For a moment when I first met Trevor in Grand Theft Auto V I thought I was going to be really turned away from a game which, until that point, hadn’t gripped me as much as I thought it would. Instead, the game opened up to a much greater extent than I thought it would and I have really started to get into the rhythm of things. Earlier this month Kevin and I shared Our Thoughts on the game, and while I still haven’t finished it, I think I can deliver my Verdict.
I’ll clarify that it isn’t perfect, namely that the attitude to women in the game stinks and is frankly a bit embarrassing to see in such a massive game coming out in today’s society. After completing the first heist job I found Franklin sitting in a strip club. That was just a tacky moment in what is largely a very fine game. Strangely the torture scene with Trevor didn’t bother me too much, it was a bit unsettling having to see the brutal effects of your actions, but when combined with Michael’s assassination component to the mission and Trevor’s speech after the torture, I personally felt like it worked. It provided a commentary of the underhand methods of acquiring intelligence that go on in the world and makes you realise how shady some of these operations that take place are. Some might hate it on a deeper level, but that is my take on it.
I will still maintain that the city of Los Santos fails to capture my imagination in the same that Liberty City did in GTA III or the Vice City of Tommy Vercetti’s Scarface-esque story. The city is just too large to really get any ties to, though I certainly do appreciate the work that Rockstar have done with it as the detail is immense. The sewer system, the canals, the docks, hell even the train tracks all make up for an amazing experience. It just doesn’t glue me in as it should, I don’t find myself turning a corner and instantly knowing where I am going. The surrounding area of San Andreas in the desert where Trevor’s story starts is a much more enjoyable place to be part of and just tootle around in.
When Kevin and I first talked about the game, I complained about the lack of Rampage missions and Assassination’s. They are well and truly present, just not shown off in quite the same way as I was expecting, though I am dearly disappointed that special jumps aren’t more obvious. It is still rewarding to find a makeshift ramp and send a car flying though, but it is only after I got a third of the way through that I found one which was a special jump. One of my long-standing favourite things to do in Grand Theft Auto games is to find a beast of a lorry and just cause carnage on the roads, and being able to do it with a fully loaded trailer on the back is the perfect way to break from the serious nature of Euro Truck Sim 2.
The heists are thoroughly enjoyable and work perfectly with the ability to switch seamlessly between Trevor, Michael and Franklin. From choosing the approach to take to the makeup of crew and carrying out the job, they are brilliant examples of how to craft a mission. If I could just do the heists without the rest of the game, I would be having a great time with this game. I’ll admit that the story between Michael and Franklin is clichéd, but Trevor just steals the show. I have switched to Trevor at various points and found him involved in a high speed chase down the highway with cops in hot pursuit while the next time I was watching him wake up in a skip. Yes, that picture at the very top if my Trevor, I think the long hair and goatee really suits him.
I could write about this game for ages, but judging by the record breaking sales, I think everyone knows that this is a perfect finale to the current generation of consoles. One more Verdict isn’t going to add much to what people make of the game, but here we are with another one to add to the pile. There are bits of the game which grate on me, moments which do little to engage me with the story but overall this is a fantastic experience. Hell, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the online mode which looks like it could have been release as a standalone game. I for one can’t wait to see this make its way onto the PC, it really must. The improved visuals and expanded multiplayer that would surely be on offer will lead me to getting into it once again. For now, I may have other games I need to play and write about, but one more mission of GTA is needed…and then another and another before soon enough an entire evening has disappeared.
Verdict – Red Mist
Platforms Available – 360, PS3
Platform Reviewed – 360
Review based on a review copy received after a retail purchase was received. Please check this post for more on our scoring system.