GTA V Review By Sherif B.

Here’s my rundown:

I’m break this down into 5 sections, which is going to be difficult because there are WAY more than just 5 sections to cover, but I think these are the “main” ones that stand out.

Map:
                This map is huge, but you don’t even realize it until about 20% into the game(which is around the time you meet Trevor).  At this point, assuming you are sticking to doing missions, you’ve been stuck in Los Santos being the typical GTA errand boy.   So you have probably been seeing the same areas because of the missions you are on.  No worries.  Head out to Blaine county….you’ll be lost in no time!   Now the map really opens up and although the current systems are about to be outclassed by newer consoles soon, R* really makes use of everything they have to make the environment look as good as possible.  That being said, when in an aircraft, the draw distance is pretty decent.  Of course not as good as it would be on PC, but for what it is with the hardware that is now 9 and 10 years old, they do a pretty good job making use of it properly.  In the city, pop in is occasionally an issue.   Sadly almost as bad as it was in San Andreas or Vice City, which prevents me from fully appreciating everything as a whole.  Overall though, the map is great.

Game-play:
                A lot of sites will report an “overhaul” of the game-play…not so much an overhaul, but more tweaks.  The new weapon wheel is the best weapon selection system I have seen in a game…ever??? Me thinks yes.  Selecting a weapon has NEVER been easier.  I found myself fumbling through the triggers on previous GTA installments, to change weapons, which meant I had to take my eyes off the action, look in the top corner and attempt to make out which weapon was which.  GTA IV improved on this by taking the weapons out of the small black box display.  GTA V perfects this.  As soon as the weapon wheel pops up, the game play slows down to a crawl,  about a 8th of the normal speed.  If you are running at this point you will keep running for a another step if you switch and exit the wheel, then continue running, without a break in animation or action.   This is especially handy when in a fire fight on heists, because having another weapon ready to fire with all the police that will be around, is EXTREMELY NECCESARY.

Weaponry:
                It’s not the amount here(but more is always good right?) but it’s the quality of what is going on here.   Previous GTA games did not allow you to customize your guns, in any way at all.  This time around you can customize the look and some specifications of your weapons, which affects the outcome of your missions sometimes.  For instance on an assassination mission, you have to take care of a target in public and you do not want to alert the police to your position.  Luckily, your friendly neighborhood Ammu-Nation, can provide you with a suppressor for your sniper rifle, thus removing your sound signature.  Although if close to an NPC, they might still see you shooting a weapon, and they will promptly alert officials to your location, your description, and your vehicle type, if applicable.  Other customization options include extended clips, tactical flashlights, grips, weapon tints, scopes, and a couple of other things.

Missions:
                The missions are sometimes typical GTA missions.  Take this person from point A to point B, but then other missions are “typical” GTA missions.  Take this person to point A to point B, while flying a plane upside down, through a downtown area, while you’re chased by a group of deranged bikers, hell-bent on a mission from the devil himself…(Not a real mission, but OMG, what if?).  The missions sometimes start and you know what’s going down, somebody is going to get shot/maimed/mangled/destroyed.  Other times, you will not see what’s coming around the corner.  Overall the missions are sometimes typical and sometimes super fresh.  The random encounters, like in Red Dead, are great.  Walking down the street and meeting someone who gives you a random mission to do feels natural.  I say this because sometimes side missions feel like they are being pushed on you.   Some of the random encounters do not even start right away, so later on you’ll have something to do.  Some encounters will unlock crew members for heists even & some will reveal some familiar faces from past GTA installments.

Online:
                The online portion isn’t even out yet, due to R* wanting to work on it until the last minute to perfect things.  So far it’s boasting over 500 missions (not all co-op) plus the option to add more missions with DLC that is planned for later.  Everything that is available in single player should be available in the online mode, per R*, but I bet there will be something that will not be allowed.  While the entire game excites every neural synapses in my brain, the online portion has yet to be played and this is the aspect of GTA I am most excited about.  GTA IV was an epic movement for me.  I played the online portion as much as I played L4D1 & L4D2(Left 4 Dead series) combined…and I love zombies.  My younger sister and I would LAN up and play GTA IV for hours.  The thing about that was, there was NOTHING to do in GTA IV. Yet countless hours were spent running in circles, committing vehicular manslaughter, and downright dirty tactics(taking a chopper up, and jumping out with someone who doesn’t have a chute….yes….it’s evil).   So what is going to happen when GTA Online is activated…..Armageddon.

Overall if I had to rate this game, I would have to give it a Strong 9, probably 9.9.  It’s not perfect, but it’s masterful. 

A friend posted on Facebook, ”Calm down people, it’s just a game.”  I replied, “No, It’s a monument.”

  Thanks for the review "Sherif B."

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