It took just 72 hours for Grand Theft Auto V to make more than $1 billion, recouping its massive development cost many times over and making it the fastest selling console game ever. You’re probably already playing it, enjoying the expansive world and occasional hooker killing. Which makes a review somewhat irrelevant, but let’s proceed anyway.
There’s no denying, Grand Theft Auto V is a wondrous technical achievement. The screaming of the PlayStation 3’s fans is testament to that. The system’s agony is being put to good use though, rendering the city of Los Santos and the surrounding area of San Andreas with an incredible level of fidelity that ensures this generation of consoles go out with a bang (quite possibly literally).
The game’s world is awesome in scale, packed with virtual life, breathtaking scenery and so much room for activities. San Andreas really is the star of the show. It could quite rightly be called Impressively Big City and Surrounding State Area Simulator 2013, although that might hinder the marketing efforts somewhat.
In pure gameplay terms, not much has really changed since Grand Theft Auto 3 more than a decade ago. You still play as a streetwise thug (this time with three to choose from – ex-con Michael, aspiring criminal Franklin and disturbing psychopath Trevor), stealing cars (the clue’s in the title) and shooting people. It’s all a bit more refined nowadays, with the impressive character animation and voice acting bringing the proceedings closer to those of a Tarantino movie than ever before, but essentially you’ll still spend most of your time running over pedestrians and shooting gangsters/hookers.
Whilst the main storyline – revolving around the characters pulling off a series of heists – isn’t particularly enthralling, it does make for some entertaining scenes and interesting missions. Michael, Franklin and Trevor aren’t particularly deep or likeable – in fact Trevor is repellent – but the ability to switch between characters at any point provides a refreshing change of perspective. Each character has their own skillset and special abilities, such as Michael’s “bullet time” shooting or Franklin’s slow motion driving. Switching between characters at key points during missions also means each one is action-packed, allowing you to take control of a character during the most exciting moments.