GTA V: More than just a game?

Grand Theft Auto V, probably the most anticipated game of 2013 has finally arrived. Fans have high expectations for this instalment, but is it living up to the unavoidable media attention it’s generating?

In a nutshell: YES!

Personally, I have played GTA games from the beginning, starting with GTA 1 on my Playstation 1, and since then I have owned every game in the GTA franchise, including GTA London, (which few people know about) which featured a memorable Austin Powers looking car, with a Great Britain paintjob and of course the unforgettable GTA San Andreas.

It is for this reason that this is almost more than a game to me and perhaps more than a game to the UK economy. If you didn’t already know, Rockstar, the games developers, are based in Edinburgh and it’s reported that the games budget was over £163 million, which is more than most Hollywood Blockbusters! However this enormous sum of money is countered by the estimate that GTA V is expected to turnover more than $1 billion in its first year. If this figure does turn out to be accurate, then the games developers Rockstar are a true testament to the UK’s game industry, which usually finds it incredibly hard to compete with its foreign counterparts who widely experience tax reliefs.

The game itself is set in Los Santos and is based around three characters named Michael, Franklin and Trevor. Throughout the game, these characters have their own separate missions to complete as well as experiencing a intertwining storyline with joint missions.  I don’t want to give away too much in terms of storyline because it’s truly a magnificent experience, but expect the usual genius that Rockstar has delivered throughout its history along with many extras!

As of writing this article I am around 50% through completing the game and felt compelled to write this article to persuade people to give the game a chance. My favourite game throughout my lifetime  has to be GTA San Andreas, which forced me to take many sick days off school to play. Coincidently, my second favourite game was The Last Of Us, which was also released in 2013. I give both of these games a rating of over 9 out of 10 and GTA V will be the third game I’ve ever played that in my opinion, sits in this category.

I only have positives to mention about GTA V so far. So without making the list too long…

The game is extremely fun throughout and doesn’t grow boring, even if you play it for hours straight. The players being interchangeable at any point works smoothly and allows a whole new dynamic to be experienced. The characters each have special abilities, which cause you to think and plan which character would be best for certain situations. The storyline is intelligent and missions can be customised to the preference of the player. The AI is flawless and has never ruined the realism of the game play. The game has a real economic touch, allowing you to spend money as fast as you can make it, even allowing you to purchase stocks through your Smartphone (isn’t capitalism beautiful!)  Finally, the level of detail and extras that exist throughout the game are amazing. This includes beautiful graphics, landscapes, weapon selection system, vehicle modifications, mini games, skydiving, tennis, golf, bounties… and the list really does go on!

Rockstar have done it again, the company that once paid a PR agency to give its games negative media attention has created an epic masterpiece of a game that will withstand the toughest critics. My gut feeling tells me that the game can only get better, and with the release of online game play in October, it might just be the best £35 I’ve ever spent.

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