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Gabe's Corner: First impressions of GTA V


How the day began

On Tuesday morning there were a lot of anxious gamers awaiting the opening of game stores across the country, or for deliveries to be made. The reason is of course the release of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V). This was another highly anticipated title from Rockstar Games, and we all know how good they are at bringing out great titles.

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I was one of those gamers that pre-ordered my copy some time ago. I also went through that period of wondering whether or not I should get it or wait. Of course better judgement took over and I bought the game. Having the game in my hands made me very excited. I couldn’t wait to tweet or post on to my Facebook page about how excited I was to play. I almost instantly started getting responses from my fellow gamers. There were some with envious comments as they hadn’t received their copies (as yet), whilst others remarked with as much enthusiasm and excitement as I was exuding from my head to toes.


I know there are many gamers out there who haven’t bought the game or have shown no interest in it whatsoever. In my experience over the past few days, this number can be counted on one hand, whereas the bulk of gamers I am in contact with have indeed purchased the game. 

My Impression

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So is there validity to the hype, or has GTA V merely a money waster? The answer is simple; yes there is validity to the hype. From the moment you play the game, there are so many differences that are apparent. For one, the graphics is tweaked nicely. This is a far better looking game than GTA Vice City and Liberty City. The environment looks amazing, from the sunsets and sunrises being cast off the tall buildings, to the high rises and houses around the game world. The poor areas are clear to see, with stereotypical hype about it i.e. run down houses, cars, prostitutes on every corner, gang bangers walking around, more police presence, and the way in which the AI in the projects communicate with each other. The same goes for the more affluent areas, where the rich and famous dabble around their neighborhoods in high priced sports cars and SUV’s. Where the house walls are high and the area is clean and well maintained and manicured.


As is always the case with the GTA titles, the size of the gaming environment is big, but in GTA V it is even bigger. Not only in terms of the landscape, but the skies are more open for you to explore in the various means of transport, whether it be by plane, Blimp or parachute. Then you have the sea, swimming under water with the active sea life, waving coral, as well as exploring the sea above by means of boats, yachts and jet-ski’s. The world is truly open to explore. For the avid off-road driver and motorcyclist enthusiasts, there is even more terrain to drive over and explore. The valley offers hills and dirt roads with high jumps, ramps and pathways. No matter what mode of exploration you want, it is all there in GTA V.


The Main Characters


There is also a great emphasis on the story line, where the drab and dreary lifestyles are more than evident. For instance, as the game goes on, you get to play as any one of the three main characters at any given time. There is Michael, a former criminal now living the high life in a valley mansion, driving an expensive car, cooling down by the pool while smoking a cigar and drinking. However, he is quite clearly bored with his life. Michael lacks complacency, and more so with his overweight and disappointing son, his daughter is the quintessential slutty brat and most certainly not a daddy’s girl. Then there is Michael’s wife, who plays “hide the slippers under my bed” with her tennis coach. Nothing is simple in his life, and so his journey continues when he gets back into the underground world of crime.


Franklin is a want-to-be-gangster that craves the high life, and is envious of what Michael has. He wants to learn to be a better criminal, and so the relationship between Franklin and Michael becomes entwined and infused together. They are two very different characters, from two different worlds, but they have the same impatience twitch about where their lives are headed. This is how the story begins to unfold as you play as each character.


I haven’t had the pleasure of playing as Trevor yet, but from what I have read about him, he is the one I am most looking forward to playing. He is the very dynamic of what GTA represents. He is the violent, racist, narcissistic, over bearing, psychotic character that acts, that doesn’t think and doesn’t care about any consequences of his actions. He has no moral code. For me, he represents everything I am not.


More about the game

There are many side activities for you to do from the very beginning. You can take up tennis, golf or fire off a few rounds at your local shooting range. Everything you do add to your abilities when it comes to accuracy and stamina etc. In one mission you even get to cycle along the beachfront (modelled after Santa Monica) right up to the edge of the pier. There is just so much to the game already, and I haven’t even played it for 10 hours.

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So, what do I think?

I honestly think this is a winner. I am having a great time exploring the world without having to jump from one mission to another. I actually enjoy being able to do the various things on offer, and it doesn’t seem mundane at all. The story line is well scripted and the voice acting suits each character perfectly. This is just a complete mix of chaos and fun all tied in together to bring you a highly exciting, and fun filled adventure. If you have the money, I would recommend you go out and buy it, just as I have suggested to some of those other gamer friends of mine who opted to stay away from it, only to realise now with the thousands of positive reviews out there, just what they are missing out on.

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