Grand Theft Auto V Review
There has been a particular theory going round for the last year or so, that “box set” TV has replaced movies as the preferred form of mass, culturally meaningful entertainment. It is the likes of Breaking Bad, The Wire and Homeland that are telling us about modern life now, rather than Hollywood’s simplified three-act confections. Grand Theft Auto V, however, hints at a future in which that role is taken by games – or at the very least actively sought by them. Unlike the vast swathe of wondrous entertainment the video game industry produces, this series cannot be safely pigeon-holed or ignored by non-players. For the last decade, Rockstar has wielded a sledgehammer over public perceptions of what video games are or can be; now it has struck with merciless force.
Set mostly within the glitzily superficial city of Los Santos, a warped mirror of Los Angeles, GTA V is a sprawling tale of criminal maniacs self-destructing on a blood-splattered career trajectory to hell. Michael is the middle-aged thug, obsessed with movies, who pulled a witness protection deal with the feds after a failed heist many years ago. When his old partner Trevor, a sociopath who bakes meth out in the desert, turns up in town, the two join forces with a young black kid, Franklin, who’s set on leaving his gang-infested neighbourhood behind. The aim is a few final high-paying jobs, but there’s a festering resentment between Trev and Michael that goes back a long way, a fizzing fuse that trails all the way through the carnage.
This three-character format emancipates the narrative, jettisoning the awkward requirement for one protagonist to be everywhere, witnessing everything in this vast world. Switching between the characters can be done at any time while off mission, and all three have their own little pet projects to get involved with, adding variety and a few amusing surprises: switching to Trevor usually involves some bodily function or weird violent episode, while Michael has his dysfunctional family to manage. And overlaying all this is a huge plot about warring government agencies and corrupt billionaires.
The result is a freewheeling joyride through genre cinema and literature: there are psychopathic mafia bosses, insane motorcycle gangs, xenophobically sketched triads, corrupt secret agents and cynical movie producers – their stories twist and interconnect, slithering around the lives of our protagonists. It’s dizzying at times, but also daftly compelling, and the influence of multi-strand dramas such as The Wire is obvious.
To See more info about GTA V here is a link to IGN’s review with videos