Grand Theft Auto V | A Full Overview of the Game
September 17, 2013
In 2004, Michael Townley, Trevor Philips, and Bradley Snider attempt to rob a cash depot in Ludendorff, North Yankton. Their escape attempt fails as Michael and Brad get shot by sniper and Trevor is forced to leave his companions behind.
The story fasts forwards to 2013 where Michael is alive and living under witness protection with his wife Amanda, daughter Tracey, and son Jimmy, in Los Santos under the alias Michael De Santa. He meets Franklin Clinton, a gangbanger who tries to steal Jimmy’s car for corrupt car dealer Simeon Yetarian, and later befriends him. Upon finding his wife sleeping with her tennis coach, Michael with Franklin’s help chases the coach to a mansion and destroys it. The mansion, however, actually belonged to the girlfriend of Mexican drug lord Martin Madrazo. Madrazo arrives at Michael’s house and blackmails him to repay the debt.
Michael enlists the help of his old friend, Lester Crest, a criminal mastermind, and with Franklin as an accomplice, they successfully rob a jewelry store and repay Madrazo’s dept. Trevor, who now lives in a trailer park in Blaine County and believes Michael was killed in their failed robbery, watches an interview of the security guard of the jewel store on TV and realizes that the heist was performed by Michael. Although initially enraged by the revelation, he reunites with Michael after tracking him down at his house.
The trio becomes busy in solving personal problems. Michael tries to reunite his family after they leave him, and antagonizes corrupt capitalist Devin Weston when he accidentally kills his secretary. Franklin tries to handle local gang affairs for his friend Lamar Davis. Trevor tries to recklessly consolidate his power over arms and drug rackets by attacking various enemies, with Merryweather Private Security Forces, The Lost motorcycle club, and Triad kingpin Wei Cheng being his top targets.
Under the directions of FIB agents Dave Norton and Steve Haines, the trio perform several missions to prove the FIB’s efficiency over IAA. Meanwhile, Michael, Trevor, Lester, and Franklin start planning their raid on the Union Depository’s gold bullion reserve as it was always the “Big” target for the former three.
Their plan becomes thwarted when Trevor uncovers Michael’s secret; nine years ago at Ludendorff, Michael conspired with Dave Norton, who killed Brad and buried his body in Michael’s grave whereas Michael was safely enjoying his life at Los Santos after pretending to die in front of Trevor during the heist. Trevor later agrees to perform the Union Depository heist and part ways with him afterward.
After successfully completing the heist, Franklin is approached by two separate parties – Steve and Dave ask him to kill Trevor whereas Devin Weston asks him to kill Michael. At this point, the player has three choices – “Kill Trevor”, “Kill Michael”, and “Deathwish”.
If the player chooses to kill either Trevor or Michael, Franklin ceases contact with the survivor and returns to his old life.
If the player chooses “Deathwish”, the trio withstand an onslaught from the FIB and Merryweather before going on to kill all their enemies. Michael and Trevor reconcile, and the three cease working together but remain friends.
Grand Theft Auto V can be played from either a third-person or first-person perspective and its vast world is navigated on foot or by vehicles including boats and aircrafts. Players progress through the game by completing missions. The open world environment of the game is accessible to the player for exploration immediately after the prologue although some gameplay features and interactions are unlocked after completion of specific missions.
Here are some gameplay features that make Grand Theft Auto V, the best open world game ever produced –
Multiple protagonists –
Unlike all other games in the GTA series, Grand Theft Auto V features not one but three different protagonists for the players to control. The player can bring up a Character Wheel which has four slots – Michael (left), Franklin (up), Trevor (right), and the GTA Online character (down).
While free roaming, the player can freely switch characters; the camera moves up above the city, moves above the new character and drops down, fully giving the player control of the new character. The transition takes about 3 to 5 seconds depending on how far apart the characters are. When switching to a new character, the players will see them leading their daily lives; Franklin can be seen coming out of a club, Michael can be seen returning home after cycling with his son, and Trevor, ermm, can be seen on top of a hill wearing only his underwear.
The player, however, cannot switch characters when wanted by police. During most missions, characters can be switched to give the players a tactical advantage over enemies. Some side activities are exclusive to specific characters; for instance, only Trevor can take part in hunting missions.
Health, Combat, and Weapon Customization –
> Health –
Grand Theft Auto V features regenerative health, unlike any previous GTA title. If you take damage and are low on health, being in cover and avoiding damage for a few seconds will regenerate your health up to 50%. Armor, however, doesn’t regenerate. You can top up your health by finding health pickups around the city; your safehouse will always have one. You can also gain health by buying snacks from 24/7 stores, soda from Soda Machines, and by having sex with prostitutes (Yeah! This is GTA game after all).
If you lose all your health, you will end up dying with the message “Wasted” being displayed on your screen like previous GTA titles except GTA IV. You will come out of the nearest hospital, with cuts and bruises on your face and body, in a rather sad mood. You will also lose some money due to hospital bills. Unlike previous titles, you will not lose any weapon.
> Combat –
The combat features of Grand Theft Auto V are excellent and is almost the same as GTA IV with few minor changes. Weapon weight physics have been greatly overhauled. The player will run comparatively slower with a shotgun than with a pistol. He will run even slower while carrying a mini-gun or a rocket launcher. Bullet physics have been improved too; players can kill an enemy with one shotgun shot when close enough, and different weapons have different stopping powers.
Unlike GTA IV, the enemy’s health circle when you aim at them is no longer available. The default crosshair of the game is a thin white dot; players can increase the size of the dot, or change the reticule to “Complex” to which the crosshair will change in accordance with the type of weapon the player is using. The reticule turns red when aimed at an enemy, and a little red cross appears in the middle of the crosshair upon killing an enemy. The screen also slightly flashes red to indicate that an enemy is killed.
While aimed at an enemy, players can do a combat roll or throw a grenade with the press of a button. To avoid damage during a fire-fight, players can take cover behind obstacles. Players can aim from cover to shoot at enemies, doing which protects almost half of the player’s body from taking damage. They can further avoid damage by simply blind firing from cover, although it greatly reduces accuracy. Gamers can also prevent this by peeking from cover to make the reticule appear, and then blind firing for slightly increased accuracy. Cover-to-cover movement in GTA V is much simpler than in GTA IV; the player character no longer slides or vaults to cover but simply moves towards it in a realistic manner.
Players can use objects such as propane tanks to their advantage. They can blow them up to kill multiple enemies near it. Players can also blow up vehicles by dealing enough damage to it if an enemy is taking cover behind one.
Players can also perform drive-by shooting for vehicular combats and chases.
> Weapon Customization –
Grand Theft Auto V provides dozens of weapons of different varieties for players to choose from. It allows players to carry multiple weapons belonging to the same class, which wasn’t possible in previous GTA titles. Weapons and ammunition can be acquired by picking up weapons from dead enemies or by buying them from “Ammu-Nation” gun stores located throughout the city and its outskirts. The gun stores contain various weapons, although players must unlock several advanced weapons by completing missions. Some missions automatically provide players with weapons to use during gameplay. Just like the Character Wheel, the player can bring up the Weapons Wheel to choose between all the available weapons.
Unlike previous GTA titles, this game allows players to customize weapons. Weapon attachments include extended magazines, scopes, suppressors, flashlights, grips, as wells as skins. Extended magazines greatly increase the size of the weapon’s clip as well as the total amount of ammunition carried by the player for that gun. Grips increase the weapon’s accuracy by reducing recoil and increasing stability. Suppressors are useful during missions where stealth is an option as it helps the player remain undetected due to masking of the gunshot sound. Flashlights are used to increase the player’s visibility during darkness whereas skins are purely cosmetic and have no effect on the weapon’s performance.
Transport, and Vehicle Customization –
> Transport –
The game features tons of vehicles for the players to choose from in order to accommodate it’s massive open-world. Players can drive four-wheeled vehicles such as sports cars, trailers, limos, police vehicles, trucks, vans, buggies, two-wheelers such as dirt bikes, high-end motorcycles, scooters, various types of bicycles, etc. Unlike previous titles, GTA V features roof-top convertible cars.
Players can also drive various boats ranging from speed-boats to jet-skies to navigate the map’s water bodies and also submersibles to navigate the depths of the ocean and enjoy the beauties of underwater environments.
For air navigation, the game provides the players with various helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts ranging from paramedic choppers to military fighter jets, with varying speeds and maneuverability. Gamers can also fly giant air-balloons by ordering them from their in-game phone, and then go to the delivery location to fly them.
Players can store their cars and motorcycles, boats, airplanes, and helicopters at their garage, dock, hangar, and helipad respectively. Players will first have to buy these properties in order to use them. Each character has a default vehicle which is always parked at their safe house. They will also own a garage attached to their safe house by default. Trevor will own a hangar and helipad pretty quickly after the player has unlocked him as a playable character.
As is the tradition for the Grand Theft Auto games, the player character can carjack vehicles by pulling out the driver and taking the car for themselves. He will get into a parked car by breaking the window, unlocking the car from inside, and then hot-wiring the engine. Some cars might have car alarms which will attract the attention of nearby cops. Different characters will have different carjacking traits. On most occasions, Michael and Franklin will gently pull out the driver whereas Trevor will bang the driver’s head in the steering wheel and then pull him out. In case of parked vehicles, Franklin can pull out the door handle whereas the other two characters will always break the window. If the character has a gun equipped, he will aim the gun at the driver and tell him/her to get out.
Bored from jacking cars? Players also have the option to use public transports such as taxis and subway trains. Players can also jump aboard a freighter if they want, however, trains cannot be driven like in GTA: San Andreas.
> Vehicle Customization –
Grand Theft Auto V allows players to customize their vehicles to their heart’s content. Varying cars and motorcycles have varying customization options. Very few vehicles, however, cannot be customized or may not have all the customization options. Customization options include Engine, Tires, Rim, Hood, Window tint, Armor, Paint jobs, Lights, among others. Visual customizations such as Paint jobs, and Window tints are purely cosmetic whereas Engines, Tires, and Armors upgrades affect the vehicle’s performance and handling.
Character Customization –
Character customization in Grand Theft Auto V is similar to GTA: San Andreas. Players can customize their characters at will, with numerous options at their disposal. Options include haircuts, facial haircuts, tattoos, clothing and ornaments.
Clothing options include Shirts, Tees, Jeans, Pants, Jackets, Suits, among several others. Players can also buy caps, masks, and sunglasses for their characters. Caps, masks, and sunglasses can be equipped anytime without visiting a safe house or a store with a special menu. Ornaments and Dresses are exclusively for Franklin and Trevor, respectively. Different stores of varying budget range contain different character-specific clothing options belonging to various categories.
Tattoos can be applied and removed at the player’s will; players can now apply two different tattoos at the same portion of the body, in which case, the tattoos will overlap. Haircuts can be applied to the characters too; different barber shops of varying budget range have different character specific haircuts and facial haircuts.
Special Ability –
Each character in Grand Theft Auto V has a Special Ability that they can use to their advantage when needed. With the press of a button, players can enable or disable their Special Ability; using this feature drains the “Special Ability” bar, which refills over time when certain actions are performed.
Michael has the ability to enter Bullet Time, similar to the Max Payne series where players can slow time while shooting. This helps the players aim and shoot multiple enemies accurately which is usually harder otherwise.
Franklin has the ability to induce slow motion while driving. This is particularly useful during races and high-speed chases where players need to make sharp turns in order to avoid collisions. During drive-by shootouts, players can use this ability to slow down time and aim at the tires of the car or the driver if the moment is opportune.
Trevor has the ability to enter “Rage Mode”. This allows him to deal 2x damage to enemies while he will take only half the amount of damage. This can come in handy during messy combat situations where there is not much cover and the player is running low on health.
Leisure Activities –
Players can engage in numerous activities that Grand Theft Auto V has provided. Some activities are unlocked right after finishing the Prologue whereas some require the players to complete a specific mission/side mission, or purchase a particular property.
> Phone –
The use of phones first introduced in GTA IV returns, with many new features. Like the previous game, other characters would contact you with mission details by calling or texting you. Players can now use the in-game smart-phone to read emails and surf the internet instead of visiting Internet Cafes. In addition to that, they can also check their game progression from the phone. The player’s ability to take pictures from their in-game phone has been overhauled; players can add borders and filters to their image. They can also take a self-portrait, a feature absent in GTA IV.
Players can use the phone to call up their friends, taxi company, air-balloon delivery company, and emergency services, among other contacts. Different characters will have different phones with the varying user interface. Trevor’s phone will have a slight crack on the side of its screen.
> Radio –
Grand Theft Auto V has an excellent radio system. While in a vehicle, the player can bring up the radio wheel with the press of a button (similar to the weapon and character wheel). Players can freely choose between the various radio stations, each of which contains several radio talk shows, music tracks, and songs including original licensed scores. News in radio stations will often report on high profile activities that the player caused during any mission.
> Television –
The ability to watch television returns from GTA IV with brand new shows, along with previous shows with all new episodes. Shows include crime reports, reality shows, biographies, and cartoons, all with an adult touch.
> Movies –
One of the new features that Grand Theft Auto V provides, is the ability to watch movies. Players can head to one of the few movie theaters located across Los Santos. Movie theaters will only remain open during in-game working hours.
> Internet –
The ability to browse internet returns from GTA IV. As mentioned in the Phone section above, players no longer need to visit internet cafes. They can browse the internet from their in-game smart-phone itself. Using the internet, players can view their emails, bank statements, along with various other in-game websites including the character’s social networking site. GTA V allows the players to view videos on the internet and trade stocks.
> Properties –
Too much money from heisting? Players can buy properties located throughout Los Santos and Blaine County. Some properties such as garages and hangars are purely bought to suit the player’s purpose. Other properties include businesses such as taxi companies, golf clubs, movie theaters, bars, etc.
Buying a business property will generate weekly revenue for the player character. Apart from revenues, these businesses will provide the player will side missions and extra benefits. For example, buying “Downtown Cab Co.” will provide the character with free taxi rides, and the manager will occasionally contact him to pick up customers due to a driver calling in sick.
Properties and revenues are, however, character specific. For instance, if Michael owns the “Hookies bar”, only he will get the revenue and side missions from it.
> Store Robbery –
Unlike previous games in the series, Grand Theft Auto V allows players to hold up grocery and liquor stores. Players can rob any of the several stores located throughout Los Santos and Blaine County. In order to rob a store, players need to point their gun at the store clerk to force them to empty the cash register. If a store has more than one cash register, the player has to shoot the other register and grab its contents. Some store clerks are stubborn and need to be intimidated by shooting near them. Some will try to shoot the player, in which case, the player can either escape, or kill him and rob the cash register themselves.
Wearing a mask while robbing stores is recommended. If the player robs a store without wearing a mask and does not kill the store clerk, the clerk will remember the player’s face and will immediately open fire the next time the player visits the store, even if he is not attempting to rob it.
> Joy Rides/Los Santos Tour –
Wanna scream “Weeeeee”? Grand Theft Auto V has an amusement park where players can spend their time riding in joy rides. Joy Rides include Roller Coaster and Ferris Wheel. Players can head to the Del Perro Pier anytime and enjoy the joy rides when not on a mission.
In addition to joy rides, players can head to Vinewood and get on the Los Santos Tour Bus. The tour bus will drive around the city with the tour guide telling the passengers about the history and significance of particular landmarks along the way.
> Drinking and Smoking –
The drinking system returns from the previous game with much more freedom. Players can either grab a drink at their safe house or buy them at the strip club. Players can also get drunk by visiting a bar with friends like in GTA IV. Controlling the player character while they are drunk is much more simple than in the previous game. Unlike GTA IV, players can now run or use their phone while drunk. Players will gain a wanted level if they drink and drive in front of a cop.
In addition to drinking, Grand Theft Auto V allows the player to smoke cigarettes and drugs. Cigarette smoking is available only to Michael, whereas the ability to smoke drugs is available to all three characters. Players can smoke drugs only at their safe house. The type of drug depends on the safe house.
> Strip Club –
(Ahem !) Tired of killing and robbing? Like previous games in the series, GTA V too has a strip club where players can blow off some steam. Players can buy drinks at the strip club or simply enjoy the view (You know how it works). They have the option to throw money at the stripper, doing which increases the stripper’s likeness for the player character. Gamers can also get private lap dances for a fee. During a lap dance, players can flirt with the stripper by passing comments or by touching them. However, players will be thrown out of the club if the bouncer sees him touch the stripper.
If a stripper’s likeness meter is full, the player can choose to get a double dance. Some strippers will invite the player for sex at their home. Upon accepting the invitation, the player will have to drive the stripper to her home. After an off-screen sex, the stripper’s number will be added to the player’s phone. Players can later call up the stripper for sex.
> Friends –
Players can call up their friends and ask them to hang out with him. They can call upto two friends for a hangout session. Players can take their friends to a bar, a strip club, movie theater, tennis court, darts, golf club, etc. Unlike GTA IV, friends will not annoy the player by calling them, nor will the friends provide any special perk. Players themselves need to call up their friends and ask them to hang out. The dating system from the previous game does not return.
Grand Theft Auto V expands upon the sporting activities introduced in GTA: San Andreas, with many new sports available for the players. Very few activities are character specific and some are unlocked after completion of particular missions/side missions.
> Parachuting/Base jumping –
Wanna feel the air? Players can jump off a building, cliff, or an aircraft with a parachute bag and deploy it when they want (at a reasonable height, else splat !). Parachute controls provide much more freedom than in GTA: San Andreas as players can lean forward or back towards a particular direction. Players can now shoot their guns with one hand while parachuting. Players can buy parachutes at the gun store and select the parachute color or pattern, reserve parachute color or pattern, and parachute smoke color.
The game also has parachuting challenges where players must parachute through multiple checkpoints and land accurately at the landing zone, doing which awards the player with money based on their performance.
> Swimming/Scuba Diving –
Players can spend their time swimming the water bodies of the game as well. Unlike in GTA IV, players can dive underwater and explore the depths of the lakes and ocean. Players have limited oxygen, depleting which will drain their health and will result in drowning unless they swim to the surface to catch some breath. If the players ride a dinghy or a submersible and get off it, they will be equipped with a scuba gear that has unlimited oxygen supply. Beware of sharks! Exploring too far in the ocean away from land will attract sharks which will attack the player as soon as they see. Players will have no fighting chance, however, on rare occasions, players can kill the shark with their knife.
> Tennis –
One of the newest additions to the Grand Theft Auto series is the ability to play tennis. Players can head to a tennis court and enjoy a set of tennis matches for a very small fee. Tennis matches are free at Michael’s home tennis court. This activity is available only to Michael and Trevor.
> Golf –
Players can head to the golf club and hone their golfing skills for a fee. The golf club will remain open only during in-game working hours. Players can enjoy free golf matches once they have bought the golf club.
> Darts –
The ability to play Darts returns from GTA IV, with the dart controls being slightly easier than in the previous game. Players can head to the Yellow Jack Bar in Blaine County to enjoy as many games of darts as they want. Winning a dart match will award the player with a small amount of cash.
> Yoga –
Want to increase your spiritual energy? Grand Theft Auto V allows players to perform yoga. Players will have to successfully complete the steps for each three ‘asana’ in order to complete a yoga session. This activity is only available to Michael.
> Hunting –
The game features hunting missions where players can hunt animals for money. During a hunting session, players will have to shoot animals in the forest and send a picture of the dead animals to Cletus in order to gain money. Players will gain the most amount of money by shooting an elk in the heart since it does minimal damage to animal’s other body parts. The player can lure out elks with a whistle or shoot other animals in the forests instead. Players must look out for lions and shoot them immediately as they can kill the player with one pounce. This activity is only available to Trevor and can be participated during day-time only.
> Shooting Range –
Just like in GTA: San Andreas, players can head to one of the several “Ammu-Nation” gun stores and try out it’s shooting range. Not all gun stores will have a shooting range. Target practice in shooting range is available for almost every weapon, except of course the rocket launcher.
> Triathlon –
Triathlon is a multi-sport activity in which the player must go through the checkpoints and reach the finishing line before everyone else. A triathlon consists of three types of races – swimming, cycling, and sprinting.
> Off-road, Street, and Sea Races –
Grand Theft Auto V has plenty of races to go by. Off-road races can be of different varieties – SUVs, Trucks, and Dirt Bike races, where players need to drive through various checkpoints and reach the finish line.
Sea races involve players riding on jet-skies and going through the checkpoints to reach the finish line. Sea races can take place in the open sea or through the narrow rivers.
Street races are also available to the player where players will have to race through the streets of Los Santos, pass checkpoints, and reach the finish line before others. Street races can be done in cars or on motorcycles depending on the race. Unlike all other races, these are only available for Franklin. Players also need to bring their own vehicle to the starting line of the street race and pay a participation fee. Street races are only available during nights.
> Flight School and Stunt Plane Trial –
Grand Theft Auto V features a flight school where players can learn about various flying techniques for airplanes and helicopters along with parachute maneuverability. The game also features a stunt plane trial activity where players must fly a stunt plane through rather dangerous checkpoints within a time limit.
Gathering collectibles is one of the oldest activities of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. GTA V features collectibles too. Collectibles can be of different types and be gathering all collectibles of a particular set may award the player with a bonus mission or cash reward. Collectibles include Letter Scraps, Spaceship Parts, Nuclear Wastes, Peyote Plants, among others.
Random Encounters –
While free-roaming, players can participate in different random encounters. These may vary from a hitchhiker asking for a ride to a woman being mugged. Players can help out people in these situations or simply ignore them and continue roaming. Some encounters in Grand Theft Auto V might involve the player being attacked by a group of people in which case the player can either escape or kill them all.
Grand Theft Auto Online –
Grand Theft Auto Online is the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V. This game mode allows up to 30 players to freely roam the fictional state of San Andreas (Los Santos and Blaine County), or engage in cooperative or competitive gameplay. During its early stages post-launch, GTA Online suffered from widespread technical issues which resulted in the loss of character data and inability to play missions. However, after the developers fixed the issues, it became one of the “Most played multiplayer games” over-time.
In Grand Theft Auto Online, players create a new character specific to the online world with full freedom of the character’s gender, hairstyle, clothing, etc. Players can participate in numerous activities with the primary activity types being Contact Missions (story-based, usually in cooperative mode), Deathmatches (free-for-all or team based), and Races (cars, bikes, boats, or air-crafts). The Heists Update adds five cooperative elaborate multi-part missions, each mission having several setup jobs leading up to the finale crime which is a high-profit job.
According to me, Grand Theft Auto V is till date the best open-world game ever produced. The game’s brilliant open-world design let players freely roam Los Santos and it’s outskirts, thereby enjoying both city life as well as the view of the countryside. NPCs can range from working class people at construction sites to criminals at their hideouts, not to forget the police officers who’ll intervene if you commit a crime.
Like mentioned in the above sections, this game provides numerous activities in which the players can engage at will if they want to take a break from missions. Speaking of missions, missions in Grand Theft Auto V are much more versatile than in previous Grand Theft Auto games; missions can involve infiltrating a facility through under-water pipes or quietly tailing a target on a helicopter. Players can traverse the world by various means with an option to choose among numerous cars, bikes, boats, air-crafts, etc, with every vehicle of each category having own speed and handling physics.
Most fans are asking one question: “When is GTA 6 coming out?”. Unfortunately, there is no official news from Rockstar Games or any other sources whatsoever. With Red Dead Redemption 2 rumored to be released during Q1/Q2 2018, calculated deduction says it will be at least one year after the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 that fans may hear from Rockstar about a potential GTA game. Anything can happen at any point in time so we should be prepared for any surprise that Rockstar throws at us. Happy Gaming!
Stay tuned to giml.co.in for future updates and news about potential sequels.
#Gaming is my Life
- Brilliant open-world design.
- Versatile missions.
- Numerous side-activities.
- Excellent combat features.
- Occasional technical issues in GTA Online.
- Lack of activities such as Police missions, Paramedic missions, etc.
- Unfun Melee combat.