The game starts off in Ludendorff where four men are robbing a bank but everything doesn't go as planned as the getaway driver is killed and two men lay on the ground near death as one escapes on foot through the harsh snowy land and weather.
Nine years later Michael one of the robbers has been placed under witness protection with his family in Los Santos, San Andrias. Franklin Clinton a repo man there is asked to repose a car that was previously purchased by Michael’s son Jimmy, so Franklin climbs into the house through a window and makes his way to the garage where he gets the car. As he is driving back to the dealership Michael appears from the back with a gun pointed at Franklins head and gets him to crash straight through the window before beating the owner of the dealership, Franklin is later fired but Michael tells him he can train him to find some special work.
Later in the game Michael catches his wife in bed with her tennis coach Michael goes mad so him and Franklin chase him down, they chase him to a mansion which Michael ends up tearing down out of rage. He later discovers that was a very bad idea as it belongs to a big Mexican drug dealer Martin Madrazo who threatens to kill Michael if he didn’t get him the $2.5 million to replace it. But Michael doesn’t have that money so he plans to robber a major jewellery store and plans it with an old partner as well as get Franklin in on it to make some money and gain experience. But Michael messes up and says an old quote to a security guard that his old friend the one from the bank job that got away hears it on TV and this is when things start to get dangerous and exciting.
The controls for the game are similar if not same to the other GTA games so if you have played them you will know what you are doing but if not don’t worry they are easy to get familiar with so you will learn really quick. One of the new gameplay features I am glad the put in and wish they done sooner was the weapon wheal where you could hold L1 on PS and that would bring up all the weapons available which made it so much faster instead of keeping you scrolling through them all to find the one you want. There are a lot of collectables in the game but to me it seems like there are too many and I know you are like how can he say this when it adds game time but having something like 200 things to collect seems to take away from the fun experience and gets a bit boring.
For the health system this time around they didn’t go with the usual you need to find a health pack/food to regain your health back, instead they done it so if you dip below fifty percent it will regenerate back up to fifty percent but to go back up to 100 you will need a med pack or food. The body armour and stamina systems are back as well and you have the ability to upgrade your stamina and buy different types of body armour. A new addition to the game is the special abilities that also have a bar that can be regenerated by killing and driving fast, each character has their own specials which are the ability to slow time while driving, take more as well as deal more damage and slow time in gunfights.
The enemies in the game ranged from peds, gangsters and private security amongst others for you to fight and try to survive against. The A.I for them during a gun fight seemed pretty simple and nothing really new, they would move from cover to cover as they tried to move up and kill you which did make it harder to shoot them as you had to time it or be quick on the trigger. I didn’t notice them trying to flank you unless the spawned in a door behind or at the side of you then they would move around to your flank. The cops chasing you down in a car seemed a lot harder this time it kind of felt I was playing an actual racing game as they would do anything to wreck the car or just smash you off the road, they would also try to get in front of you and swerve so you could not get past and slow down so you slow down it was nice to see they really stepped up their game here even though it could be annoying at times.
This is a nice choice of weapons at least a choice of two between each class of weapon ranging from pistols, assault rifles and sniper rifles. You can add multiple attachments to each of your weapons as well as putting a camo on it I am glad Rockstar finally decided to give players the option of adding attachments to their weapons I feel like this could have been done in GTA IV if not sooner but better late than never especially with the options, like in most shooters some attachments can affect different stats of the weapon but to be honest I had a silencer on my assault rifle and their didn’t seem to be any damage drop. The weapons carry basic names such as Micro SMG and SMG this could be down to not getting the licenses which seems strange or just to save money but from the amount they spend on developing the game I don’t see it as a bad thing.
The graphics for the game where very nice Rockstar managed to show that this generation of consoles can still look great and have a couple years left in them, it was nice to see they used a large colour pallet for the game using a mixture of bright and dark greys in the city to nice bright greens in the woods and forests. The character models looked great as you could see their wrinkles and eyes move and change as they spoke or shouted which helped give you a sense of their feelings as they spoke.
The transition from cut scene to gameplay and back was nice and smooth if it wasn’t for the camera angles changing and not being able to move the character I bet a good few people would not be able to tell which was which, I am glad they used the in game engine and the investment of making that look great instead of using CGI or an alternate choice and I tip my hat to the graphics people.
I did have some problems with the graphics for me like 90-95% of them were pleasing to the eye and made all the traveling around great to see and experience, but with all that said I did find a couple shops and some bushes that did not look that great. It looked as if the texturing was done as quick as possible and in a place that looks good they can stand out, I know it’s only a fraction of the graphics but it would have been better if they took that extra little bit of time.
I really enjoyed all the voice acting by everyone they all done a good job at pushing how the characters felt and letting you know they are having fun robbing people or stealing money. The voice actors for the three main characters are Michael – Ned Luke, Franklin – Shawn Fonteno and Trevor – Steven Ogg, when writing the reviews I like to check the voice actors on IMDB and see what they have previously done and for these three they have not done very much acting or voice acting. It was great to see that even without a lot of experience they could deliver their characters personality over and hearing Michael and Trevor argue like kids was funny. The sound effects for the game were good overall nothing stood out to me but at the same time I was never disappointed by them, I enjoyed the selection of music that they picked out for the game and there was something from everyone I found myself listening to every radio station at least once.
Overall I would give the game a 9 out of 10 it was really fun and I really enjoyed doing all the missions as well as the side missions, there are lots to see and do so it will keep you busy for hours on end. I have been a fan of GTA for a long time and I don’t feel the story has had this much done to make it better since the jump from 2D to 3D and I welcome all the improvements they made but still think there is more they can do. So if you enjoy shooters or have been on the fence about the game I suggest you take a jump off and give it a buy and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.