Grand Theft Auto V: Little Changes Make a Huge Difference

Rockstar Games has made a lot of little tweaks to gameplay mechanics and it pays off in a big way.

Grand Theft Auto 5 has finally been released to the public and has received critical acclaim from many organizations.  Metacritic has given Grand Theft Auto V a score of 98 out of 100 on the Xbox 360, which puts it in an elite group of games.  For a little perspective, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was given a 99 out of 100, and that game remains a classic Nintendo title.

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However, on that same note, Grand Theft Auto IV received the same score back when it released in 2008, so what does that mean for Grand Theft Auto V

From what I have played in the Story Mode, the characters and the storyline are both engaging and sometimes ridiculous, so there is some similarity to Grand Theft Auto IV in that department.  To complement that, the world of Los Santos gives the player much to explore like in Liberty City, so Rockstar Games has done a good job of sticking to their strengths.

On the other hand, the cars in Grand Theft Auto IV controlled like a “bathtub on wheels” with their clunky steering and their twitchy nature at high speeds.    Thankfully, Rockstar Games has tweaked the driving mechanic so that players feel much more in control of their cars in Grand Theft Auto V.  Cars feel more planted to the ground and driving at high-speed no longer feels like you could lose control at any second.  The driving mechanics would not suffice for a Need for Speed or a Forza Motorsports game, but is a huge improvement over the driving in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Another area that Grand Theft Auto V has improved over its predecessor is the entire gun-play experience.  In Grand Theft Auto IV, players had to cycle through all their weapons to select the one they wanted, and that was a bit tedious when you had other people shooting at you.  Rockstar Games has set to eliminate this by having a comprehensive menu that allows players to choose their gun much more quickly, and the menu also slows down the game so that players have time to pick the right gun.

Having played both games, I can honestly say that the Weapon Wheel employed in Grand Theft Auto V is a huge improvement.  Each gun is part of a class and each class has its own slot on the menu.  In addition to that, players can now carry more than one of each weapon-type, and can easily be switched to within that weapon’s class.  No more awkward fumbling through all your acquired weapons!

Having only played about six hours worth of Grand Theft Auto V, this list of improvements is far from being complete, but these two particular areas have been greatly improved. While the changes seem small when looking at the entire game, these two small improvements have made Grand Theft Auto V much more enjoyable to play.

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Public Relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Fan of all types of video games, old and new.