Grand Theft Auto V (Next Gen)
Welcome back to Los Santos. We missed you last time…but our aim is getting better.
Yes, Grand Theft Auto V has at last arrived on the current generation consoles, over a year after we were first introduced to the wide world of Trevor’s cross dressing. It’s still just as chaotic, still just as controversial, and still as much fun as it was 12 months ago. So, you may ask, just what has changed? Well, let’s get your hopefuls shot down first. There’s no jetpack, no heists (though they are coming with the next update), there’s no dinosaurs (or is that just a Battlefield thing?) and there’s no aliens. What there is though is a ton of new content, both single player and online, and heaps of new things to see and do.
Grand Theft Auto V also features a range of sweeping visual and technical upgrades, including vastly increased draw distances, new weather and lighting effects and an increased resolution of 1080p on both next gen platforms. The world of Los Santos and Blaine County is deeper and more immersive than ever with new weapons, vehicles and activities, additional wildlife, and over 150 additional songs across the game’s 17 radio stations.
Single player remains much the same in terms of storyline. Michael still has a mid life crisis, Franklin is still trying to win his childhood sweetheart over with no luck (I know that feel bro) and Trevor is still…well, Trevor. All of the DLC content up to this point has been included, so expect to see a lot of new vehicles driving around San Andreas. A nice little touch I’ve noticed as well is that the NPC cars are also occasionally modified, meaning that driving around town is a bit more exciting and realistic. It also means that if you happen to find one you like, you can save yourself a few dollars by already having some modifications done.
Franklin has a hangar at the airport available almost from the beginning, so you also have easy access to aircraft and large vehicles, without having to worry about wanted levels in the airport. Franklin has a new photo challenge involving the new wildlife, Michael has a new murder mystery to solve, and Trevor has a few side missions added as well, some of which gift him with a new Death proof-like Duke o’ Death muscle car. New weapons also include the futuristic railgun, a hatchet (also available online), and all the DLC weapons up to now. Most of the weapons have to be unlocked, just like everything else in single player, as you go.
Having played a heap of Red Dead, I’m surprised that it has taken this long to include such a huge amount of wildlife in the game. Don’t worry though as David Attenborough would be right at home here. There are several new breeds of dogs, cats, eagles, bird species, new sharks, fish, rabbits, and many many more. A humorous new add on also sees the main characters occasionally come across drug induced trips, where you actually turn into an animal and explore the world…am I the only one who loves the idea of trying to get a 5 star wanted level as an Eagle? Internet, get on that!
No word as yet as to whether you can acquire new animals as pets, either in story mode or online (and a far bit of playing didn’t reveal anything either.) Online mode is much the same, offering a few new jobs and missions, including new stock car races, giving you the chance to unleash your inner Geoff Gordon and unlock some nifty new rides for your garages. And fear not, your past work will not go to waste, as you are able to transfer your GTA Online data from the previous gen consoles, no matter what you played on (I transferred all my PS3 data across to Xbox One; you just need to pair up your account on the Rockstar Social Club site and away you go!) GTA lobbies can now also house up to 30 players, making for some great team work…or a clustermuck of gunfights, muggings and total anarchy 😉
Of course, the biggest visual difference is the all new first person mode. Ever wanted to play GTA like a first person shooter, without modding the game? Now’s your chance! Almost everything, bar cut scenes, can be done in first person, making for some hairy and hilarious driving/action/shooting clips. It also allows you to view things up close, and admire the scenery a bit better. It’s a rather smooth camera view, and the aiming is still pretty easy. Brawling with your fists can be a bit tricky though, but who brings fists to a gun fight?
The game itself though is the real winner; it just looks so much better! The countryside is beautiful, almost to a Just Cause 2 level. The characters mouths actually mimic what they are saying, the cars look much better, your screen blurs when you’re near explosions (which I might add look very Michael Bay-esqe now) and nightime in LS from the air looks stunning. At first you don’t really notice it all, but as you play more, thinking back to the old gen version, it gets to a point where I stopped and looked around thinking ‘wow…this is incredible.’
It’s everything you remember and like about Grand Theft Auto, just better and more refined. Definitely worthy of the next gen remake it’s been rightfully given.