It’s broken records as the fastest-selling entertainment product in history – so it’s fair to say open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V has a huge weight of expectation on its shoulders. After seven days in its compelling company, Anthony Longstaff delivers his verdict on the blockbusting title.
Having spent most of the last week holed up in my house, camping chair situated in front of the TV – following in the footsteps of masses of other men in their thirties – I can now officially say that GTA 5 has pretty much taken over my life.
The daily event of switching on to my virtual world in Los Santos is not unsurprisingly driving the wife potty, but at least it keeps me off the streets and out of her way.
Having taken some 5 years to develop, Grand Theft Auto 5 is the latest installment in the acclaimed and high-profile GTA series. Produced by British company Rockstar North, the game allows you to explore the eventful state of San Andreas in a third person perspective. Its highly-anticipated release had sales estimates running at over $1 billion in the first week alone, making it the fastest-selling game of all time.
The game itself is meticulous; the painstaking precision and detail mind-blowing. Its playability is seemingly infinite, with the option to follow missions or simply have a leisurely drive round the city.
So far, I’m about a third of the way through completing missions. I’ve robbed a bank, pulled down someone’s house, erased a mobile phone developer, chased a yacht on a lorry which had my virtual kidnapped son on board, and tackled quite a few others with a slightly more ‘adult’ theme.
The game focuses on 3 main characters, who you switch between in order to build up their skill sets. This can include driving, firearms control, flying, running etc… and are used throughout the experience.
Masses of controversy has surrounded this title and the series as a whole, but never in my history of gaming have I experienced a game that demands such attention as this.
As a 30-something father of three perhaps I ought to ‘know better’ – but there is simply something in it that keeps me wanting to go back again and again, and this is exactly what the team behind it were hoping for.
It’s vast, it’s exciting, and it’s often overwhelming – in a good way.