Available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Reviewed on Xbox 360.
There comes a time in every console gaming generation where we bid farewell to our last gen boxes, and wave goodbye to all the great games we played and all the wonderful experiences we had. And with each dwindling generation of gaming, there seems to be a title that transcends our current gaming expectations, and gives us a glimpse of what the future of gaming may hold. For this generation, that title is Grand Theft Auto V.
Normally, I have generally never been a huge fan of the Grand Theft Auto series. I, myself, have never found it in my nature to succeed in an open world gaming environment. I will, more or less, become sidetracked quite easily with the most mundane of tasks, leaving myself too physically and mentally exhausted to complete any trace of a main story line. I simply hit a wall when it comes to open world games, one that I have rarely been able to overcome. This is not the case with Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto V does an amazing job of bringing its players (which seems to be everyone on the planet) a massive amount of content, all delivered in such stunning detail and precision, that no matter how sidetracked you feel you may have become, everything works out in the end. Even completing tasks and events such as street racing, playing tennis, or completing side missions, Grand Theft Auto provides superb attention to detail through and through.
One of the more remarkable aspects of Grand Theft Auto V is the seamless integration between story modes, side missions, and remedial tasks. You can complete a story mission, go on a heist, compete in a drag race, play some sports, customize your car, pick out new clothes, switch characters and repeat, all while never really disconnecting from your immersed experience.
Switching between characters seems to be something that Rockstar Games has perfected. Never in a game has it been so easy, seamless, and natural to toggle between three main characters that all play their own part in a larger story. You can switch from completing a mission with Michael, to Trevor, finding him characteristically dangling a biker off a bridge, or getting kicked out of a strip club, providing you with that feeling that while you may not have been playing as Trevor for the past hour or so, he was absolutely still active within the GTA universe.
When attempting to critique this title, I found it hard to come up with any real negatives about GTA V. Other than the gripes about the questionable content for younger players, and the occasional clipping/bug issues, the game operates amazingly well considering the scale f the map, the amount of playable/explorable content, and diverse story line and gameplay mechanics.
Grand Theft Auto V is certainly a must play title during an unique transitional period of the console gaming generation. There simply has never been a title released to date that has had such ambition and near flawless execution. Other than the predicted Online feature that is currently plaguing the launch of one of the most popular online console games to date, Grand Theft Auto V has went off without a hitch. The game is truly a remarkable feat, and a testament to the full power of our current generation of gaming consoles.