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Grand Theft Auto V is the newest installment in the Grand Theft Auto series. It satirizes the city of Los Angeles and pokes fun at all the aspects of modern mainstream society. Furthermore, it portrays the real American Dream: Getting rich quick by any means necessary. Grand Theft Auto V conveys the story of three very different characters who are on the path to this American Dream and whose lives intertwine due to the one thing they have in common: they are excellent thieves.
Grand Theft Auto V is set in Los Santos, a fictional city that was modeled after the real world city of Los Angeles. Every negative aspect of modern day Los Angeles is portrayed in Los Santos: Drug addicts, gang violence, thievery, materialistic and pretentious people, people obsessed with self-improvement, and those determined to get anything they want despite the risks. Such is the case with the three characters depicted in the game.
The first character the player is introduced to is Michael. A middle aged man who attends psychological therapy sessions and wastes his days sulking by the pool, he is a retired professional thief and spends his hard earned loot on his two dysfunctional teenage children and his unfaithful wife. He has no purpose in life and is amidst the worst of his midlife crisis.
Franklin is soon after introduced. An African American gangster who commits petty crimes to make a living, Franklin is the atypical real world South-Central Los Angeles gang member. He is desperately looking for an escape from the gangbanging life, but does not abandon the “get-what-I-want-no-matter-what” attitude.
On the opposite end of the spectrum sits Trevor. Living in northern Los Santos, Trevor is a drug dealer who has committed every crime under the sun and has no remorse for those whom he harms. Always acting on impulse and out of anger, Trevor is considered a psychopath who has few friends and the few he has are deathly afraid of him.
Grand Theft Auto V uses these characters in order to satirize the main aspects of people who inhabit modern day Los Angeles: Those who are trying to better themselves regardless of what it takes, those who cannot figure out what to do with their lives, and those who are simply insane.
This is the first aspect of the game that makes it one of the greatest games ever created. Amidst the extreme violence, sexual themes, theft, and law breaking, there are lessons to be learned about life. It teaches the player to look at the aspects of their lives through a different set of eyes and realize that, at times, the actions of the members of modern day society are quite simply ridiculous.
For those who are not interested in life lessons, Grand Theft Auto V still offers many things.
For one, it offers is excellent gameplay. The actions the characters perform throughout the game are seamless and run rather smoothly in comparison to the previous installments of Grand Theft Auto. Before this installment of the series, the shooting scenes in the game seemed automated. In other words, rather than allowing the player to aim for themselves, the game would automatically aim at targets. On paper, this seems like a positive feature. However, once playing the game, it makes the video game feel much too easy. Grand Theft Auto V fixed this problem. Now, players must aim for themselves and the game offers much more of a challenge.
Another major improvement is seen in the driving. Previously, one of the worst vehicles to drive were motorcycles. Rather than being agile, motorcycles would handle about as well as semi-trucks in the previous installments. Again, Grand Theft Auto V found a solution to this problem. The handling of the motorcycle is much more sensitive and the motorcycles are generally quicker than cars, giving a more realistic feel to the driving of the motorcycle.
Unfortunately, there is always something wrong with every masterpiece. In this case (for some users, depending on their taste), the music certainly lacks quality. Many of the radio stations featured in the game play outdated music such as sixties pop music, jazz, and eighties pop music. Although it is likely there are players who listen to these genres, most do not, and it is rather unpleasant to be forced to listen to these genres of music. Those who enjoy electronic dance music are out of luck because there is no station that features this genre. The modern rap and hip-hop station, Radio Los Santos, plays hits that were popular prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. Therefore, those songs are even less relevant now, and do not offer a flattering listening experience to the player.
Luckily, the music is the only real flaw of Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto V offers a vast online gameplay mode that allows the player to connect with anyone else in the world who has the same gaming console and a copy of Grand Theft Auto V. This means the player can engage in cooperative missions, shootouts, and general exploration of Los Santos with anyone on who is online at the same time as the player.
Aside from interactions with other players, Grand Theft Auto V offers a single player online mode where the player executes missions in order to obtain the luxuries in life as a seasoned criminal: money, vehicles, guns, and properties.
Ultimately, Grand Theft Auto V offers an exceptional gaming experience for all gamers, both casual and hardcore. At sixty dollars, it is a small investment in what will surely result in endless hours of fun both by yourself during the single player campaign and with others during online gameplay. I personally believe it is one of the top three games of all time and do not think any gamer will be dissatisfied with the gaming experience Grand Theft Auto V offers.