BADGP Reviews: Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North, Rockstar)
Released: September 17, 2013
October 10, 2013
Zach Buzan & Alex Linna
Review: Jack-of-all-trades, Master of Fun?
Grand Theft Auto IV and V are two of the highest reviewed games of the generation. Enormous sandboxes for players to goof off in and do whatever they please. That might be all and good, but what do we think here at the BadGamingPodcast? Will we conform to everything us or provide more of a contrarian view? Continue reading to find out.
Freedom, Scope, & Density
There is a lot to do in GTAV. The recreation of Los Angeles means there are many buildings and many sidequest locations for the players to explore. The playground that is given to the player in GTA V is not only massive in scale but beautiful as well. I have never seen a sandbox game with so much density and scope. Whether it be in the desert or in the heart of Los Santos there is always something new to see or find. Even the water graphics rival great games like Uncharted. As I traveled the great landscape I often found myself distracted by the game’s beautiful lights, buildings, and weather. Another impressive feat that I found in the game was the facial expressions and body language of individuals. The game focuses on three main characters and each of them look, sound, and act completely different. The game is so focused on details that in one mission you can actually see a person you are supposed to save in the back seat of the car. The game could stop there and be okay but it goes and makes the character move around in the car and try to get your attention.
One of my favorite reasons for playing this game is the voice acting. Every character you meet in the game seems very unique and sounds believable. Out of all the actors though I believe Trevor brought something more than a little special to the table. With all of the serious characters in the game, it was refreshing to see someone who is hilarious and terrifying at the same time. Sound effects throughout the game are done really well. From firearms to the sounds of your car starting a pile up on the highway GTA V makes every sound believable.
Unlike any other Grand Theft Auto games GTA V has three main characters to play as. The game allows you switch between the three at any point by pressing down on the d-pad. In some missions this becomes valuable to flank enemies and to get advantage of the character’s unique abilities. The game lets you do this seamlessly, which makes the action fun and rewarding to pull off. Another improvement to the series is the driving. The driving in this game feels great because you do not feel like you are driving a box. The cars can go extremely fast and when you pull off some crazy stunts it feels really good. The shooting is very standard in this game. There is a lock-on function in the game that helps out in many tight situations. This auto-lock can makes the game really easy at times, but since you can die really fast it balances out in the end. With great driving and fun game play this is easily the best Grand Theft Auto game I have played.
A Great Script
When I reflect on my time with GTAV, I consistently am drawn back to how memorable the characters were. This is naturally attributed to the excellent writing. Each character has a set arch, and no one is where they began the game as far as personality and worldview are concerned. There is much commentary regarding the state of the video game and movie industries that is somewhat interesting. The story gets rather deep and heavy early in the game with the interactions between Michael and Franklin. The best part of the game for me was how refreshing honest and real Trevor was as a character. His authenticity was magnetic.
The area where this game hindered the most was its music choice. The music on all of the radio stations were so bad that I played most of the game with the radio turned off. The only time I actually enjoyed the music was when the game forced the music onto the player during missions and cut scenes.
Specific Mundane Missions
Sadly, some of the most memorable moments from the game are the ones that are the most boring. I remember mopping the floor in one of the worst sequences of the generation. I remember the crane-lifting mission while learning how boring it is to be a longshoreman. There are many great moments present within GTAV, but there are also many lows that the game reaches.
The cops are harder to lose in GTAV versus previous GTA games. We simply found it annoying.
Concluding on GTAV
GTAV is an undeniably impressive game. The highs are high. Those moments are enhanced by a strong cast with excellent writing and voice acting. You already know if you like Grand Theft Auto games, and GTAV will not do much to appeal to its adversaries. That being said, GTAV still provides an exceptional value proposition. There are numerous things to do and many ways to do them. GTA is the master of offering the player freedom, which inspires it popularity. GTAV continues this trend to much avail.
Zach: 8.8 out of 10 Alex: 8.7 out of 10