GTA V Review: After Just Three Hours Tennis Is More Fun Than Killing People [PART ONE]

  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Action
  • Action-Adventure
  • Open World
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GTA V is good. Damn good. (Image: Rockstar) Rockstar

This is the first part of my GTA V review and, so far, the game is delivering everything I expected from a new GTA title. My plan is to divide this up into three hour segments so, since this is the first part, I'm still getting familiar with the game. Fans of GTA: San Andreas will be right at home (almost too much) with GTA V's setting, set-up and story.

I'm not going to try to give out too many story spoilers in my GTA V reviews because, frankly, GTA V is about so much more than just the story. This isn't Bioshock Infinite or Last of Us. This is a game with serious balls and the confidence to pull off a legendary sandbox for us to smash and crash our way through instead of making some grand artistic statement.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of beauty and depth to GTA V. That's apparent from the very beginning. Distractions abound in GTA V so don't be surprised if you find yourself watching TV, target shooting or playing tennis for long periods of times. These distractions typically serve to increase stats for the mains Franklin and Michael, so there's a bit of a I-gotta-grind-it-out mentality driving this stuff too. They give you the first taste that GTA V is a game that's going to require serious time.

This is a good thing.

After putting three hours into the game I feel like I haven't accomplished a whole lot. It feels like there is an infinite amount of game left. I haven't hit the countryside or pulled off any of the multi-leveled heists I keep reading about. I'm just hopping from one blip on my radar to the next, getting to know the lay of the land and remembering how to drive, one splattered pedestrian at a time.

The action delivered in the story missions (as well as the side missions that pop up spontaneously) provides a nice balance between feeling like a bulletproof god and getting blown to pieces. You can't just run and gun your way through a corridor of enemies, but firing from cover and being a little conservative tends to go a long way. And after a few minutes of shooting fools and evading cops it's actually a bit of a relief to play a few sets of tennis and take a breather. GTA V does a good job of keeping the pace at a nice ebb and flow as opposed to shoving action in your face every single second.

The biggest improvement I've noticed so far is in the way police search for you. The vision cones on police who are looking for you feel fairer and more realistic than GTA IV's all-seeing-circles. It's a small tweak, but a good one. Running from the cops is just hard enough to make it a challenge without eating up tons and tons of time. No doubt this will change once the chases get more intense, but in the first few hours of the game GTA V does everything right in reintroducing fans to the franchise.

 

 

  • Action
  • Action-Adventure
  • Open World
  • Rockstar
  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
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