Staffer reviews Grand Theft Auto 5

David Green, Reporter

This action-packed game starts off with boots on the ground. It begins with a seemingly successful bank robbery involving two of the three main characters, Michael and Trevor. Just as the protagonists are reveling in their good fortune, they realize their getaway helicopter isn’t there! This confusion leads to a dramatic scene of gripping violence, and sets the pace for the thrilling storyline of Grand Theft Auto 5.

A common theme within the Grand Theft Auto franchise is a farce satirizing certain aspects of American culture. In GTA 4, the farce focused on “the American dream” and what it actually meant. The central travesty for this game, however, is how day-to-day American life is viewed by different people. Whether it was collecting cars, playing sports, hunting, or just relaxing next to the pool, GTA 5 has been the most realistic game I have played, from simple probabilities to actual physics.

One of my favorite things about this new addition to the series is that everything has its own properties. Let’s choose cars for example. In GTA 4 the only difference was the speed, but in GTA 5 it’s the speed, the handling, the turn radius, how much damage it can take, and how the vehicles appeal to non-player characters. All of the factors can be changed in the very detailed auto shop. You can customize any vehicle with many items such as limo tinted windows, bullet proof tires, the height of the car, and of course, any modifications that enhance your vehicle’s performance.

Another great aspect to GTA 5 is the well developed characters. There are three main protagonists and each has their own special abilities.  Franklin, the driver of the group, starts off in the game in the lower income part of Los Santos. He tries his best to do the right thing and lead a better life. His special ability is to slow down time while he is driving to weave around cars and evade pursuers. Michael, the heist planner, is an upperclass man who lives in a nice house and has a nice car, but it’s just not good enough. Michael’s special ability is that he can slow down time when he is in a fight to make precise shots. Trevor, the pilot and crazed gunman of the group, has a bit of a temper. He lives out in the country part of Los Santos, where he does his illegal selling of things…. and lives life on the wild side. Trevor’s special ability allows him to take more damage and give it right back to his enemies.

Grand Theft Auto 5’s multiplayer, called Grand Theft Auto Online, has huge potential on extending the game’s length. Linked to the RockStar social club, you can create groups and setup your friends as a chain of command. You are also able to drive and do missions with your friends to earn extra experience points. You earn money for doing these jobs which you can spend on your car, a house or a garage. Your car has the same customizations as single player, except you are able to add auto insurance to your car. Auto insurance helps you get a new car, for a certain claim, in case it is stolen by another player or destroyed. Unfortunately, due to a large quantity of people playing it at once, it is nearly impossible to play with your friends in the same game. This will hopefully be fixed in a later update.

The whole game kept me on the edge of my seat. It was wonderful, like a playable movie with different outcomes. At first I thought I was going to stick with one character and leave the others behind, but I was so motivated by each of their stories that I couldn’t pick a definite favorite. Everyone you meet becomes important. I don’t think I have ever laughed out loud and felt sad several times in a game. The handling felt familiar as it was exactly like GTA 4, but the driving was a lot smoother than it’s predecessor. What a great game to finish up this generation of consoles.

Grand Theft Auto Five is rated M. This game includes blood and gore, intense violence, mature humor, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, and use of drugs and alcohol. You must be 17 to legally purchase this game. Viewer discretion is advised.