With so much gaming focus being dedicated to the new consoles coming out later this year – the PS4 and the Xbox One – the focus this week is on what may well amount to the last hurrah for current consoles: Grand Theft Auto V. The latest release in the popular Rockstar franchise is finally here, and already it’s looking like one of the biggest events in gaming in several years. Here are some of our early impressions.
First things first: the setup for this game is positively delectable. The fictional city of Los Santos (blatantly modeled after Los Angeles) and the surrounding areas are beyond massive, and would seem to give a whole new meaning to “open world” gaming. And, as in previous editions of the game, it’s not just empty space – one truly gets the feeling venturing around Los Santos that it’s a real live community, filled with a culture that does its own thing whether or not you’re interacting with it. And enjoying this experience as 3 different main characters (players control 3 protagonists, rather than just one) simply adds another new layer to the experience.
Within this large experience, the attention to detail in this new game is outstanding. Players can enjoy an incredible range of leisure activities. For the adventurous, there’s jet skiing and bungee jumping. For sports enthusiasts, there’s enjoyable tennis, and golf play so good it’ll make you rethink purchasing an EA Sports Tiger Woods game! There’s even a hint of a gambling environment, as the game’s casino claims to be “coming soon” (which probably means downloadable content in the near future). This would seem to be a good idea in drawing in gamers that have drifted to dynamic online gambling sites. At BetFair, for example, users can put money on the line in any game from bingo or Texas Hold’em, to slots and original arcade games. The online gambling market is enormous, and if this casino “opens” it will add another dimension to GTA V!
Moving beyond the massive quality and impressive detail of the world of GTA V, it’s the brand new features that make an impression. Driving is improved, crashes and explosions are bigger and more entertaining than ever before, and players can enjoy incredible new experiences like flying fighter jets and diving deep into an ocean alive with marine creatures.
Of course, a whole separate review could delve into specific gameplay, and the missions you’ll actually undertake in playing your way through the game. But in terms of initial impressions, it’s the sheer size and detail, and the quality of the new features, that make GTA V a winner the second you turn it on.