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Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games

Developed and published in 2013 by Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure game set in an open world. It was initially available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but today can also be played on Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4. The videogame is the first main entry in the franchise since 2008, with action taking place in Southern California in a fictional state that goes by the name of San Andreas and its metropolis Los Santos.

Key facts about Grand Theft Auto V

  • Grand Theft Auto V can be played from both first and third person view, with players navigating the surroundings in vehicles or on foot.
  • There are three main protagonists that players can control in the single player, each playing a central role in the storyline.
  • Grand Theft Auto V introduces the wanted system that influences the manner in which law enforcement reacts to the players’ actions.
  • The game has a competitive multiplayer mode as well as a co-op version, in which up to 30 players can explore the world together.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has the most spectacular heists and captivating missions of all the games in the franchise.

The Grand Theft Auto V games

The single player will take up most of the time of those who play Grand Theft Auto V and players can shift between the three characters. Michael De Santa, Frankie McClinton and Trevor Phillips play their part in the narrative and players assume their roles as they try to complete various missions. These can be completed by controlling a single character, two of them or the entire team and players can usually shift between them at will.

The Grand Theft Auto V games introduce some new concepts, as players can monitor the position of the other characters while controlling another protagonist. Whenever one of the members of the team is in danger players are notified and can act accordingly to prevent their untimely demise. The more complex missions will require players to use all three characters, as opposed to initial scenarios in which a single one can handle the task at hand.

Players are encouraged to use different tactics when tackling various challenges and each mission can be completed in different ways. The obvious solution is to go out guns blazing, but experienced players will appreciate the advantages of hacking computers and using stealth. Keeping accomplices alive will also result in cash rewards and these guys will be available for future missions.

What is Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is the latest installment in the successful franchise and the most successful action-adventure videogame of the series. Rockstar and its subsidiaries worked on developing the game and after it was initially published in 2013 it was expanded to additional platforms. Compared to the previous iterations, the game features a more complex gameplay and allows players to control three characters.

Gameplay of Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V took a steep departure from the gaming concepts that defined the previous games, while capturing the very essence of the franchise. Missions can be completed in both first-person and third person view and the huge maps allow players to travel around the open world at leisure. The San Andreas countryside and the city of Los Santos are large and can be explored without restrictions.

Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games
Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games

Most of the time is spent driving around from one objective to the other, but every now and then players need to leave the car and take a hands-on approach. Melee attacks are effective up close, but players can also use explosives and a broad selection of firearms to defeat opponents. In the first-person perspective, players can run, swim, jump and control various vehicles that were not available in previous Grand Theft Auto games.

When players come under fire and sustain damage, the health meter will drop, but hit points regenerate gradually until they hit 50%. Beyond this threshold, players need to pick up health packs or visit the hospital, the place where they also return when suffering catastrophic damage. Other criminals are generally responsible for harming the protagonist, but law enforcement agencies also respond to their actions. They get increasingly aggressive when the wanted meter hits high levels.

The heads-up display should be monitored carefully, because it indicates the wanted level and the corresponding measures taken by police and SWAT teams. The wanted meter is subject to a cooldown feature and if players spend enough time hidden from law enforcement, it drops to safe levels.

Plot of Grand Theft Auto V

The Grand Theft Auto V storyline picks up nine years after an attempted robbery in North Yankton, when Michael Townley hides in the city of Los Angeles. He benefits from witness protection and goes by the name of Michael De Santa, but his wife’s indiscretions cause him to come out of cover. Things turn from bad to worse when Mexican drug lord Martin Madrazo comes into play and Michael ends up a criminal to repay his debts.

Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games
Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games

Michael and Franklin team up to rob stores and with Trevor Phillips joining the team, they expand their scope and start making the big bucks. The plot of Grand Theft Auto V is further complicated by the personal life of the central characters and their personal grudges. In addition to rival street gangs, meth dealers and mercenaries, the protagonists also have to deal with the Federal Investigation Bureau who tries to bring their operation to a screeching halt.

Nothing seems to scare Michael and his crew and they don’t hesitate to infiltrate the FIB headquarters to erase compromising evidence. The climax of their criminal enterprise is the attempted raid of the Union Depository's gold bullion reserve, which is once again jeopardized by petty rivalries and the desire for revenge. The team succeeds but there’s a hefty price to pay, as in the final chapter of the single player campaign players need to make some difficult decisions.

Development of Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V was highly anticipated by the gaming community and that’s why development took so many years. Rockstar was also working on other major products such as Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption so the release of the action-adventure videogame was postponed. On the day of the official release, the stellar game soundtrack, the original footage and impressive gameplay was praised by the fans of the franchise as well as the critics.

The game was well received and emerged as the best selling entertainment product, with more than $800 million on the first day. These results surpassed the ones of some of the most anticipated games such as Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty, Call of Duty Ghosts, Tom Clancy's the Division or Dark Souls 2.

In the wake of the official release, Grand Theft Auto V was the subject of several updates aimed at fixing some issues identified by the fans. Its popularity was so great that developers decided to tweak it in such a way as to run smoothly on the seven generation consoles too.

Where can I download Grand Theft Auto V?

Rockstar still markets the game aggressively and the fans can purchase Grand Theft Auto V on their website, as well as the downloadable content. It is playable on the four most popular consoles as well as desktop computers powered by Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games
Screenshot of Grand Theft Auto V. © Rockstar Games

What are others saying about Grand Theft Auto V?

Numbers speak for themselves and with tens of millions of copies sold and billions of dollars made worldwide, Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most successful games of the decade. The critics were thrilled with the quality of the graphics, the convincing story line and the new features that make the gameplay truly spectacular. However, there were plenty who criticized the excessive violence. Many were unhappy with the manner in which women were depicted as well as certain missions.

Grand Theft Auto V tournaments

Grand Theft Auto V is played mostly in single player, but the cooperative missions as well as the multiplayer are quite enjoyable. While players can spend some quality time exploring the world in the company of their friends and peers, they can’t compete in Grand Theft Auto V tournaments. The challenge is to beat the game by completing missions and finding new ways of tackling challenges, rather than outshining fellow players.

My rating of Grand Theft Auto V

It’s been almost 2 decades since I first played Grand Theft Auto and I still have vivid memories of the maps, missions and dialogue. There were not many options back then, so I fell in love with the franchise and I’ve play all the games released ever since. I can honestly say that Grand Theft Auto V is by far the best, in terms of not only graphics but also innovative gameplay and gripping single player.

I don’t necessarily agree that Grand Theft Auto V is too violent, although some missions can seem to be over the top. At the end of the day everyone decides how he or she likes to play in the most important thing is that the game doesn’t limit your freedom. It kept me wired for many days and earned its 9.5 rating.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
9.5
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