Grand Theft Auto V: Virtually unlimited game play


Courtesy Photo

GTA V features an array of interactive vehicles, including planes.

On Sep. 17, Rockstar Studios released long-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5. Fans are exuberant over the release of the next installment of the GTA franchise, and they haven’t been disappointed. The game combines engaging gameplay, cinematic storytelling, and dynamic characters to create an over-the top fun experience that sets the bar for modern video games. The game brings us back to San Andreas, California, a nostalgic setting for old-school GTA fans. The world map is both huge and diverse, and players can freely explore areas ranging from wealthy suburbs to gang-filled slums; from vast and barren desert mesas to the bustling city of Los Santos. Wherever you are in the map, the world looks beautiful and authentic.

A major shortcoming of the previous GTA game was the “flatness” of the world. Wherever you were on the map, everything looked more or less the same. GTA IV lost its luster shortly after the story was completed, leaving the player to wander a world that felt empty and disappointing. Gameplay was more or less limited to a cycle of stealing cars, shooting people, running from the cops, dying, and repeating the process ad infinitum. With such restricted options, GTA IV became a boring and repetitive drag.

GTA V, on the other hand, never seems to run out of options for the player. The game is packed to the brim with exciting side missions, crazy vehicles (including planes, tanks, helicopters and boats), fun weapons, and tons of interesting areas to explore. Characters, cars, and weapons are fully customizable, and players are given an overwhelming number of choices. Characters can get tattoos, buy properties, or play golf. Not only can a player invest and make money on company stocks, but they can manipulate the market itself, and not strictly in legal ways. For example, a player can invest in a company, assassinate the CEO of a competing company, and watch their stocks rise. GTA V is a milestone in game development, not to mention a blast to play.