Grand Theft Auto V – It’s Grand!

Admission: I was one of the lucky Amazon UK pre-order customers to get an early delivery of GTAV.  And I was abroad when it was delivered on Saturday morning so I didn’t get to install it on my Xbox 360 until last night.

Is it any good?  Let me put it this way: I was up at 04:20 to get a flight from Heathrow to Dublin yesterday morning.  I got home from work at around 18:30.  Then I watched through sobs the 49ers @ Seahawks game.  And then I installed GTAV and had to force myself to power down the console just after 1am.

What’s it like?  Wow!

The hype was justified, in my opinion.  The map is huge.  I’d say it could take a few hours to circumnavigate it at full speed in a car.  There’s way more than the city of Los Santos, a satirized exaggeration of Los Angeles. 

The game drops you right into the action with the intro being a nice heist and getaway mission.  The beauty of Los Santos at altitude is then shown to you in an intro video, which zooms in to show you the grime, graffiti and homelessness that I saw on the real Venice Beach some years ago.  You don’t have long to wait for action because you’ll have your first guns in no time, and the map is wide open.  Instead of locking the map with roadblocks,

Rockstar used the “fog” approach, encouraging you to wander and discover.  That’s just what I did after boosting some cars, and doing some repo and tow work to earn some cash.  The local 7-11 wasn’t safe, and neither was a mountain lion that thought I’d be tasty.  And yes, innocent passers by were *ahem* hurt, but the cops took their share too.  I went up dirt trails in an off-roader, swimming in the sea from a boat, dirt-biking, and chasing a herd of deer in the mountains.  GTAIV was impressive.  The add-ons for GTAIV added more possibilities.  GTAV takes the world to a new level in possibilities. 

The graphics … you know how we’re always told that the current generation of machines have been maxed out for years?  Someone needs to tell the Rockstar developers.  The graphics on the Xbox 360 version are better than GTAIV.  It make the Assassins Creed II look like a Megadrive game.  I went up a mountain in the wilderness just to go sightseeing!!!  That was fun, trying to get an SUV up a steep road with 1000 foot falls on either side, while knocking over the occasional hiker 😀

If you like big games with random violence, then GTAV is the game to get. 

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