Grand Theft Auto V: Review In Progress Part Two

Grand Theft Auto V - Cover

So I’ll have to assume by now that most of you have played Grand Theft Auto V. It’s been out for more than two weeks, and is most likely going to be the highest-selling video game of 2013 unless the next Call of Duty iteration can out beat it (which I hope doesn’t happen). Last week I focused my first review in progress on how the blockbuster looks and plays, touching upon the graphics and mechanics that were implemented. This week will be completely focused on the storyline and characters that inhabit the game, and how for the first time in the franchise you play as three different protagonists – if you can even call these guys protagonists, that is.

These three infamous men are Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. Michael is a “retired” crook who lives a fake life in a mansion just outside of the city with his cheating wife, skanky daughter and video game-obsessed son. Trevor is trailer trash through and through, a walking, talking meth dealing time bomb. Franklin is a young black guy who just wants to make it big without the clichéd tropes of the gangster life. You get to play as all three of these characters, seamlessly switching between the three in missions (if more than one of the protagonists is present in said mission) and outside of missions.

GTA3Switching between characters during missions makes for satisfying gameplay, as all three of the characters are doing different things in different places. You aren’t just bunkered down together shooting cops and criminals; there is always variety in each mission. Sometimes Michael may be on the ground while Trevor hovers above in a helicopter telling him where to go. In one instance Michael and Franklin are taking heavy fire from cops, while Trevor is high above, away from fire with an RPG launcher. Being able to switch so easily and quickly during important moments like this makes the missions even better than they already are, and makes each play through of the missions different because you can always tackle a mission differently than you did previously.

But these characters are honestly what make you come back to Los Santos time and time again. Rockstar has created three compelling characters that are all drastically different, but when they’re together is when GTA V truly shines. Franklin and Michael are easy to love. Franklin is a quiet but smart guy from the projects, while Michael is a retiree that is bored with his life and wants more than what he ended up with. Even Trevor comes off as likable (after a while), even though he brutally murders people and swears more than any other game character I’ve had the pleasure of playing as. The three all have great chemistry, and listening to them make fun of each other or tell stories about their past while driving to a mission is hilarious and fluid.

GTA4The story that the game weaves in is something that I would never want to ruin for anybody. If you’ve played any GTA game prior to V, you should know somewhat what you’re getting into mission and story wise. Without spoiling anything, all I can say is that the story is definitely unique and intriguing, the most interesting parts being the revelations of Trevor and Michael’s shady past. The missions also always feel like real missions, unlike GTA IV in which a lot of missions just seemed like errands with cut scenes. The story and characters will keep you coming back to the game, and even though there will always be something for you to do other than the missions, the story is so compelling you almost can’t help but want to rush through the story.

As usual, Rockstar has given us people to relate to, people that when we jump into GTA V, we feel for. I even found myself playing differently with each character depending on who I was at the time. With Trevor I would kill and maim aimlessly, with Franklin I would spend a lot of time and money tricking out my cars, and with Michael I would find myself playing a lot of golf and trying to spend time with my family. It’s uncanny how much you care for these three guys that honestly aren’t very good people. Leave it to Rockstar to create the perfect anti-heroes, as always. If the world of GTA V didn’t do enough to draw you in from the start, then its characters definitely will. Tune in next week for my thoughts on the new GTA V online, if the servers ever begin to work that is. Until then, enjoy killing cops and hookers, because I know that I’ll be doing the same thing.

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Author: Justin Peterson View all posts by

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