Grand Theft Auto V is the fastest selling video game of all time. It’s also going to give The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Tomb Raider a run for their money for Game of the Year 2013. Not only has GTA V succeeded financially, but the gameplay has proven equally as good as it’s sales.

This is the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series to climb it’s way into my personal list of favorite games of all time. In single player mode, you play as three protagonists, all with their own unique personalities. The storyline is based around these three characters living in Los Santos, and you have to option to switch between them at almost any time during the game. Almost every aspect of GTA V is improved from GTA IV, and it’s a lot bigger as well. The online mode is like an entirely different game,as you can customize your character, and do different jobs around Los Santos to work your way up the ranks to become a master criminal. You can play with your friends, or strangers, having them help you out with different jobs.

The single player mode for GTA V is beyond entertaining. The story itself is very engaging, and the missions are very unique. A problem with GTA IV was repetitive missions, and I can say I did not have that problem playing GTA V, and every part of it is fine-tuned from the last GTA title. The phone feature is re-introduced, and it works surprisingly well. You can download apps from the fictional app store, and you can surf the web as you would a computer. A cool new feature is the Stock Market. You can buy and sell stocks in different fictional companies in order to make a little extra cash on the side from the story missions. Also new is the improved mini-map.

When you get into a vehicle, your map turns into a GPS, and can even lose reception inside of tunnels as a real GPS does. These little details aren’t annoying, nor do they interfere with the gameplay I promise, but I appreciate the little things along with the big things. Probably the biggest thing added to the game was the character switching. Most times when video games try something totally new, it needs some work.

GTA V’s character switching works unbelievable well, and is very smooth and ironed-out. During non-mission time, you can switch to whichever character you like, and it will start up with whatever that character was doing, regardless of how you previously left them. They could be walking out of a store, finishing a cigarette, waking up from a nap, or even waking up pants less in the middle of nowhere with a hangover! During missions, you can also switch in between characters for a different experience. For example, your three characters could be in a huge firefight with a gang. You can switch to one character to be the sniper support, then switch to another character in the middle of the action with an assault rifle, and finish it off as your third character with an RPG launcher from behind. The character switching is original, unique and it works well.

The graphics and feel of the game is great as well. Unfortunately, as of now GTA V is only for consoles, so you can’t get the full potential and beauty of GTA V’s massive landscape, but it still looks awesome on consoles. As with any previous GTA game, there is a lot of dark humor spread around the game, a lot of it making fun of modern pop culture. Heck, you can take a selfie on your phone! On top of that, there are many references to the previous GTA games, which is always fun for the hardcore Rockstar fans.

Online mode is great, but the gameplay is definitely not up to the level that the single player mode is. The loading screens are the longest I’ve experienced for years in gaming, and the unstable Rockstar servers can be very frustrating. But other than that, the online mode is very fun. There’s plethora of different jobs, ranging from races, to deathmatches, and to wave survival (a favorite of mine). Pulling these jobs alongside your friends is always a good time, and leveling up to unlock more keeps you dragged in. But at the same time, the match hosting for different jobs is sloppy and doesn’t work properly a lot of the time. Other than the long wait times, and the somewhat unreliable servers, GTA Online is a great time.

If I was to give a score on the Single player alone, I would have no problem slapping a hard 10 as it’s score. But this is a cruel world, and online mode is a huge part of the game. GTA Online is awesome, no doubt, but it just does not compete with the single player experience regarding smooth gameplay. The game is a must-buy, and I cannot wait for the inevitable PC release so I can mod it with no mercy. Grand Theft Auto V scores a well-deserved


- Chris Grieco  

AuthorJordan Mohler