Grand Theft Auto V: Making the Details Count

Though I'm not ready to give it a full review, Grand Theft Auto V has the makings of one of the greatest games of all-time.

Earlier tonight, I rode a mountain bike to the top of Mount Chiliad, and on my way up I accidentally bumped a tourist off a ledge and watched him tumble down the mountain side.

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So I quickly stole a vehicle and tried to get away as fast as I could, but the car ended up tumbling down the mountain. I finally came to a stop and escaped from my car just before it exploded.

Grand Theft Auto V is incredible.

Afterwards I ran over to “borrow” a motorcycle, drove across town, came across a blimp, hopped in, and spent about a half hour cruising the city at cloud level taking in the sights. As I made most of my way across the map I looked back and saw Mount Chiliad, where I had started this little adventure. It blew my mind what I was seeing. I’m looking at a spot in a game that is incredibly far off, but it’s actually possible for me to get there.

I can go anywhere and do anything I want to in this world. No one is forcing me to go one way or the other, I am not being spoon-fed a story or locked out of certain parts of the city. The world is mine, and I am making it what I want. 


This is the perfect game.

I won’t focus on some of the negatives that have been well documented so far, like the obvious issues about how women are treated or how different cultures are portrayed. I’m a little uncomfortable with some of those decisions, but I feel like I am able to separate this game from real life enough that I can just enjoy it for what it is: a sandbox. And I’m not talking a sandbox like we’ve come to know them in the past. This is a true sandbox, where you can go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone you want to be. 

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For example, I was out cruising around in a sweet convertible when I happened across the golf course. I decided to hop out and play a quick round. The golf is great fun, especially considering this is not a golf simulator. But what I had the most fun with was driving my golf cart around, hitting jumps, crashing into trees, bailing out just before driving into a pond, and pestering the locals.

I eventually finished my round, hopped back into my car, and within minutes was involved in a high-speed chase with helicopters on my tail (all because I accidentally bumped a police car). There has never been a game with so much variety, so many different things to do, and so many reasons to never leave the house. Grand Theft Auto V is the perfect swan song for this generation, and is a gameplay experience that sets the bar unfathomably high, even for the next generation.

I am not writing a review of this game yet, as I don’t feel I could possibly do it justice with the 10 or 11 hours I’ve spent in-game. I am sure there are countless things I have yet to do or see, and I want to let the game sink in before I give it a real score. I’m sure in the end I won’t be calling it perfect, as I truly don’t believe there can be such a thing, but so far my impressions of the game have me convinced there has never been a game that provided players with so much attention to detail.

It’s All in the Details

Whether it’s the rumble strips on the side of the highway, the fact that cars pull off to the side of the road when you are driving a police car with the sirens on, or the fact that the car radio stays on when you bail out while still in motion, this game is dripping with all the little details no other game developer ever thought of or had the ability to do. I’m not one to drive around in my car following the real rules of the road, but if you wanted to do that, this game is set up perfectly for you. With freeways, highways, on ramps, dirt roads, turn lanes, traffic signals, and pedestrians who get mad when you cut them off, this game has it all.

If you don’t have this game yet and you have the means to pick it up, I absolutely encourage you to do so. It is so much fun, and so freeing. There’s seemingly nothing you can’t do. Stay tuned for my full review when I feel like I’ve played enough to warrant it, but don’t wait until then to buy the game. Go get it. Today.

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Brian Armstrong
Proud gamer parent and freelance journalist (and fundraiser). I cover anything and everything that's interesting about the gaming industry, and even some stuff that isn't so interesting.