Review: Grand Theft Auto V (PS4)

I don’t think it is too much to say that Grand Theft Auto V was revolutionary for the gaming world when released in 2013. The graphics, extensive map and three playable protagonists were elements which were new to most gamers.

Grand Theft Auto V was the follow up which Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas deserved and Grand Theft Auto IV failed to deliver. Grand Theft Auto IV was good but not great.

The Grand Theft Auto games went from offering a plethora of mini-games, customisation options and an extensive open world to explore to a dull protagonist and lack of the aforementioned.

Grand Theft Auto V, however, is the perfect balance. It took the realism that Grand Theft Auto IV aimed for and met in the middle with the fun and extensive open world of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that the player could make their own.

In GTA V, Of Michael, Trevor and Franklin, Franklin was my favourite character to free roam with. Franklin reminded me of Carl Johnson from the 3D universe and the nostalgia added an extra feeling of enjoyment.

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Franklin Clinton, One of three protagonists in GTA V

The world of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto V is one that is easy to get caught up in. You have a family to take care of when playing as Michael, an enterprise to protect as Trevor and a dog as well as a crazy best friend when playing as Franklin.

The missions were exciting and unpredictable. A few of my favourite missions are ‘Crystal Maze’ where Trever burns down a competitor’s meth lab and kills everyone there, ‘The Long Strech’ where Franklin reluctantly accompanies Lamar and Strech on a drug deal which is instead an ambush by the Ballas,  as well as the many heists; notably ‘The Jewel Store Job’.

GTA Online is the best multiplayer online game I have ever played. Aside from the initial terrible character design, the jobs, heists, customisation options/shopping and missions offered unlimited hours of fun.

When Grand Theft Auto V was re-released on PS4 and Xbox One however and I remained a PS3 player, the fun slowly started to fade away.

New missions, customisation options, vehicles and game modes were being introduced frequently but not for my console generation. I was stuck with the same ugly, crackhead looking character playing the same Martin Madrazo missions over and over again.

I got bored and stopped playing.

When I finally purchased a PS4, I remembered how much I missed playing GTA Online and purchased the new version. I was reluctant to spend £30 on a game I had already completed but after purchasing and exploring San Andreas again, I’m glad I did.

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PS4, Director Mode

Aside from 1st person mode, the new graphics, the new soundtrack (which notably includes new Vybz Kartel songs)  and other miscellaneous features, my favourite being the light on the controller flashing blue and red when the police are in pursuit, are worth the price and offer a new gaming experience.

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GTA Online is also well improved. There are noticeably a lot more game modes and missions, more clothing and vehicle options as well as mechanical fixes such as less freezing and lagging. Most importantly, the new character design is a lot better; my character now looks semi decent.

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My New GTA Online character

Grand Theft Auto V on PS4 lives up to the standards set on the previous console generation and at the same time exceeds them and for this reason, I am sure I will continue to be a loyal Grand Theft Auto player.

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