I have a confession to make–I’m not really what you would call a “Grand Theft Auto fan.” Sure, I have played them, but I haven’t really played any of them in-depth since GTA III. It’s not that they were bad games; I’m not saying that at all, but recent installations in the franchise haven’t grabbed me in a way that compelled me to continue playing beyond wreaking havoc in the streets, until now.
Compared to its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto V is another beast entirely. Personally, my interest in the latest Rockstar release probably stems from other games they have released to fill the GTA void. Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Max Payne 3 have all been seriously beefy titles in their own right, bringing their own flavor to Rockstar’s open-world formula. These games have been a testing ground for new gameplay functionality, storytelling mechanics, and design concepts that have enabled the creation of the most interesting and diverse GTA title to ever grace store shelves.
It would seem that Rockstar has thought of everything. First and foremost, the team has delivered on the core GTA experience and then some. This is the largest open-world to ever be delivered to consoles, and you can indulge in a campaign of criminality that is unrivaled in the gaming world. But this game is much, much more than just picking up hookers and running down pedestrians indiscriminately.
The depth of play is compounded by a trifecta of main-protagonist storylines that take a page from other Rockstar titles like L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3. The cinematic storytelling approach that was refined on these games has been transferred lovingly to GTA V, and the ability to switch between main characters at a whim is just the icing on the bullet-riddled cake. One of the biggest problems I had with previous GTAs was getting bored with the main character, devolving my gameplay sessions into exercises of mass carnage. While this could be indescribably fun, it never delivered the narrative satisfaction I was looking for in the game. With GTA V, this is no longer an issue.
Then there is Grand Theft Auto Online. As if there wasn’t enough to do in GTA V, October 1st will make the release of a persistent and evolving open-world playground where you and your friends can lay waste to Los Santos on an immeasurable scale. Unlike previous versions of GTA multiplayer, this is not just a component of the main game. GTA Online is intended to be an expanding world, with new content being delivered from Rockstar and the player community alike. And at the price of free with the purchase of GTA V, you can’t beat the bang for the buck.
Rockstar has given me every reason to play Grand Theft Auto V and keep playing it. Excellent storylines that can be switched between on the fly, interesting characters, mass destruction, an immense open-world, cinematic storytelling, and the pending release of GTA Online have given me the ability to reduce my boredom factor to zero: something I have never been able to say about a GTA game.
So, it’s still true that I wouldn’t call myself a “Grand Theft Auto fan.” But would I call myself a “Grand Theft Auto V fan?” Absolutely.