Format: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Age Rating: 18
Release Date: 17 November 2013
Without intentionally trying to give too much away, the game is spectacular. What Rockstar Games has essentially done is completely set the bar out of reach for most other games on the market right now. The world within the game is a vast empire waiting to be taken over by not one but three characters that the gamer is given control of at any given time. The storyline neatly incorporates the lives of three anti-heroes who bet big with the hopes to make big.
The city of San Andreas that previous GTA gamers know and love has been torn down and re-established to create a colossal play ground with a range of environments to play in. The big city, from its high rise buildings to its low down ghettos smoothly merges into mountainous as well as desert regions, all coloured with their own unique inhabitants that alter behaviour depending on which character the gamer chooses to be. With obvious inspirations from wild-west state of California, San Andreas provides a great stage to perform some of the franchise’s greatest missions to date which include building sieges, bank robberies and even the sinking of a mercenary-protected cargo ship.
As the gamer is introduced to the new city, they are slowly introduced to their new counterparts. First you start with Franklyn; a repo man for a questionable car salesman who side-lines as a gangster. His efforts to make a million land him in the company of the second playable character, Trevor. Trevor is a burnt out ex-thief who is sitting uncomfortably in witness protection in a Bel Air-like mansion in the top of town. The ‘man’ is keeping him under wraps after his a heist that went wrong when one of his partners died and the other, Trevor, went on the run. Trevor is brought in as a mechanism of throwing a greasy, psychopathic hill-billy type in the works; and it works spectacularly. The characters come together over government pressure, money and thrills.
The game as a whole is a master piece. Despite the constant delays to its release, the game has performed extraordinarily well under the pressure it was under. The graphics provide sharp and colourful imagery and, when coupled with the genre pleasing soundtrack, the overall experience is definitely one to remember. If one error was to be highlighted, it would be the questionable physics when controlling a character. The ease in the characters falling to the floor after attempting to jump a bush can be slightly irritating but nothing that the gamer can’t either shake off or have a good giggle about. GTA 5 is a new level of gaming that all other developers should look to for inspiration. It’s hard to imagine even Rockstar topping it.