Entertainment Video Games

‘GTA V’ boasts expansive, forward-thinking gaming experience

With a huge open world to explore, three playable characters and a wealth of side activities, "Grand Theft Auto V" is the gift that keeps on giving. (MCT)

By Charles Louis Dominguez ’14
THE ROUNDUP

Guinness recently announced that “Grand Theft Auto V,” Rockstar Games’ latest installment to the popular GTA series, broke seven world records, including “fastest entertainment property” to generate $1 billion.

From this news alone, it is clear that video game culture is worth looking in to.

As someone who doesn’t usually play video games, I was surprised that I really enjoyed “Grand Theft Auto V.”

As a whole, “Grand Theft Auto V” makes for an extremely compact and fluid experience.

The game is set in Los Santos, San Andreas, a fictional city that is meant to represent Los Angeles.

The plot centers around the lives of three playable characters—Michael, Franklin and Trevor—as they each try to make something of themselves in the midst of their own personal turmoils.

In the past, I’ve played “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” Although my attention isn’t easily grasped by video games, both games are captivating and remarkable for the sheer amount of freedom a player is given.

“Grand Theft Auto V” marks a drastic shift from what I remember of both older games, making them seem a bit dated and stinted.

I was immensely impressed by what “Grand Theft Auto V” has to offer.

The ability to switch between three playable protagonists is a feature that is new to the GTA series.

From the missions I completed, I was presented with an interesting story that starred characters with equally captivating backgrounds and personalities.

Each character comes with a different set of missions, which helps to keep game play from getting terribly repetitive, an issue I took with some of the game play of “Grand Theft Auto V’s” predecessors.

Although very different from previous GTA titles, “Grand Theft Auto V” still has the comforting familiarities of a colorful cast of characters and a great soundtrack.

The music of artists like Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock buttress the atmosphere presented by the city of Los Santos. The soundtrack is diverse enough that it caters to every gamer.

While “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” was coated in a thick layer of 80’s cheese and spearheaded by a general necessity to suspend disbelief, “Grand Theft Auto V” is, at times, uncomfortably realistic.

In a game where committing crimes seems like the only way to play, the realism often left me uneasy.

Immediately upon starting up the game, I attempted to run across the street, and, as soon as I entered the intersection, I was struck and killed by a pick-up truck. Game over.

This is exactly what I would expect to happen if I ran across a busy street in real life without looking both ways.

Up to this point, I’d never experienced anything like this. In every video game I’d ever played, cars stop for you, or you just bounce off of them and keep going.

From this point forward, I was most fascinated by the small details of the game – what really separates “Grand Theft Auto V” from other games on the market.

I found myself spending way too much time walking through movable curtains and performing other seemingly mundane, pointless tasks.

To me, that’s both the most beautiful and horrifying part of the whole GTA franchise: You can find what you think is cool and foster your own way to play.

At a certain point, I felt bad committing crimes and stopped completing missions, choosing instead to ride around on a dirt bike and stop thieves from stealing purses.

I think it’s great that that’s an option for gamers and that the game is completely playable in that respect.

There’s plenty to talk about in regards to this game. It’s just that type of thing.

As far as video games go, the gripes I have are few and far-between. “Grand Theft Auto V” is that meticulously crafted.

However, the one major downside for me was the rampant sexism and portrayal of women throughout the game.

While I didn’t expect much in that regard, I was still shocked by some of the ways that “Grand Theft Auto V” depicts women.

The images were frank.

The implications of these depictions are frightening.

Other than that, I had a positive “Grand Theft Auto V” experience.

I’m bad at video games and opposed to a lot of the morals of characters in the GTA world, but I really did have a great time riding around on that dirt bike.