GTA 5 PC VERSION: GAME FULL REVIEW
These times when I look at Los Santos and think ‘why would you even think to build that?’ This is, appropriately, a thought that I often have about Los Angeles. In GTA 5’s case, The tone is different: baffled wonderment as opposed to baffled, know, despair. The Rockstar is created as one of the most extraordinary game environments you will ever visit. This look at it and I wonder at the vast expense of effort required to render every trash bag in every back alley just so. The marvel at these care evident in San Andreas’ gorgeous sunsets, in the way that sunglasses subtly alter the colour balance of the world, in the artfully-chosen selection of licensed music designed to accompany your experience. In Everything about Los Santos demonstrates the extraordinary amount of thought and love poured into it by hundreds of developers over many years. These abiding irony of Grand Theft Auto 5 is that everybody who actually lives in Los Santos hates it there.
Most beautiful, in expansive & generous GTA game and also, by some distance, the nastiest and most nihilistic. The Rockstar went through a phase, in Bully, Grand Theft Auto IV and the sadly console-bound Red Dead Redemption, of framing their protagonists as anti-heroes. GTA 4’s Niko Bellic did some terrible things, but he had a downtrodden charm that helped you like him as you piloted him through the underworld. This was surrounded by people who were larger-than-life but ultimately, beneath the surface, people. In The among those people were some of Rockstar’s better female characters—Kate McReary, Mallorie Bardas, These Lost and Damned’s Ash Butler.
Grand Theft Auto 5 does in away with all of that, deliberately but to its detriment. This trio of protagonists occupy a city full of vapid, two-dimensional caricatures, and they flirt with that boundary themselves. Michael is a middle-aged former bank robber, unhappily married and on the edge of a breakdown. The Franklin is a young hood, purportedly principled but willing to do almost anything for money. This Trevor is a desert-dwelling, meth-dealing psychopath with a homebrew morality that sits uneasily alongside his capacity for violent cruelty and sexual aggression. The campaign explores their relationship through a series of heists and misadventures as they clash with every L.A. stereotype you might imagine in the bored Beverly Hills housewife, the corrupt fed, the bottom-rung fraudster, the smug technology exec, and so on.
In Against this backdrop, it’s only Michael, Franklin and Trevor that appear to have any kind of internal life. I get the impression that this is deliberate, part of the game’s relentless skewering of southern California and indicative of Rockstar’s waning interest in romantic anti-heroes. Trevor’s introduction, in particular, amounts to a particularly explicit ‘fuck you’ to the characters and themes of Grand Theft Auto IV. The GTA 5 is heartless in that way, and as a result I found the narrative difficult to care about. It is ambitious, well-performed, and the production values are extraordinary—but it is also derivative and brutishly adolescent, set in a world where the line between criminality and the rule of law is blurry but where it is always hilarious that somebody might be gay.
The R-rated episode of These A-Team where the ‘A’ stands for ‘asshole’. These campaign’s best moments come when in your cigar-chomping master strategist, insane former military pilot & talented driver to come together, & when you are given in the power to choose how to use each of them. They heists are set-piece missions where you pick an approach and perform set-up tasks in the open world before setting out on the job itself. In the best of them, which occur later in the campaign, it really does evoke the satisfaction of having a plan come together. The Perhaps you position Trevor on the high-ground with the rocket launcher, Michael on foot with a stealth approach, and Franklin in an armoured ram-raider. This button press you can flick between the three, dynamically orchestrating a crime caper on your own terms.
Also in these moments that Rockstar’s most ambitious storytelling takes place. Its Your choice of character, crew, and even certain in-game actions have subtle effects on the dialogue. In an early heist, a crewmember dropped part of the score but, as Franklin, This was able to retrieve it—a side-objective that I’d set for myself but that was subsequently reflected in a later conversation between him and Michael. The is another example of Rockstar is extraordinary attention to the detail, & if the rest of the campaign respected your agency in this way it might overcome its weaker moments.
This is a very long game in with a lot of filler. These is much driving from A to B, a lot of conversations in cars a lot of gunfights in with hordes of goons who show up just to run into your gunsights over and over. The far richer in set-piece in moments in than its predecessor—drug trips, aerial heists, dramatic chases many of these look incredible even if they’re light on actual interaction. In the best examples, you soak in the atmosphere & happily ignore the fact that you’re only really being asked to follow the on-screen instructions. The worst examples—insta-fail stealth sequences, sniper missions and so on harder to ignore the shackles that are placed on the player in order to preserve the game’s cinematic look and feel.
This spent a lot of my time with the campaign frustrated along these lines, bored of the same mission templates that I’ve been playing through since GTA III and making the most of the scant opportunities to play my own way, like Franklin’s refreshingly open assassination missions. Then, inevitably, I’d be doing one of those rote activities in a heavily scripted freeway chase, perhaps when the magic of that extraordinary world would creep up on me again. I did not hit me: I’m doing 150 km/h along the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset. These rock station is playing 30 Days In The Hole by Humble Pie. This feels incredible, a collision of pop-culture, atmosphere, music and play that is unique to GTA.
These kicker: that forty-plus hour campaign with all of its flaws amounts to an optional fraction of the vast overall package. This Step off the main trail and you’ll find fully-functional golf, tennis, races even a stock market. You will find cinemas showing funny short films and fully-programmed TV stations. Its will find armoured trucks to rob, secrets to find, muggers to help or hinder, cults to encounter, vehicles to customise and collect. This is what it looks like when one of gaming’s most profitable enterprises reinvests that profit into the game itself. Rockstar have, quite literally, gone above and beyond the Call of Duty.
These amount of work invested into the first-person mode is further evidence of this. It’s not just a novelty alternative: GTA 5 is a fully-playable FPS, complete with detailed animations for everything from gunplay to getting out your phone. This achieves as a similar sense of physical presence to Alien: Isolation, but in a vast open world.The Steal an open-top car and go for a cruise in first person, steal a plane, or just go for a walk at night in the rain: there has never been an open-world game that offers this great a variety of atmospheric experiences at this level of detail. Hell, few games of any type have managed it. These only downside is that it’s much more difficult to play, and that falling off a bike is so well-realised that it feels like really falling off a bike—people who get motion-sick in first person may suffer.
GTA 5 was also a cinematography tool? Unique to the PC version, Director Mode allows you to explore the open world as any character you want, in whatever circumstances you want, and then record, cut & remix those experiences into short films using a deep and accessible toolkit. As crude and exclusionary as the out-of-the-box campaign can be, the option to take this world and make something else out of it is always there, available whether you’re knee-deep in the narrative or cruising south Los Santos with a dozen friends.
GTA 5 is also an ambitious online game, a sandbox for deathmatch, racing and inventive co-op with MMO-lite progression is features set in a world that is an order of magnitude more detailed than any of its contemporaries. These traditional multiplayer options alone amount to a feature-complete additional game. Its can build your own tracks for races or use one of Rockstar’s own, & configure GTA 5 your lobbies to account for different times of day, vehicle sets, weapon options—even radio stations. I’ve raced sportscars through the financial district, jetplanes through a windfarm, bicycles down through the hills below the Vinewood sign. There’s also an attack-and-defend siege mode, regular deathmatch, and a hide-and-seek scenario that pits on-foot fugitives against hunters with sawn-off shotguns on motorcycles.