GTA 5 Review

2013-10-01 21:05:24 by Psychopath

GTA 5 fails to maintain what San Andreas achieved, I'll say that right now. Despite all the technical innovations the game has it still doesn't live up to the same qualities of its predecessors.

One of the bigger disappointments in the game was the utter lack of RPG elements. Oh yes, they're there, they were carried over from San Andreas but only in a hallow mockery of what San Andreas did. None of the improvements you make to either Trevor, Michael or Frank show a physical difference made to them despite the fact that you've maxed out their strength and stamina whereas in San Andreas everything you did to change Carl's attributes showed a physical change in his body; you'd get fat if you ate a lot, you'd get thin and lanky if you swam a lot and you'd become a gamma monster if you worked out at the gym.

That may sound like a minor nit pick but you've yet to hear about how exactly you go about upgrading your traits as a character. The marksman proficiency makes sense, you go to a shooting range and hit targets and complete "challenges" until you max out and you leave the shooting range instantly because you instantly stop giving a shit about completing these "challenges". The lung capacity proficiency makes sense because in order to increase it you have to spend time underwater. How do you increase your strength? You punch people. That's about it. Oh, sure, you could play sports but what asshole actually wants to play tennis? Punching people might be tedious as all Hell but when you get right down to it, the only thing more boring than golf is tennis. Also, just to salt the wounds even further, there exists gyms in the game that you can't use. What retard made the decision to not let you use the gyms to increase your strength? Probably the same fucktard who wrote most of the satire.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that, all throughout the game, particularly the radio stations, you'll hear almost nothing but variants of "Women are all feminazis" but nothing about the men's right movement, as in the guys that want to return women's rights to the days of the 1920's and claim that women have not only never been oppressed by men but that men are oppressed by women. Fair and balanced indeed. You see, well written satire is supposed to be objective and expose the flaws in arguments made by every party, it isn't supposed to take one side. Yes, there are instances in which the script does this but it is very, very, limited by comparison of what it obviously wants to be about. I can only recall one instance in which the satire lances misogyny rather than supporting it outright and that's when someone calls Chattersphere and talks about how gay marriage is so much better than heterosexual marriage because women always gain weight after the fact and Michelle questions what he looks like to which he responds "I can almost see my penis!" However, in this game it becomes quickly apparent that the female characters written into this game are not characters of their own identities but are instead constructs designed to echo the writer's world view. 

One of the latest innovations is the stock market, which is totally useless for any purpose other than just serving as a virtual bank so that the local hospital doesn't rob me of $3000.00 and I can gyp the taxi driver for a nearly free teleportation to my desired destination. Yes, I am aware of the assassination missions in which you can use insider trading but one of those assassination attempts is actually missing an opportunity to make money; the assassination on Jay Norris; there are no competing companies to invest in prior to Norris' death that function like any of the other assassination missions, in fact, the only known competing company "Fruit computers" is nowhere to be found on the stock market and Norris himself makes a remark about how they're clear competitors just before his death.

Well, there is one way to use the stock market that I've found to be very effective and helpful. In the mission "The Long Stretch" Lamar will give you money to buy equipment with at the Ammu-Nation if you have under $1500.00. Be sure to dump everything you have into Animal Ark before going into the Ammu-Nation outlet because Lamar will only cap you off at $1500.00 so if you maintain $50.00 after doing the bank--- stock market dump, Lamar will only give you $1450.00 to compensate. After he gives you the money, buy something from the gun store that is minute and cost effective, like a pack of bullets for the handgun. Once you leave, dump the $1500.00 you have from Lamar into your Animal Ark stock. When you arrive at the "drug deal", ensure your death at the gun fight, leave the mission, reenter the mission, rinse and repeat. You see, the game doesn't acknowledge any kind of difference made during a mission in the stock market or your weapons stock so both of them will transfer over into the main game regardless of how hard you exploit its flaws and you can funnel as much money out of our dear, terribly, terribly stupid Lamar as you want. Beware though, this will only work for as long as you never actually complete the mission, after that the game will know the difference in the stock market because you're now playing the mission retrospectively from a cached memory, thus is the reason why your customized garb doesn't transfer over and neither will your stock market investments. This method is also helpful if you need to increase your stock on ammo via obtaining weapons from fallen enemies before you die.

There isn't much to say about the heists that haven't already been said, although it does feel like this concept was borrowed from somewhere, I can't recall where. It's good for the most part, I like how the dudes you select for each mission can actually level up upon succeeding missions, this is especially well thought out if only for the fact that it balances cost verses competency and the characters you chose do not increase in percentage take as they get better. There is one thing I don't like about it though, certain mixtures of different guys will have scripted events that make even choosing these characters pointless. For example, if you choose the worst marksman for the jewel heist, he is scripted to die on the highway as you're escaping on motorcycles. Why even bother trying to level up the worst man if he's destined to die? Why even give me that option in the first place? Well at least I was able to scrounge up extra money out of the deal so I suppose that one instance is forgivable, although it does bring into question how often any attempt you make to have a specific outcome to a heist will be foiled by predestined bullshit.

Beyond exploiting game mechanic flaws, the only real fun that I've been able to get out of the experience so far was riling up the cops, luring them into the ghetto and causing the cops to fire their weapons into the general direction of some gang members, hiding behind a building and letting the fight ensue as I get away with building up my stealth proficiency by nailing people in the neck. After that, I'd go out onto the battle field to either watch the fight eventually conclude or to just raid dead bodies for their loot.

It's not bad but it certainly has shortcomings. I'd rank it at about average, I'll give it a score of 4/10 for the lack of any real gameplay innovation, the partial and incomplete transfer of the RPG elements that defined San Andreas as the definitive GTA experience, the blatant and obvious misogyny with a serious lack of misandry or even critique of real life misogynist groups.


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2013-10-01 21:35:46

Thanks for the honest review! Still waiting for the PC version, which will probably be about the same cost as the console versions :\ Are the steering and walking mechanics improved from GTA IV? Hopefully, they'll make some DLC that will address most of your concerns regarding gameplay variety.

Psychopath responds:

They are improved as far as I can tell, I haven't played GTA 4 in years though. Glad to hear from you.


2013-10-01 22:05:10

Steam version will come soon, and I WILL make sure of it!


2013-10-02 13:43:06

I'm still going to buy the PC version as soon as possible, but it sucks to hear how flawed the game is. I already knew the character modification element wouldn't be there, since I read an interview where they mentioned how complex the character models were compared to GTA SA and how much memory such a finesse would require. It was sad to hear, but OK, I can live with that. No gyms? I hope the modders make it happen before I get the game. Heists? Tennis? Looting bodies... instead of just picking up cash? Sounds like the gameplay is starting to get a bit complex... not just raw comedy and carnage any longer. I'm still looking forward to trying it out myself though.

Are clothing shops still in the game? Do you have to eat to survive? How is the addition of living animals? How huge does the in-game world seem compared to SA? I played way too much SA back when it came out, it's probably still one of my favorite games so I've been hyped up about this a long time.

(Updated ) Psychopath responds:

The addition of living animals is relatively underwhelming since they don't really do much except for dogs oddly enough, they will join gang members in fights with the cops but that's about it. In fact, because of their attack method of tackling and mauling they're debatably more useful in killing the cops than the actual Ballas themselves. Everything else either just runs from you or eats you outright and if a cougar bites you once you're screwed regardless of how much health or armor you have; instant death, no chance of escape.

Also, yes, the aspect of just picking up cash is still there, once you beat a couple of Trevor's missions it's made clear to the player that you can then purchase businesses and siphon money out them just like in Vice City.

Yes, clothing is still in game, thank God, however, it is extremely limited and much of it is super expensive. No, you don't have to eat to survive. You could debate that the world is actually smaller than it was in SA since in SA there were three continents to explore whereas here you only have one.

I do appreciate that a lot of gameplay elements have been added but with the absence of former gameplay elements from SA it feels like a mere trade in rather than a real innovation.


2013-10-02 15:05:17

Being killed by a single bite! That doesn't sound too promising. How easy is it to kill a cougar though, or any other predators for that matters? Can you shoot down birds in the sky? Are there only naturally wild animals or are there exotic oddities too... like a zoo, or something? How about farm animals? The dogs sound interesting, which leads me to wonder... are there cats roaming around as well? That's definitely a huge aspect of realism SA didn't have at all, apart from the untouchable fish/birds.

(Updated ) Psychopath responds:

I know that every animal you stare down can take on more than one bullet, unless they're deer that is. You can kill off birds but it's very difficult to gun them down even with a high powered sniper rifle with the advanced scope.

Also, no, there's no zoo.