To say that Grand Theft Auto V was anticipated would be an understatement. But five years after Niko Bellic traversed Liberty City in search of the American Dream one of gaming’s most popular and acclaimed series is back.

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Photo: Eurogamer

Rockstar have been inspired by the GTA IV DLC and introduced three different playable characters in this entry. Players take control of Michael, a middle- aged ex-mobster with a dysfunctional family; Franklin, a young repo man yearning for the big time, and Trevor, a complete sociopath seemingly plucked straight out of Breaking Bad. Each character also has different specialist skills.

Whilst the player can pick any character at any moment to explore Los Santos it is during the main missions where this three- character dynamic comes into its own. The epic story missions require the player to pull extravagant heists, however the execution of these is all changeable.

The main consideration usually boils down to taking either the direct or subtle approach: pugnaciously carve a path to the vault of a building, or land on the roof via a helicopter and silently disable the alarm system. Players can even choose cut price crew members to save money.

During these heists, all three characters are involved in the action from different vantage points, requiring the player to achieve different objectives with different characters all in the same situation.
No one creates an open world game like Rockstar, and GTA V does not break that tradition.

There is an almost overwhelming variety of things to do: street racing, sea racing, hunting, parachuting, and drug trafficking just to name a few, and that’s before even embarking on the quest for all the collectibles.

Aside from some noticeable texture pop- in, Los Santos looks fantastic, and it’s also pleasing to report that the various radio stations provide a fantastic variation of tunes to hear whilst driving down Vinewood Boulevard.

The best analogy to describe Grand Theft Auto V would be to compare it to another cultural behemoth, albeit a very different one: Disneyland. Both not only forever altered their respective realms, but also spawned dozens of competitors, striving to become the next best thing and surpass the very reason they were created in the first place. Whilst some fail miserably and some edge close, that special something, that magic, will forever mean that second place is the only pedestal up for grabs. After all, there can be only one Disneyland.