The “Grandest” of them all

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: GRAND THEFT AUTO V

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

“Grand Theft Auto V” may be one of the best third-person shooters ever

By Zain Abouraia, Staff Writer

The latest entry in the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto series is truly a masterpiece and surely the crowning jewel of the developer, Rockstar North.

GTA V is the single greatest third-person shooter ever made. Once consumers pop this game into their consoles, they can say goodbye to their significant others for at least 30 hours.

The story is better than most movies made in the past 15 years, and that conclusion can be drawn after only the first 15 minutes of game time.

The environment is eerily similar to real-life Los Angeles to the point where players will recognize places, like the Santa Monica Pier and the Salton Sea, certain types of people, such as gangsters, bikers and typical vapid corporate Tinsel Town types, and the story is set against the player’s choice of a slew of radio stations, varying from classic rock with songs from artists such as Bob Seeger to current pop stations with tracks from Rihanna.

In classic Rockstar North fashion, the video game company’s latest offering is done with the hilarious surrealism, compelling drama and hysterical humor it has become known for, with an abundance of everything people associate with the game, including cars, guns and unforgettable moments, such as when players drive through the plate glass window of a luxury car dealership at gunpoint while listening to Kendrick Lamar on the radio.

GTA V has the best story ever written for a video game; a deep and engrossing tale with three main characters, all of whom are controlled by the player, often in the same mission.

Cinematic moments are constant, heightening the overall experience to a level never seen or played before. If stealing an Audi RS8 and racing it down the street at top speed listening to Too $hort on the radio is not the pinnacle of fun, then nothing is.

The game play is phenomenal with fine-tuned controls that are tight and responsive. Shooting and driving feel so good that when gamers die, they will know it is entirely their fault. There are variable aiming modes and aiming speed options. There are 15 different guns, most of which can be fully customized with extended clips, suppressors, flashlights and the like. The cars handle amazingly. Every car handles and performs so differently and so obviously that it adds another layer of realism to the entire experience. All cars are modifiable; players can add body kits, change the paint job, add a bigger engine, better brakes, new transmission—everything except nitrous.  

There are so many things to do at any given time: story missions, side-missions that are never derivative, activities that are designed to be stand-alone games and unique dynamic events that occur randomly wherever the player might be at any given moment, such as walking into a clothing store being robbed and deciding whether to stop the perpetrator. All of the options can be overwhelming. None of this makes GTA V the best third-person shooter ever made, however; the details do.

The hilarious commercials, such as the “Ego Chaser” energy bar, NPC dialog and the abundance of unique sounds, objects and experiences make the suspension of disbelief a non-event. It might be the best game made yet. 

Your thoughts?