GTA 5: Pretty Good, Not Great

GTA 5 is a good game that I highly recommend. I like most of what they have done, but it could have been a better game if they cut out the annoying side characters and added more heists instead. Also whoever thought up making motorcycles, helicopters and planes hard to handle needs to die in a fire.
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Like many of you I ran out the morning of release (I didn’t go at midnight, because I live in a one-Starbucks town and there were like 500 people at our one gaming store… I’m getting too old for that kind of thing) and picked up GTA 5 for the PS3. I’ve played the hell out of it for the past week and finished the main storyline. I know there are some of you who haven’t snatched it up yet, so I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum.

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First Impressions:

Graphics are good, especially for an “aging” platform. Driving in cars is less frustrating than GTA 4 (just cars; I’ll get into this in more detail later). Add in Franklin’s ability to slow down time while driving and you will throw your controller much less than in GTA 4. Also, the addition of checkpoints during missions makes them easier to get through.

The character switching is an awesome touch, although I have a couple personal gripes with it. Heists are fun and I wish there were more of them. The story is interesting and if you get stuck on a mission you can just switch to another character and come back to it later. Although, switching to Trevor usually finds him passed out somewhere in his underwear with piles of bodies around him (not necessarily a bad thing, it makes me laugh every time).

Things I Like:

I like that they brought back the skills from San Andreas – for the most part. I like the mini-games, although I must confess to not playing tennis or golf. I like the hunting and skydiving too. I like Trevor… maybe like isn’t the right word. I prefer to play as Trevor unless I need to do crazy driving stunts or use bullet time. I like the character and car customization; tires that the cops can’t shoot out are awesome. I like that guns are easier to get and you don’t feel the need to use cheat codes every 5 seconds. I prefer sniping and it seems like you get to do that more in GTA 5. I also like the weapon variety. I like that the cops can “lose” you while you are getting away.

Things I Hate:

Flying a helicopter is like herding a drunk hippopotamus, that’s just bad

Motorcycles, planes and helicopters… Seriously, WTF Rockstar?

I understand there are driving and flying skills… but when they are maxed out and flying a helicopter is like herding a drunk hippopotamus, that’s just bad. Add to that the fact that several missions have you trying to keep this drunk hippo steady while you do other things (like picking up a mini-sub) and then landing on a tiny spot no bigger than your character. One of the first heists has you trying to get away on dirtbikes… that randomly veer off to smash you into things. And those things in the sky are not planes – they are guided missiles – that explode if you catch your wing on even a bush… So much rage. 

I also hate most of the supporting characters. Micheal’s wife and kids make me want to burn his house down with them locked inside. Franklin’s “friends” use the N-word every third word (I don’t care how you spell or pronounce it, it’s rude, cut it out) and on top of that are shady morons. The love interest is a delusional gold-digger. The FBI guys are extremely easy to hate and I can only tolerate Trevor’s friends in small doses. Lester is the only one of them I can stand.

Summary:

The things I like about this game far outweigh the things that bug me.

There is plenty to do and see. This is easily the best GTA game ever. That being said, while the vehicle handling and annoying side characters aren’t dealbreakers, they are fairly aggravating. I also felt like there should have been a couple more heists thrown in there and/or some kind of generic heist planning mini-game. We also have to wait for multiplayer. That makes the game feel like it’s missing a big chunk of gameplay.

I know most people (except people QQing about no PC release) are giving this game 10s, but I can’t give one to a game that feels like a puzzle with missing pieces.

8
GTA 5: Pretty Good, Not Great
GTA 5 is a good game that I highly recommend. I like most of what they have done, but it could have been a better game if they cut out the annoying side characters and added more heists instead. Also whoever thought up making motorcycles, helicopters and planes hard to handle needs to die in a fire.

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