Developer Rockstar North
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher Rockstar Games Director Dan Houser
Action/Adventure - 17 September 2013
Meeting Michael, Franklin, and Trevor
Next, we get to arguably the biggest change seen in GTA V: The use of three protagonists instead of the traditional one. This isn’t exactly a new innovation for games in general, but I have never seen it used in quite this way or this well, for that matter. The three main character’s are Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Each is playable, and each has his own distinct personality, motives, stats, and missions. An opening bank heist and betrayal introduces us to Michael, who is arguably the main character and most often the leader of the group.
The three characters are very easy to switch between. Merely press a button and choose who you want to play as. Michael is an ex bank robber, who gave up his old life when he entered into the witness protection program. From here, we meet Franklin, a young streetwise thug who aspires to something more than just stealing cars and dodging bullets. Franklin and Michael meet through a series of funny events. I don’t intend to give many plot details past the opening, because it’s just not as fun if you know what to expect.
Down the road the two men meet up with Trevor, the insane, violent, redneck psychopath. Trevor and Michael know each other from a their past lives, but where Michael got a big house and family, Trevor got drug dealing and gun running in a trailer park. There is a whole hell of a lot more story about bank robberies, blackmailing, government agencies, and all that good stuff. Once again I won’t give anything specific away, but I will say this is probably the most well-rounded story Rockstar has ever put together. Aside from a few select games like Heavy Rain or Telltale’s, I’d say it has one of the most movie-esque stories in game history. As always, the seriousness is interrupted by a dark sense of humor. Not to mention a keen eye for satire, and social commentaries.
Side missions and more
Like Red Dead Redemption, the main story is not the only draw. While driving along a road, someone might be getting mugged or might need a ride someplace. I found myself constantly getting side tracked by some random event, which would then lead to new contacts and missions. In addition, they also have mini games like golf, races, tennis, and shooting ranges. I have already played about 10 rounds of golf and they only have a single golf course. The main missions also offer an exceptional amount of variety. Everything from skydiving out of planes to the central missions of doing full-fledged heists.
These heists particularly are a center piece. You choose team members for different roles, each with different skill levels and fees. Plus these heists are put on a rating system so as to encourage replay. In fact, most of the game lends itself well to the concept of multiple play throughs. Since each character has their own set of missions to do, as well as group missions, you can choose to play through the game fairly fast, or you can play every single side mission on all three of the main character’s in one go. Any way you do it, GTA V offers a minimum of 40 hours just in story mode. If you are like me and do lots of other things as well, you are easily looking at 60, 80, or 100 hours on a play through. It’s really all up to you.
How memorable is GTA V?
It’s easy to say that Grand Theft Auto V is an amazing game. It’s also quite easy for me to recommend it for gamer’s of all levels. What makes this game so special however, is something much deeper than that. Grand Theft Auto V is sort of a summation of all the previous things games have tried to do since their inception. At the end of this generation, GTA V will be remembered as one of the top five games, no questions asked. Normally, when a game is this hyped up, people tend to look for any way to fault it. Or at least try to say it’s “overrated.” There are maybe a couple dozen games that are truly worthy of the hype and fanbase they garner. Games that are not only the best in terms of entertainment, but also the best in terms of storytelling, size, graphics, freedom, and capability. Grand Theft Auto V is a game that captures all of these elements and tries to push them even further.