Grand Theft Auto V - First Impressions

Grand Theft Auto V: The iconic logo

With the review of GTA V, I want to pull off a Tom Sawyer trick – invite, well, we’re civilized people, this time for free, friends and acquaintances to play while I watch what’s going on. There’s just too much in it; to even catch a fleeting glimpse of a significant portion of the content, you have to hold onto the gamepad for at least ten days.

Our little blog, devoid of the luxury of owning an early review copy or being showered with gifts from developers and publishers, doesn’t know that, so instead of one article “About Everything,” it would be better to write several notes “About Various Things.”

The anticipation of GTA V fans - It's gonna be fun

It’s gonna be fun.

To be honest, I don’t know if I actually managed to complete the prologue or not. On one hand, I have already been introduced to all three promised characters, but on the other hand, they don’t let me perform full missions or even enter the city as the third balding robber, whose name I still don’t know.

Nevertheless, I have been a resident of Los Santos for five hours already, even two residents of Los Santos. The news and announcements of GTA V deceived me: it happens when you read various notes that can easily be misinterpreted and understand what is written “in your favor” with one eye. I thought that playing as three different characters would mean that I could choose one of them and calmly go through the whole story and try out all the content. But it’s not like that. Three characters mean that one of them knows how to play tennis, the second one often receives calls from buddies from the neighborhood, and the third one, probably, will also be some kind of special. And accordingly, you have to play a little bit with each of them.

Meet Franklin Clinton, the antihero

The hero Franklin Clinton. Personally, I’m not interested, but you can’t get away from him anyway.

For the first hour and a half, you can work on the storyline without a care, but then the thirst for random urban adventures and exploring everything becomes unbearable, and the whole schedule goes to hell. After a little while, you get sucked into some mini-game as usual. In my case, it turned out to be the infamous tennis. There was another trap waiting there.

Anyway, after a mission, Michael (the second protagonist, who is in his forties and has a house right away) gets a call from his wife. She says, “You set up a court in the backyard, but you don’t play yourself, what’s going on?” And then, just as the tennis racket icon appears on the mini-map. Well, I thought, I should give it a try. A one-set match seemed unserious, I should aim for at least three. And then it turned out that in GTA V, tennis matches are played seriously, with all the serves, games, and breaks. Oh my god, in Virtua Tennis, it was never like this in real life, are you kidding me, how could you expect such a twist. The good old 6-1, 6-0 took a whole twenty minutes; I didn’t want to give up on principle. Why on earth.

Meanwhile, the racket dances themselves are made almost more complex than half of the “big” game simulators. This thing is glitchy in places, though, but still – we have four different honest shots, free roaming of the court, and an interesting ball “navigation” system. When you get yourself a copy of the game – be sure to try it. Just play one set.

Then a random mission came up, during which Michael was encouraged to smoke weed, and aliens with lasers started popping up everywhere. Then it became interesting to climb on roofs. Then I had to help someone rob a store, and one of the robbers, after successfully completing the job, said, “Hey, if you’re going on a job, give us a call, we’ll get oriented.”

Yearning for the adventures that await

I haven’t reached it yet, but I really, really want to.

I spent five hours in GTA V, and it felt like it was only 15 minutes in reality. I stole cars, shot random people and police officers, completed missions, and even tried to escape from a chase on the prison grounds – it was a very clever move – and there was still a whole unexplored world ahead of me. The promised bank heists as my companion hadn’t even appeared on the horizon yet.

By the sixth hour, you only start to get somewhat familiar with the main characters, start to listen to the local radio talk shows, and haven’t even attempted to memorize the map yet, there’s just too much going on. It’s just some kind of celebration. We keep digging.


GTA5 Cover: A world of crime and chaos

GTA V: first impressions. Okay, the introduction to the maniac Trevor happened. My buddy has serious problems with his head… well, actually, he has serious problems with everything, starting from his drug buyers and ending with his wardrobe.

Meanwhile, Michael’s family problems have become very serious, and Franklin has started to succeed. The mentioned system in “First Impressions” where you have to play as all three characters has more or less kicked off – now you have to do big “story” missions with a whole gang, switching between characters on the fly, and yes, it adds variety and fun to the process of shooting and robbing. Plus, now when you manage to plant explosives on a ship, snipe its guards with a sniper rifle, and ride a submarine all within the same mission, it looks more confident. Tommy Vercetti was a superman, but here we have people, each of whom manages to do something of their own.

The rest of the time, the system continues to falter. As you can imagine, every first player quickly develops a favorite, and racing around Los Santos for the others becomes not very fun. You also have to complete side quests for them and buy unique buildings… Well, at least the range of choices is wide.

By the way, about the side missions. Among the optional activities in GTAV, there turned out to be quite a lot of very boring stuff. For example, you can go hunting for deer. Yeah, instead of stealing a plane from the military and crashing it into a huge airship, then breaking into a prison and shooting enemies until the last bullet. Or searching for endless Easter eggs, eventually.

Unpredictable events

Hunting looks like this. You “enter” the reserve, blow into a special hunting whistle, find a target – all on foot and without any action – take one shot, take a photo of the carcass, and wait for payment for it. Sorry, it’s five minutes to nowhere. The same goes for the Franklin tow truck.

To be fair, the sheer tedium of some of the pastimes is more than compensated for by their overall quantity. There’s bound to be something you’ll like, whether it’s tennis, jet ski racing, yoga (no joke, there’s yoga in the game), or some kind of classic collection of rare trinkets.

But before collecting trinkets, you still have to follow the quest line. The advice that has been repeated more and more often lately is: don’t deviate from the main missions for the first fifteen hours, otherwise the game won’t open up to you properly. By the way, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine when you can finally bury yourself in the sandbox. Ah, I remember running around in Skyrim until level twenty-something without mastering Fus Ro Dah. That was cool. Here’s a tip: while playing as Franklin, be sure to ride to the desert and meet your abducted alien friend there, and then have a chat with the agitator for marijuana legalization, also as Franklin. They are marked on the map, you’ll find them.

Continuing the journey

Well, in short, we have the old good three-dimensional GTA in front of us, in which absolutely nothing has changed. Six stars, bone-crushing helicopter controls, traffic, name any characteristic feature and you won’t miss. Plus, there are bonus inserts of random events, tested by Rockstar in Red Dead Redemption. So, you’re driving a car, fixing a primus at the same time, not bothering anyone, and then a red dot appears on the map. Or blue, or both at once. This means that something has happened somewhere to someone, and you can try to intervene and resolve the situation.

The benefits of this are usually almost none, but occasionally it happens that completing a mini-quest not only satisfies you but also rewards you with some good money. Or a hint of which stocks to buy on the stock exchange. Oh, yes, in GTA V, you can trade stocks from an in-game mobile phone. Again, the activity itself is boring, but sometimes the game gives a direct clue: “Buy ABC stocks, they will soon rise in value.” In such a situation, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity.

From here on, it’s a matter of personal preference as to how much you will like Los Santos and its surroundings. In my opinion, they made too few backwoods redneck areas. But maybe I just haven’t found where on the map I can buy my own ranch yet.

Let’s keep digging and explore the story.

PC version

A thrilling helicopter ride

Well, it’s time to take a deep breath.

As for the PC port of Grand Theft Auto V, it was only talked about in the most remote places, and even there, rumors surely leaked. Scandals, petitions, intrigues, and delays not only fueled the inter-platform rivalry but also kept the game at the peak of relevance for almost two years. Now, however, a definitive end has been put to the history of mistreatment of “PC gamers,” and it is such a significant end that we can confidently say – their patience was not in vain.

We will calmly skip the story of what GTA V is and why people willingly buy the same thing for the third time, especially since we have long dedicated ourselves to it. separate lines And you yourselves, probably already know much more about the game than any article, so let’s get straight to the point.

Exploring the strip club

Make it rain, as they say.

First-person perspective

In the eyes, or rather, in the hands, control immediately catches your attention. Rockstar has definitely done a great job, fitting the entire range of actions into the limited gamepad framework, but it is still much more convenient on a keyboard and mouse. Crazy button manipulations are minimized, the standard layout is logical and comfortable – and the updated shootouts are so enjoyable that the struggles with auto-aiming are only remembered as a bad dream.

The only complaint is the control of aircraft, which cannot be improved compared to console controls. If desired, you can create a personal control scheme, of course, but the sharp lack of sticks and triggers will still make itself known: if you want to rotate the camera and not crash into the nearest skyscraper, you will have to grow a third hand or, at worst, involve relatives. Although such tricks are unlikely to deter fans of the keyboard and mouse platform – it’s not their first time.

Be your own director

One of the main features of the PC version that the authors highlighted was the Director Mode, which allows users to create their own videos with unique characters. The mode turned out to be even more interesting than expected, partly because you can dress up as an alien and create your own adaptation of something like Saints Row in the vastness of Los Santos – luckily, there is a whole set of tools available to maintain your creative flow. And if the romanticism of being a director doesn’t appeal to you, you can simply take beautiful screenshots.

Trevor's wild adventures

Nolan, move over!

As for the graphical execution, PC competitors cannot even come close. Without false modesty, the computer version of GTA V is the most beautiful and vibrant of all existing versions. Aside from the obvious support for insane resolutions and anti-aliasing unfamiliar to consoles, there are textures of phenomenal quality, almost infinite draw distance, improved weather effects, soft shadows and lighting, tessellation, anisotropic filtering, and a bunch of other sophisticated technologies that video card manufacturers live by. The number of settings in the corresponding menu is impressive, but the result is even more impressive.

Policing the streets

GTA V on PC is the embodiment of a naive dream about “if only they released the same game, but with new graphics.” Now it is truly a large, contrasting, vibrant, and clear world, where maximum attention and resources are devoted to every detail. The abundance of details instantly affects the persuasiveness of what is happening, as well as the liveliness of the overall picture. And all this without shameful loading times – the praised new generation definitely did not spoil us with that. And if you have only seen Los Santos on a console, better keep an eye on your jaw. Yes, it really is that beautiful.

What is no less important is that it is also very stable. After the infamous port of the fourth part, the visit to the fifth is like a balm for the soul. The system requirements, over which everyone was laughing back in January, turned out to be true: the game runs decently on even the most modest configurations – you can easily achieve a steady 40 frames per second even on something like a GTX 550 Ti, without sacrificing graphics too much. Many modern graphics cards can easily handle the coveted 60 FPS. We don’t know about others, but for such joy, we forgive all those nasty release delays.

Canine companions
Grand Theft Auto V Online on PC

There are also troubles, of course. First and foremost, laptop owners will encounter them, discovering that GTA V refuses to cooperate with the onboard graphics card. Currently, this issue is not resolved, but judging by the general nature of the problem, a response from the developers can be expected in the near future.

Other nuisances are not as significant. Sometimes there is a conflict with the Windows account, in which the name should only contain allowable characters, someone’s game refuses to install without Windows Media Player, and some complain about low performance. In the latter case, there are many options, but usually installing a new version of the video card driver, forcing vertical synchronization, increasing the paging file, and other trivialities help.

Hospital: Scenes of chaos

Online in this version turned out to be surprisingly neat. Players are quickly found, the connection holds firmly, and the fun flows endlessly. Only occasional cases of spontaneous disconnection smear the multiplayer idyll, but they are too rare to be considered a serious flaw.

In the end, the PC community was rewarded for all the suffering. The latest GTA installment reached computers in a polished, almost flawless state, inspiring pride in the platform that naysayers have been calling dying for years.

GTA5 screenshot

And it tempts me to repeat words of gratitude to the console operators for the “beta test”, but let’s leave this childishness behind.

Grand Theft Auto V
PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Action, Multiplayer
Rockstar Games
Rockstar North
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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