In news that will most likely make people who are sick of GTA V headlines sicker, the game is almost out. Apparently, we weren’t cool enough to get an advance copy on time, but the following outlets certainly did. Here’s what they’re saying about the next chapter in Grand Theft Auto.
Rockstar has expanded and improved upon so much of what’s special about video games as mainstream spectacles, from the playful use of characters to the refined take on world design.
Grand Theft Auto V is both a reflective and deflective game, diving into the heart of the GTAseries with more than a few subtle things to say about itself.
GTA5 may not be the Hollywood-beating crime story it wants to be, then, but it’s the best video game it’s ever been, and I’ll take that.
The world is breathtaking, the script is funny, the music is superb (both the licensed tracks and the atmospheric original score), and, most of all, it’s really, really fun.
Grand Theft Auto V is not only a preposterously enjoyable video game, but also an intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America. It represents a refinement of everything that GTA IV brought to the table five years ago.
Rockstar’s Xbox 360 swansong is probably the console’s greatest technical achievement, and as such it’s unmissable.
Everything you’ve ever wanted a GTA game to be, and a whole lot more. Consistently hilarious, constantly compelling and combining never-before-seen scale and ambition. This is going to make next-gen look bad for a long time to come.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is an ambitious game, attempting to meld three very different characters together to tell one encompassing story of survival in what amounts to the worst place in America. That story stumbles, but the open-ended gameplay remains a showpiece for the vast amount of content that can be poured into a virtual world.
GTA V doesn’t break new ground. It’s not going to change the world. It is, after all, the fifth numbered title in a well loved series and for the most part it is simply delivering more of what the developers must know the fans want to see. To expect otherwise is idiocy.
But it is engaging, compelling, interesting, clever, funny and packed with things to do and see. It’s a personal story, or several personal stories, set in a magnificent world that ebbs and flows with thousands of people who all seem to be living their own personal stories. It’s a genuine landmark event in the history of videogames and it’s one that you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Sam Houser compared the making of Rockstar’s epic to the troubled production of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and in some ways the same result has been met: a product that represents the peak of the blockbuster triple-A form, that realises grand ambition without visible compromise.
It’s likely you’re reading this review with the intention of already buying Grand Theft Auto V – indeed, its release is a deserved cultural event, and while this sequel may not be remembered for showing us anything strictly new, this represents the pinnacle of Rockstar’s design ingenuity across every single discipline, a game that absolutely everyone will feel richer for playing.
Overall, this game is less surprising than you might like, because so much of it is precisely what you’d expect from a GTA game. As other open-world games push forward in ways that make things like traversal more convenient, GTA forces you to look at the minimap for your turn-by-turn directions.
At times, it feels like it was made in a vacuum, away from the influence of other games. But while you could certainly pick out a handful of individual systems or design choices that feel like they’ve been handled more intelligently elsewhere, none of those other games bring together so many interesting and disparate systems with the same level of aplomb on display here.
That, combined with the game’s unique multi-character approach to storytelling, makes Grand Theft Auto V an exciting successor in the long-running franchise.
Grand Theft Auto V has the lofty expectations of living up to the pedigree of its critically acclaimed predecessors. Rockstar Games deserves credit for pushing the boundaries of its flagship franchise yet again with improved controls, great mission variety, and the most jam-packed open world I’ve ever visited.
The narrative fails to match the impact John Marston or Niko Bellic’s tales, but the colorful characters kept me interested in the story nonetheless. Like the golden state it parodies, Grand Theft Auto V is filled with beautiful scenery, a wealth of activities, and the promise of fortune.
GTA V is an imperfect yet astounding game that has great characters and an innovative and exciting narrative structure, even if the story it uses that structure to tell is hobbled at times by inconsistent character behavior, muddled political messages and rampant misogyny.
It also raises the bar for open-world mission design in a big way and has one of the most beautiful, lively, diverse and stimulating worlds ever seen in a game. Your time in Los Santos may leave you with a few psychological scars, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from visiting.
And to prove that game reviewers are all in it for the swag, here’s Destructoid’s Jim Sterling giving conspiracy theorists enough ammo for all those 11/10’s hitting Metacritic right now.
GTA V is out from midnight tonight on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. PC Gamers get their own copy, accessible through their imagination.
Last Updated: September 16, 2013