There are many ways to review a title such as GTA: You could talk about its story and explain the triumphs it may bring, or you could look at the details and the little things you love about its great expanse. A title of this quality doesn’t come around every year, which in my opinion is a good thing. There’s no denying the fact that here are Start Replay we love the game and therefore give it a 10/10, so if that’s what you were reading to hear, then there you go. 

For everyone else that actually wants to hear out thoughts, here they are…

 

Josh’s Thoughts 

Ever since a young age I’ve been fascinated with the GTA series, especially as my cousins would sit there playing the first 3D title on their PS2 and I had to stick to my N64 or PS1. A GTA title represents, in my opinion, not only an open-world game about shooting police and causing havoc, but an event in which anything and everyone is playing or talking about it. If you’re at school and aren’t playing it around the time of its release, then I’m afraid that there are going to be no conversations you’ll be able to take part in.

It’s for these reasons that I have so many fond memories of the series, not to mention the fact that if I did play the title, I was greatly under age. Which of course made the experience all the better, as it was something you knew you shouldn’t do, but would find a way to anyway. My most memorable title would probably have to be Vice City. Filled within a vibrant time period and coupled with a classic soundtrack (a particular way in which I grew fond of 80’s music), it remains one of the best entries in the series to date. Of course, though, a lot has moved on since then, but as I hardly spent much time in San Andreas, I grinned at the prospect of visiting a re-imagined Los Santos with Rockstar’s fully fledged current-gen outing.

Somehow, Rockstar have managed to do the impossible, yet again, surpassing the expectations of fans and critics, while moving the series forward into bold and new directions. Yes, in comparison to the very solitary experiences of prior titles – where you would only take control of one character at a time, the fifth entry introduces a three-way split. This has introduced a lot of variety, as well as interesting gameplay approaches. You effectively experience something totally different as you spend each time with one of the three characters. Of course most of you reading this piece already know the major differences between your characters; the typical redneck, stereotypical homeboy and rags to riches family man. If this were the first title that brought me into gaming, I’d pretty much be freaking out right now. But, of course, being a seasoned gamer has made me appreciate the changes, next to being gob smacked.

It’s also true what they say, in that during the end of a consoles life cycle, you really do get to see the best of the bunch in terms of its gaming catalogue. Developers have finally gotten to grips with the platforms’ architecture and know exactly how much they can stretch. Though there are limitations, it’s absurd to think GTA V is running on a PS3 that only has 512MB of RAM that’s split into two. Could you imagine your current console running games like this seven years ago? No. This fact alone makes the Next-Generation seem limitless from the offset, boasting a massive sixteen times the amount of RAM as seen on the PS3. You can forever keep talking about how your PC elitists have it best and that the specs never match expectations, but are you sure you’ll still be saying that a couple of years down the line? The only thing you need to bear in mind is that there’s now potential for anything. You think this game looks good after a seven-year life cycle? Think about how the sixth iteration on the next generation will operate. It’s not even worth thinking about at this stage.

Of course I want to leave this ‘review’ spoiler-free, but many of you already know that GTA V is a great game, and if you haven’t played it then what’s wrong with you? You think those kids and a wife will stop you? Think again. The game sets a new standard for the industry to strive towards. Every consumer will be left in awe and developers will know what’s expected of them. As standard I wouldn’t expect every title to be the scope of GTA, but neither should it be. It’s purely the fact that Rockstar have shown what the gaming industry is capable of creating, and sure, just like in any medium there is plenty of filler, but it’s the gems you have to look out for and Rockstar seem to have a bag of them.

If I were to give one piece of advice upon entering Los Santos, yes, it’s going to be overwhelming. Yes, just like previous entries, there’s a huge sprawling map for you to investigate and explore. But possibly the most genius aspect isn’t the scope, but rather the smaller details that will catch your attention. I definitely won’t list them, but rest assured that Los Santos, as a whole, is a living, breathing landscape that dives to the depths of the oceans and reaches to the highest peaks. Enter GTA V and take time off work, you’re about to lose a great portion of time. Much of which will be spent with virtual hookers, if you’re that way inclined. Oh, and did I mention an ambitious online multiplayer is included too?

 

 

Tom’s Thoughts

GTA V truly is a fantastic game. After five long years, gamers across the globe had their patience rewarded and boy was it worth the wait.

Personally I’ve never had much experience with any of the Grand Theft Auto games, purely down to the fact that I had an overly strict mother that wouldn’t dare buy me 18 rated games. The only GTA action I got was via my friends, as they seemingly had much cooler mums than me. That being said, I did manage to sneakily purchase “GTA: Vice City Stories” for the PSP at the time of release and played it to death. Years later I downloaded “GTA IV” on my PS3, but never got round to playing it in full, it became more of a time killer and to have a bit of fun online with Josh and Ben. So getting hold of GTA V and properly playing it is a first for me, but it was a great first.

The map is incredible, the characters suit the game amazingly and intertwine in a comical and weird way, the guns rock and the vehicles are just awesome! Everything about this game spouts fantastic fun juice, though when I look at the game I still only see a run and gun shooter with some sweet cars to drive in.

I love the idea of the heists but quite frankly I wish there were more. I know that you can set up your own heists online with your friends, which should in theory be much more fun, but Rockstar didn’t really grasp how many people would want to play online resulting in a sucky performance. I can’t knock the game too much. With something that couples countless random events, alongside a huge map and a ridiculous eye for detail, you kind of have to sit back and take it in.

All in all I love this game. There are parts that could be improved but Rockstar have done a good enough job in my eyes to warrant a badge of approval. Rockstar, keep it up!

GTA V Review
Showcasing the absolute pinnacle of gaming, Rockstar prove that regardless of the tech, they can still blow everybody away.
Positives
  • + Large, open and detailed map
  • + Three-way switch of characters is great
  • + Online has huge potential  
Negatives
  • - Despite the huge technical achievement, the Xbox 360 and PS3 are showing their age
100%"Masterpiece"

About The Author

Joshua Ball
Editor-in-Chief

Meet Josh. As the head of Start Replay his overall objective is to keep things moving. Alongside ensuring that content is made on a regular basis, Josh loves attending and organising the many press events and expos that crop up. His favourite video games consist of the Arkham series and Metal Gear Solid, but there’s always room for a bit of horror. Follow Josh’s sparse tweets on Twitter or, alternatively, be sure to catch him in the crowd of the next big gaming event.

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