gta 5 (2)GTA V can be summarized in just one word. “Masterpiece”. I was initially skeptical as the hype surrounding its release had gotten nigh unbearable, I couldn’t even step into a room without my friends reminding me “Dude GTA V in few weeks bro, hehe”. Okay, that was a lie, but it’s true that GTA V’s release has been anticipated since the very start of this year. The trailers, screenshots and other snippets released by Rockstar helped stoke the hype and my word, they did not disappoint.

My experience with GTA V can be summed up as “my favourite moment so far”. I was halfway through a mission for some lady who could only be described as a crackwhore when I “accidentally” ran over a group of pedestrians, understandably the police were none too pleased at me and this set off a truly epic chase that saw me stealing at least five cars and murdering a few dozen policemen finally culminating in me getting gobbled up by a shark a few miles off the coast of Vespucci beach.

My other stories are just as action-packed but nothing so far has made me laugh quite as much, and this, this is not even scratching the surface of what GTA V has to offer. You could drive mindlessly through the humongous map, or you could play tennis, or you could fill the disgusting shoes of a paparazzo hounding the game’s fictional celebrities for seedy photos you could sell to line your pocket. Saying GTA V is a world of adventure doesn’t quite do it justice.

In this installment of GTA V we take control of the lives of three very unique characters. Michael, a retired career criminal who lives a thoroughly unhappy life in his Vinewood mansion with his brazenly unfaithful wife, air-head daughter and waste-of-space son. Franklin is a young man from downtown Los Santos, and he’s what we’re familiar with in the GTA series, a young, ambitious gangster who doesn’t necessarily like what he does but is desperate to leave his hood rat life behind. Trevor rounds up our cast of characters and he’s a seriously disturbed, violent and deranged criminal who makes a living out in the desert trafficking guns and drugs. The game’s missions move between their individual stories and an overarching plotline that involves them all. Michael’s trying to fix his dysfunctional family, Franklin is trying to leave gangs and the trappings of the hood behind and Trevor, honestly, all Trevor wants is to sell his guns and meth, and anyone standing in his way usually regrets it in the end.

I have not finished the game, but what I’ve seen so far has already been worth its price tag. The dialog is without hyperbole, excellent. The missions are sublime- barring a few of Franklin’s side missions and the game is beautiful, stretching current gen console to their limits. There is a reason this game hit $1 Billion in sales three days after its release.

The game does have its fair share of controversy- as all Grand Theft Auto games do. Some will not appreciate the satire of the radio channels, some will take issue at the fact that you can do some pretty nasty things in this game, some will say the game is simply too violent and obscene. To them I say “That’s exactly why it’s a game made by adults for adults”

My experience in GTA V has been wondrous so far  and despite the tendency for games to drop off in quality as time goes on, I’m eighteen Hours in and it has only gotten better. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to mow down some more rednecks.

IMAGE CREDIT: DeviantArt, RockStarGames

– Obi Arizor