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December 28 2015


Grand Theft Auto - Living the Dream

Grand theft auto
I got onboard with the Grand Theft Auto series in GTA 3, I didn't have a PC even though one of the top down versions arrived on the scene on the original PlayStation, it didn't register on my radar. I vaguely remember someone showing me, but it seemed like a throwback to the downward view games with the 80's arcades, there were much more interesting games will be able to be to be spending my time on, such as checking back of a (then) very blocky Lara Croft. It wasn't until GTA 3 about the PlayStation 2 hit, that I remember sitting transfixed inside a friends living room, open mouthed as I watched him swapping cars, a weight rampage and generally just blowing stuff up at random.

I was in love (using the game, not Mike. Sorry Dude).

Vice City was one that I remember the best, with its combination of neon, 80s movie references, stellar voice cast ensemble including Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds, the first appearance of motor bikes that seemed to scream along at breakneck speed when compared with most of the cars, helicopters, understanding that crappy Dodo plane which was as hard as hell to regulate. It seemed complete, polished and finished.

San Andreas pushed the envelope further. The map grew to 4x the size, the flight aspect was greatly expanded, character interaction with random events, the Hollywood influence was still strong with Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Busey and Chris Penn and others giving great voice performances. I didnrrrt really connect with charge character as much and discovered certain aspects creeping in that were a bit irritating, but no less than you finally didn't die when you fell in the water.

GTA 4 should have been another leap forward but after a while playing it, I acquired bored. The Hollywood factor went, you were constantly being hassled by perople such as the main character's brother, Roman, to go and do some boring activity like drinking unless you fell over, playing darts or bowling. Should you kept turning them down, they got irritated. It was long, had long replay on every mission if you stuffed up, and was just dreary and depressing. Where had the fun gone? The Lost and Damned expansion followed, right after that, The Ballad of Gay Tony. Neither of which I bothered with while i had become despondent using the series, but apparently they were a step in the right direction again.

So essentially GTA 5 is more of the same, lots of driving, side missions, getting together with odd characters, but then it's also so much more. Rockstar is familiar with from the previous mistakes in GTA 4 and addressed them brilliantly, sometimes the perfect solution is is simple. Instead of getting annoying telephone calls hassling you to be involved in social events, you can decide when, or perhaps if, you want break from the main story to complete some recreational stuff. Their email list is expansive also: cycling, triathlon, tennis, golf, yoga, racing, sky diving, base jumping, scuba diving. I'm sure there are some I have not come across yet, but you have hours of entertainment just there. You may either spend hours exploring this vast playground yourself or invest in a strategy guide to offer you a helping hand.

The main single character been specifically dropped in favour of three distinctly different characters, Michael, the retired bank robber and thief, Franklin a street hustler wanting to escape his ghetto surroundings, and Trevor, a sociopathic lunatic. We first meet Michael and Trevor within a flashback which not only establishes their friendship and a brief run through with the basic controls, but additionally sets up Michael's story. We meet up with him ten years after the botched hold up, living out his days in witness protection looking at his sofa, watching movies having a glass in his hand encompassed by his horrendous family.

Events enjoy that bring Michael and Franklin together to pull a heist which in turn puts Michael back on Trevors' radar, long having thought his friend had perished. Once these 3 meet up, the story and map actually starts to unfold and you can jump between them, not only during downtime but also during the larger missions. The switching mechanism is surprisingly simple and fluid, enabling you to perform separate aspects of the heist from your perspective of each participant, Trevor flying, Michael sneaking and stealing and Franklin, using a sniper rifle to cover Michael or driving a getaway vehicle.

Being able to play from not merely one but three different characters' perspectives certainly contributes hugely to keeping events from getting stale and repetitive. There's more believed that needs to go into jobs, picking a game play, a crew and balancing a bigger cut with the danger of employing cheaper, less experienced crew members.

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