21 September 2013 | copperfox
Welcome back to San Andreas
If I had to pick the best PS2/Xbox generation game, I wouldn't have to think twice before choosing Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas. While GTA 3 redesigned the whole open world gaming and Vice City took that even forward - it was GTA San Andreas that revolutionised it. It was groundbreaking achievement in game industry and I can't recall a PS/Xbox game that I have played more than GTA San Andreas. It was just that good.
When you have that as background one can understand my expectations for GTA IV. Long story short, I felt like with every step forward Rockstar took also one step back when it comes to GTA IV. Don't get me wrong, it was still a great game - but it didn't strike me the same way as San Andreas did. I felt like the story didn't for some reason pull me in, I found the characters lacking depth and the gameplay feeling less free as it was before. As great game as GTA IV was, I was still disappointed.
When I heard that GTA V was on it's way I had mixed opinions. I was eager to get another great game to play, but I was worried about the direction Rockstar was going to take the game. Was it going to be more like San Andreas or more like GTA IV? Well, now that I have about 10 hours of GTA V under my belt I can honestly say that I am not disappoint. Funnily enough, I'm impressed. Considering the expectations I had set for this game I didn't believe I could be impressed. I can't say if GTA V is more like San Andreas or GTA IV. It's like both of them. The best parts together.
First of all, the game FEELS like San Andreas. Right from the first mission to the opening credits - the gangbangers street talking like you would hear on The Wire. At this point I have to say that the voice acting is superb. All of the characters show emotion through their voice and the dialogue is absolutely brilliant. It's not often I find myself actually laughing when I'm home alone. And most importantly - they feel real. You can actually symphatise and feel emotions towards these characters. Something I didn't for some reason really feel for Niko Bellic on GTA IV.
Driving cars, planes, boats, bikes and motorcycles is super fun again. The vehicles seem to turn and maneuver a lot easier than in GTA IV. Nothing beats the feeling of driving a freshly stolen sports car wrong way on a highway while Queens "Radio Ga Ga" plays on the radio. Just watching the cars hitting each other, while your character yells them that it was all their fault. With a proper car you can really feel the speed while you're going. And as cars are actually easy to control, you can really speed through miles without hitting anyone. It's just super super super fun to slalom through the traffic. You feel like a stunt driver in a movie.
Storywise the game cuts all the unnecessary. No more delivering packages to friends or picking someone up to learn the controls. Right from the bat you're thrown in the middle of a bank heist and it doesn't really get less hectic from there. The missions are creative (yet pretty much what you can expect from a GTA) and have nice twists and turns as you go along. If you fail a mission they have enough checkpoints to make trying again more fun than a chore. So far the missions I've seen have gone from stealing cars, robbing stores, chasing things to assasinating people. Just to name a few. The missions are interesting and they can take quick turns just as you was expecting something easy. For example at one point I was simply driving back to the safehouse when next thing I know I'm drugged up on a LSD trip.
One of the main features with the game is switching playable character from the fly. All of the characters have different story lines, backgrounds and skill set. Franklin is a gangbanger used to stealing cars, Michael is a retired bank robber and Trevor is just Breaking Bad. All of them are fun to play with and changing between them is easy during or between missions.
Difficulty level seems to be just fine for a casual player, but I can understand if someone playing a lot would find it a bit too easy. If you just take cover and follow the instructions you can down 15 guys in a row. With your starting pistol. It seems a bit unrealistic, but hey it's a GTA. Don't expect too much realism from either the missions or the actual gameplay. Your one man army can take 15 bullets in the chest with actual holes coming through your shirt - as long as you remember to take cover and breath every now and then. The passengers on the sidewalk don't seem to care much if you drive over someone or hit someone elses car. You can go three times the speed limit to the wrong way on highway and even the police doesn't seem to care. As long as you aren't firing weapons or hit a police car. But if you have played GTA before, you should be familiar with this.
The game is so massive that there are so many things to write about and I must have forgotten many important things too. All I can say is that go buy the game and see for yourself. You won't be disappoint. Except for the fact that once you start playing it's really hard to stop. So if you have something important to do in your life, you should do it first. Buy the game and enjoy few days of no social interactions. That being said, I need to get back to playing.