sat 22/06/2024

Grand Theft Auto V | reviews, news & interviews

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

State-of-the-art gaming on an epic scale

'Grand Theft Auto V': See the world, meet interesting people, then kill them

If you think games are for kids, or not art, or beneath you – read on. Grand Theft Auto V, while flawed in many ways, proves you wrong. The latest in the controversial and 18-rated series has already broken first-day sales records for just about every artistic medium ever. Huge numbers of adults across the UK will be sitting down to play it tonight. Take that, Hollywood. Or, Vinewood, as the game would have it.

Vinewood as GTA V is set in Los Santos – a virtual replica of Los Angeles and its surroundings. Like its predecessors it's a "freeroaming" or "sandbox" game. There is a spine of plot-progressing action-oriented missions, but you choose when to take those on. The rest of the time you can do just about anything.

Grand Theft Auto V - action-adventure in Los Santos on an epic scaleIn a gigantic game world that takes in a huge, sprawling city, hick towns and mountainous backwoods, you can run amok, which is what the series is infamous for. Yes, you can run down pedestrians, shoot police and pick up strippers. But you can also go hiking, fly stunt planes or walk the dog. Wander onto a golf course and pick up a nine iron and you can bash someone's head in... or drive balls down the fairway. You decide.

In Grand Theft Auto V, that idea is taken further than ever before – there's a more realistic sense of space and place, aided by stunning visuals, and there are more distractions ‑ whether that's returning old ladies' handbags from pickpockets, illegal car races, or just listening to the strange things people say.

All the time, the game holds a dark mirror up to our current culture's obsessions and idiocies – gleefully stealing from sources such as Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, but also parodying modern reality TV, Facebook and smartphone-addicted kids and media bias.

At its core, the plot missions switch between three very different gangsters coming together and falling apart over a series of robberies. Each has their own arc, backstory, complexities. Yet even mid-mission you can often switch between them. Outside the missions it's even more fun – switching from Franklin's South Central ex-gang banger to Tony Soprano clone Michael, you might find him crying in his car watching his own house, switch to meth-lab-running hillbilly Trevor and you might find him surrounded by dead bodies on a beach in his Y-fronts.

Grand Theft Auto V - action-adventure in Los Santos on an epic scaleThe sheer epic sense of scale and freedom, combined with witty and often deft writing represents state-of-the-art gaming. And it's certainly good art... but, like many Hollywood movies, not great art.

While Grand Theft Auto's world is beautiful, too often the things you can do in it and the things the three main characters are forced to do to advance the plot are repetitively, unimaginatively violent. Women? They're a silicon-enhanced sideshow. Real, multi-layered character writing and ensemble casting? More back of a napkin. Plotting that takes on depth and thematic resonance? Nope – just easy target parody.

Grand Theft Auto V is stunning, epic, lavish. It's often laugh out loud funny, occasionally uncomfortable and even emotional at times. It's good art. But it's not an interactive The Wire (arguably, that's Heavy Rain). There's too little depth to it and too much of the obvious. As a signpost to the future of mainstream games, as a sprawling and compelling virtual world though, it's amazing. If you don't play it, you're missing out on a modern cultural phenomenon.

Wander onto a golf course and pick up a nine iron and you can bash someone's head in... or drive balls down the fairway. You decide


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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GT 5 is the beѕt one so far, I simply love this game, nіcely executed Rockstar!!

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