Video Games: GTA V

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If you thought this was gonna be a slow month when you could just take some time for yourself, you better reevaluate, because the biggest, baddest game of all time is back, and better than ever. Hyperbole? Don’t think so. Grand Theft Auto V is out next week on Xbox 360 and PS3, and Rockstar is not in the business of disappointing.

Rockstar’s built themselves a reputation off the back of Grand Theft Auto III—a classic in video game history. Their games are typically three things: fun, easy to pick up and play, and almost always sandbox games where you can go anywhere and do anything.

GTA V promises to be no different. The trailers show a much more involved story than previous titles in the series, with three, closely-tied main characters that the player swaps between. There’s Michael, a middle-aged and retired bank robber living the mundane life with a terrible wife and kids. There’s his ex-partner, Trevor, completely done in by drugs and living in a trailer in the desert. And then there’s Franklin—a street kid working for a repo man who gets wrangled into the other duo’s return to a life of crime.
 
 
 
Probably the biggest claim Rockstar has made is that it’s going to be the biggest open world in video games ever seen. How big? The claim going forward is that it’s going to be bigger than GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption’s worlds combined. Which in and of itself is unbelievable. Many of us have spent hours and hours just driving around San Andreas’s deserts, or galloping around the wild west of Red Dead. The world of GTA V is a remake of Southern California, with everything from the forests to ghettos rendered in ridiculous amounts of detail. Redditor GeENie recently leaked what is claimed to be a map of the massive in-game world, shown below.
 

Photo: GeENie / Reddit

 
This isn’t too new—we saw Fuel had a huge open world that took two real-time hours to get from one end to the other in. What is new however, is that this world will be filled with stuff to do, things to see, minigames to play and all those minor details that make the GTA games so much fun. While tennis and golf have been confirmed (and all playable with your friends via a robust online play mode), Rockstar has been mum on including a basketball minigame.

The game engine is the same as the one used in GTA IV—so there shouldn’t be any earth shattering changes. However, Rockstar’s using the updated version they used in 2012’s Max Payne 3 and, tweaking the engine even further still, gameplay screenshots have been incredibly impressive.
With all the stuff that we’ve been shown so far, this is an obvious and easy pickup. GTA V looks like it’s not just going to be the best GTA game ever, but possible one of the greatest video games of all time.
GTA V launches worldwide on September 17, 2013.

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