GTA V opens with a bang introducing two of the central characters through a bank heist, which also functions as the tutorial. Considering the usual slower openings of past games this is pretty shocking complete with hostage situations, gun fights and car chases — the way a GTA game should be.
The cues in the gunplay are taken straight from Rockstar’s last major title, Red Dead Redemption, which is soft lock-on targeting and a simple cover system. A major gameplay change that I could feel from the previous games is the driving feels way more out of control as you gather speed — more akin to a Burnout game, especially with the expensive top of the line cars.
From here, having not gotten too deep into the game, the aspect that is blowing me away is the characterization. They are well voiced and more three dimensional from the beginning than any past characters from GTA IV. The whole world is brimming with personality, while the series has moved in more serious directions from the old games the humour is more present in satire form too.
I find myself completely absorbed in the game and have yet to even have the chance to touch the online side of things, which is bound to add a whole new layer of depth to a game that is already threatening to swallow players whole with its single player alone.
Los Santos is full of personality — from its weather changes to its unique explorable areas. The only really upsetting thing about the game from my perspective is that I’ve only been able to play for a few hours — it has already put such a strong impression on me, it feels like the GTA series realizing and coming to its full potential. Again, this is an early impression, but if it can keep its moment and that marvelling childlike affect of playing something that totally immerses the player, then I can’t see a reason not to own this game.
There’s also potential for it to be one of the coolest heist movies out there — one that could only be done in the form of a video game.