By THOMAS HUGHES
“Grand Theft Auto V” was released on Sept. 17, bringing in $800 million on launch day alone. Developed by Rockstar Games, “Grand Theft Auto V” was released worldwide for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The game is set in the fictional city of Los Santos, San Andreas, as well as its surrounding countryside and desert. The story focuses on three main characters: Michael, Franklin and Trevor. These seemingly unrelated characters, who all engage in illegal and morally questionable activities, eventually cross paths as they contend with rival gangs, crime lords, government agencies and the police in the hopes of someday making enough money to retire from their lives of crime.
The game features an open-world style of game play, which allows players to roam freely and decide how to proceed through the game. A multitude of missions and activities are available to players, while some are unique to specific characters. These missions and range from playing golf to organizing and executing a heist on a jewelry store; two very different activities that would appeal to different kinds of players.
The title, “Grand Theft Auto V,” indicates that the game focuses very heavily on crime, violence and cars. Weapons and ammo are readily available throughout the city, as well as custom auto shops to extensively upgrade players’ cars. Cars are not the only method of transportation, as the game also features planes, helicopters, boats, tanks and even a submarine to complete missions and escape the authorities. The player’s “wanted” level, indicated by up to five stars, determines how hard police will try to apprehend the character. As players gain more stars, it becomes increasingly more difficult to escape police detection throughout the game.
“Grand Theft Auto V” is a diverse game. Centered around crime and violence, while also tackling issues of corruption, torture, race, celebrity worship and the disconnect between generations and technology. It is completely over the top, violent, funny, satirical and, ultimately, unrealistic. Not only is the game aware of this, but it fully embraces it. It is thoughtful enough to offer legitimate commentary on today’s society and ridiculous enough to be an exciting, action-packed game. It does not take itself too seriously, and, as long as players do the same, they will have a fun, crime-filled time.