  Very little is left out when the crafted this world.  Heck, it’s even a multimedia experience as you can download a real app to your physical phone and train a dog!  The net result is the world and these characters feel like something you could be part of even after killing five people with a stolen car.  The newest part is heists.  In heists, you decide on two different ways to perform a robbery, choose the team, and then assemble the parts.  It’s a fun change from the go here, kill a guy/steal a thing, drive away formula.  I really enjoyed it! 5/5

 

Summary- I liked this one.  It might not be true love, but man is it fun.  I really enjoyed this game and its subtle world.  It’s got some deeper themes then you would expect from a game about killing people for money, but that’s part of its charm.  It’s a worthwhile way to spend your time even if it’s just to figure out how the stock market works! 93%

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