Grand Theft Auto 5 PC Review

Michael and Trevor. I like Michael, I loathe Trevor.

In the audio commentary for the movie Bad Day at Black Rock, director John Sturges quoted Alfred Hitchcock, who had told him a rule for making movies called “Meanwhile, back at the ranch.” He explains, “You want to have two things going. You reach the peak of one, you go to the other. You pick the other up just where you want it. When it loses interest, drop it. Meanwhile, back at the ranch.”

After its opening act, Grand Theft Auto V [official site] lets you switch at any moment between its three criminal characters: retired thief Michael, young hopeful Franklin, and the psychotic Trevor. You’ll perform some missions as one and, as you grow weary or their plot begins to lose interest, you can switch to either of the others. When you arrive, their story is already in motion, and you’ll find them at home, having a fight in a car park, or perhaps drunk among some farm animals. Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

The impact of this structural addition to GTA’s normal singleplayer ripples out throughout the game, and I think it’s the story’s strongest device for maintaining the integrity of its world even as its cinematic ambition continues to rub awkwardly against its pretensions towards player freedom.

I’ll spend a while trying to re-unite Michael with his layabout son Jimmy and, when I tire of the A-to-B driving sections and start to consider running over pedestrians on purpose, will flick over to Franklin. I’ll spend a while assassinating supposedly immoral business owners and profiting on the stock market and, as the trigger-happy repetition begins to feel like grind and I become tempted to use my firepower to create some havoc outside of the prescribed missions, I’ll switch over to Trevor. I’ll spend a while listening to him grumble and, as his relentless unpleasantness and psychopath-for-laughs schtick begins to make me feel sad about the game and myself, I’ll switch over instead to my GTA Online character, in which violently breaking the integrity of Los Santos is rendered as playful roughhousing by the presence of other people both as audience and co-conspirators.

Vespucci Beach is one of the best places in the game to people watch.

Splitting Grand Theft Auto’s normal story of criminal excess across three distinct characters helps the game diminish or delay the consequences of those excesses. For example, Grand Theft Auto IV’s Niko Bellic at first felt to me like a sympathetic character; a recent immigrant to America attempting to escape his troubled past, but being inexorably drawn back towards old patterns of violence. That sympathy quickly dissipated after around five hours, when he was essentially rich, still doing jobs for people he hated, and persisting with violence long past the point where it had stopped protecting his family and friends and started hurting them.

By comparison, GTAV’s moment of lost sympathy happens later – at least in the case of Michael and Franklin – and happens for each character at a different moment. In the case of Trevor, who is unsympathetic and despicable from the start, his bond with the others makes him almost tolerable. I don’t like embodying him, but I understand why the others cannot wholly reject or escape him.

The structure of the game helps, but GTAV’s singleplayer is not simply a case of making the best of a bad situation. I’ve been surprised over the past week how much I’ve enjoyed revisiting these storylines and missions, after first playing them on XBox 360 at release. For much of the first half of the game at least, GTA is content to let you have fun. Michael restarts his life of crime because he is bored, aging, and desperate for excitement, and the missions are exciting, as you race down a highway after your stolen boat while Franklin jumps to and from the hood of your car, or as you perform your first heist by optionally gassing the staff of a jewellery store so you can make off without having killed anyone. Franklin, meanwhile, commits crimes because he needs money as a way out of his neighbourhood where other opportunities are non-existent. You share his thrill as he shifts from street thuggery and car theft towards more sophisticated crimes and a beautiful house in the Vinewood hills. All of this is depicted with levity and hint at an Ocean’s Eleven-style game that might have been, one where crimes are caper and we get to enjoy people who enjoy each other.

On page two, the messy satire of GTA, Rockstar unfortunately being Rockstar, and thoughts on Los Santos.

211 Comments

  1. SMGreer says:

    Still waiting a hundred hours for it to download…

    But I enjoyed a lot of GTA Online on console (when it eventually worked) but I spent most of my time playing with friends which is really the best way. Playing with strangers is fun in bursts but it’s almost impossible to progress that way.

    • Flatley says:

      GTA V online with my friends (on 360, not PC) is just about the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. It’s almost like we’re actually hanging out in real life instead of living across the country from each other; the difference being we can hop in helicopters and cruise around at no risk to life and limb. Absolutely love it; still play regularly.

      With random people, forget about it. Absolutely awful. Near-worst community that exists. At least in a random matchup of, say, CoD, you could expect a modicum of teamwork. Not here. Avoid at all costs.

    • Dale Winton says:

      waiting on it downloading also. Started it at 6pm so should really be finished but its only done 9gb. Not a good start

      • instantcoffe says:

        I’ve actually downloaded the torrent to get it faster than the Rockstar Social whatever.
        Just enter your code and voilà!

        • popej says:

          Torrent? Could you explain? Is there a way to download it legally via torrent or do you mean a dodgy version but with your official key?

          Ta

          • OmNomNom says:

            There is no crack so the torrents out there are just the preload files. You put those files in the destination game dir and run the install tool and point it at the same folder. Only missing files or differently sized files will be downloaded.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      I bought a retail copy because my internet is shitty, however it requires a 5gb day one patch because FUCKFUCKITYFUCK, of course to compound things the launcher stops downloading after a couple of minutes. “Connection to download server lost. Reconnecting…” it says, but I believe it’s lying, because it never does, so you must manually pause and resume the download to pick up where you left off. I’m thinking of setting up a macro or suing for RSI. Downloading is also slow, even by my connections standards. 5gb patch to play, downloading at 36 KB/sec, stopping every couple of minutes until it’s manually restarted. Rockstar sure know how to fuck up a launch.

      • Loz says:

        Exactly my experience. A 5GB day-one patch can only mean one thing: an anti-piracy measure. Thanks Rockstar. And yet you don’t even make sure your servers are up to the job.

        The icing on the cake? No other way to download the patch, no mirror or 3rd party downloads. You have to use their shitty Rockstar Social Club bollocks, which as the OP mentioned, doesn’t work.

        I ALWAYS buy my games legit, but remind me to pirate Rockstar games in future.

        RPS, isn’t it time you started speaking out about behaviour like this? I bought a retail copy of the game precisely because my internet is shit. To get hit with a 5GB patch on day one is just a well-aimed kick in the balls.

        • Mokinokaro says:

          It’s more likely to be the heist content that was finished after the game went gold.

        • wyrm4701 says:

          I ALWAYS buy my games legit, but remind me to pirate Rockstar games in future.

          I said this exact same thing after buying GTA IV.

    • LenaFaulkner says:

      I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… http://www.globe-report.com

  2. Laurentius says:

    No comment about how is car handling ? Unacceptable. Maybe stick playing ETS because what is this ?

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      It’s basically the same as in GTAIV. Either you get used to the handling of the cars and stop being bothered by it, or you complain in every comment thread about the game until the end of time.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Except in GTA V you have a driving skill which affects how your car handles.

      • Perjoss says:

        Even with low driving skill the cars are much easier to handle at high speeds compared to GTAIV, in IV the cars had really soft suspension and it felt like the gravity setting was set just a tad lower than real life, so even the smallest mistake like clipping a curve or taking a bend too fast would end up in loss of control and big crashes.

        Overall they have made driving less realistic but more fun and also easier to do other things while driving like aiming and shooting.

        • malkav11 says:

          I still prefer the handling in the PS2 era GTAs, but yes, it’s much better in V than in IV, where it made vehicle missions nearly impossible for me and eventually completely blocked me from progressing. Especially since Franklin’s special ability is a sort of bullet time for driving.

    • Fatrat says:

      But, err… the cars handle extremely well. Not unacceptably at all, and nothing like GTA 4.

      I wanted to go with mouse + kb as my control scheme for GTA 5, rather than be gimped by a control pad when playing online. I was worried the cars would handle like slippery tanks, like in GTA 4. But even with the keyboard they’re easy to handle, even at high speeds.

      • Fatrat says:

        *Rather than be gimped by a control pad *IN SHOOTOUTS*… to clarify. :>

      • Asurmen says:

        You can use both. It’s what I’m doing. Pad on knee to use when driving, switch to kb+mouse for on foot.

    • noodlecake says:

      The handling in GTA is miles better than any other open world city game. Everything is physics based and has real weight. I don’t understand what people could possibly have to complain about. :S

      Saint’s Row has Mario Kart style handling which is pretty icky. Every other game of this type is even worse!

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I liked the way GTA 4 handled. It was very drift heavy meaning there was lots of bouncing off cars when going around corners. I felt like the devs watched Blues Brothers and were like, “Lets make the game like that.”

      • quarpec says:

        except physics based walking and driving is complete ass

        SR3 and 4 are the only open world games where driving is actually fun, and not just an exercise in frustration as you try to get from point a to b

      • tristan371 says:

        I take it you’ve never experienced the juicy driving joy of mafia 2?

  3. golem09 says:

    Not trolling or anything, but I actually wonder how many more people are out there who don’t give a single shit about the GTA series, like me. From the games media coverage it feels like EVERYONE ON THE PLANET is playing this at the moment.

    • elmuerte says:

      Not me. I’m still downloading 5 GiB Rockstar couldn’t fit on an 8th DVD.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      There’s a parallel Earth where the series continued to use and develop the psychedelic retro-cyberpunk setting of GTA 2, and in that world I possibly still care.

      • April March says:

        In that world Volition never really found their voice with Saints’ Row and just kept upping the customization options and the main character’s meanness until they became but a void receptacle for evil. After the failure of Saints Row 4, they put all their hopes in a ‘reboot’, Saints Row Online.

        It is identical to GTAV’s multiplayer, except there are more purple outfits and the puns are even worse.

      • quarpec says:

        this is all i ever wanted from a 3d gta, and it never really came

        i guess it’s more profitable to be a GRITTY AND REALISTIC hbo-like crime drama with tank controls and god-awful dialogue

        • lordcooper says:

          GRITTY AND REALISTIC

          link to youtu.be

          Might I suggest you either complaining about games you haven’t played, or give them a go and find some actual complaints.

    • montorsi says:

      Probably because its sold a million copies on Steam, two years after its initial release.

    • neofit says:

      Oh, that’ll be an instant purchase at 5€ on a Steam sale. They couldn’t figure out how to make good accurate K&M controls nor proper checkpointing in the 4 previous iterations, I have no reason to believe that they finally hired someone with a clue.

      • Fatrat says:

        KB + mouse is suprisingly good in 5, even for driving. As someone who’s played every single GTA and even clocked hundreds of hours in 4 (which seems to be the least loved version, by the internet), i’ll agree that there was no option other than controller… until now!

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          I couldn’t work out how to fly a plane with K&M, but you can just leave a controller plugged in for those bits.

    • DanMan says:

      I’ve played maybe an hour of GTA 3. I was driving around, got in a firefight, laughed pretty hard at the controls and then uninstalled it. That sums up my exposure to the series. Haven’t cared ever since.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      There are indeed some people that don’t give a shit about GTA, that’s absolutely true, but i’m also noticing that a good part of them mostly doesn’t know why they actually should care instead.

      Take a swim in the lake in a rainy day, have a walk and maybe a bycicle raid in Vespucci ( Venice ) beach at sunset, ending on the pier in which you can have a nice rollercoaster ride for 15 dollars. Do anything you really want to do in the world you’re playing in, let it sink in, relax and just watch.

      Do that, and try not to tell yourself it’s the most beautiful, coherent and lively open world you ever saw, start counting how many unique assets are there to justify it’s huge install size, go and hunt for the extreme plethora of details to have an idea of how much work and great talent went into this, travel a single mile in any direction and notice how every single inch of the world was handcrafted to obsession and then ask yourself how it can be shrugged off as “just another game”.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        I can access the most beautiful, coherent and lively open world I ever saw by opening my door and walking outside.

        • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

          Sick burn bro!

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Yeah, but now you can do it without going outside!
          Also this guy is right, GTAV is worth buying just for the world, even if you hate the narrative stuff. In my opinion, obvs.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Aye bro, and you can just pickup a plane, a helicopter, any random other vehicle or make everything explode. Hopefully i live very far from you.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            Wait a second: how exactly did we come from
            “take a swim, have a walk,go on a bycicle ride and ride a rollercoaster”,

            in other words: totally NORMAL activites, which was all you mentioned in your first post, and to which Jason Moyer replied (absolutely correct in that regard!) with the fact, that he can have all this in RL, to

            “pickup a plane, a helicopter, or any random other vehicle and make everything explode”, (aka: totally NOT NORMAL activities) in your second post?

            Somehow I got the impression, your first post was all about showing people “who don’t give a shit about GTA V”, that there is more to it, than meets the eye…

            To quote you: “There are indeed some people that don’t give a shit about GTA, that’s absolutely true, but i’m also noticing that a good part of them mostly doesn’t know why they actually should care instead.”

            And then, after getting confronted with a truth, you don’t want to hear/read about – you contradict yourself with your second comment, by returning to exactly all those things, the people “who don’t give a shit about GTA V”, well,…don’t give a shit about.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            So did i have to educate him on what you can do in GTA5? Really?

            What i focused on was how things are made and presented, and the real point was to show how much there is to it even when you’re doing something that for the purpose of the game is ancillary at best, a “waste of time” at worst.

            And sorry, but his response was just a stupid sarcastic line that didn’t really help anyone, so before you try to dissect my message you might wanna ask yourself if his post made any sense at all in the first place.

            And besides, why does that matter anyway? Why don’t you tell those playing ETS2 to become truckers? Why would you play ANY game in which you’re ALSO doing normal things? You wouldn’t? Good for you, but many people kind of enjoy that.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            “Somehow I got the impression, your first post was all about showing people “who don’t give a shit about GTA V”, that there is more to it, than meets the eye…”

            Also, what is wrong with this? Some might not have the slightest idea about it, and if they agree with me and enjoy their time it will be good for them. Others will disagree and keep not giving a shit. I would never have discovered how good NBA 2K15 is if i kept my attitude of ignoring sports game without friends explaining me why i might like it instead. Everyone ignores a thing or another, nobody has unlimited time to know everything.

        • aldo_14 says:

          I can access the most beautiful, coherent and lively open world I ever saw by opening my door and walking outside.

          Unless you live in Scotland, in which case that walk is cut abruptly short by stepping in a dog jobbie, sudden horizontal rain and hiding from the local alcoholic nutters.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Not my memory of Scotland (except one old man who shouted at me once, couldn’t understand a word), but then I was 7 back then.

        • melancholicthug says:

          I pictured you in my mind dropping a microphone as you pushed the “Opinion, away!” button.

      • fr3udes says:

        Yes, and no. You can drive or walk, or sail or whatever at sunset and it’s beautiful, yes. But you go nothing to do. NOTHING. Not a damn thing.

        – you CANT talk to people, you CANT interact with them. You can just drive over them or slap them in the face.
        – you CANT enter places, you just CANT. In a million squared kilometer map there’s only a bunch of 7/eleven you can enter and rob, for example. It’s crazy. You can’t do shit.
        – you CANT buy food, nor open chests, nor enter a bank and steal

        All you can do is drive and drive and drive, It’s an open-world of nothingness. And the story is really for teenager, compared to IV. It gets boring quickly. For me, the “board a military plane with a tiny plane, then steal a submarine, then steal a nuke then what ?” made me quit the story…

        On the other hand, it’s as boring as LA could be. There’s NOTHING to do in LA beside driving while listening to music :-)

        • fr3udes says:

          EDIT : nothing but driving AND destroying things, like my 15 months daughter loves to do

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Surely some constraints are needed, or at least i’ll change my mind as soon something else manages to top all that’s done here anyway. And no, you don’t simply top it by including the changes you are suggesting, unless you do that without any single compromise.

          Besides, i really don’t get this nonsense about stories for teenagers and so on, there is something for everyone and a child is surely not going to get all the jokes, or at least i hope as that would otherwise mean a pretty fucked up world.

          What you were trying to say is that the story is ridicolous. A lot of adults like that.

        • Fnord73 says:

          Thats not really true. You got quite a bit of sidequests to open up. You can go hunting. You can join Scientology. You can interact with random folks and help them out (driving them places, admitted), while listening to loads of hilarious dialogue, you can then sell them into slavery at the local Jonestown-like cult. You can go diving. You can do peyote. There are UFO clues to be found, and secrets and so on. Quite a lot beside just driving.

          • fr3udes says:

            Well, adult story, probably, yes. Ridiculous, yes. But not engaging. I was moved by Bellic story, i’m not by any of these 3 characters. It’s hilarious, yes. But at some point, it is just pointless. You can’t deny that.

            I never get bored on Red Dead Redemption, while i was just collecting flowers for hours… I’m bored with Skyrim, while i’m not by Kotor which is just a line to follow. Go figure.

            Regarding things to do, no, i don’t feel there’s much to do, sorry. Hunting is boring, joining the Scientology huuuu, well…, driving dudes somewhere, pffffff.

            Don’t get me wrong, i’ve played it a lot on 360, and i’ll probably play it more on pc, i’d even buy another CG for that, but i still got a disappointed feeling, and this feeling is more and more there nowadays. We re-installed Kotor with a friend, because of that. We’re both 40 and 44, and… INSTANT FUN.

        • malkav11 says:

          According to the review, you can press E and talk to people. And there are (some) places you can buy food, movie theaters you can watch movies in, etc. You can’t enter the majority of buildings, though, this is true.

      • golem09 says:

        Indeed, I don’t know why I should care.
        1. I don’t like “experiencing the world”, that just sounds incredibly boring and uselss to me
        2. I don’t like shooters without superpowers
        3. I don’t like gangster stories
        4. I don’t like playing evil characters
        5. I don’t care about “open world” gameplay, or blowing shit up

        This games has absolutely nothing going on for me. Every aspect of it is incredibly boring.

        • VitalMoss says:

          Then why are you commenting. You aren’t an interested or involved party. You are just someone else bad-mouthing the game.

          • Distec says:

            For real. There’s something about GTA that drives these anal types out of the woodwork to loudly proclaim how every aspect of the game just doesn’t appeal to them, and then stupidly wonder aloud why anybody cares about this series.

            It’s like some some fucked up Dark Mirror reflection of the reactions to Gone Home. Shooting? UGH. Foul language? DOUBLE UGH. You mean I CAN’T sit on the beach and have an hour-long friendly chat with a random NPC? BULLSHIT SIMULATION AND UGH UGH UGH WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS.

          • hungrycookpot says:

            My god, why can’t every game developer just make Halo? That’s what I want, Halo. I just want everything to be Halo and anyone who makes a game that isn’t Halo is wasting precious human resources that could be spent making Halo.

          • anark10n says:

            Ah, yes, only people who are interested in it are obliged to post their opinions about it. Not only that, in a thread where someone asked for people who don’t care for the game to speak up, the same applies …… Huh?

        • pepperfez says:

          I’m not grabbed by GTA either, but surely the simple fact that so many people do love it is interesting? I mean, the ambivalent feelings RPS staff have towards it fascinate me, for instance.

      • malkav11 says:

        I never understood the appeal of GTA either. Why would I want to simulate running around committing crimes? Then I played GTA III. The combination of the incredible feel of that open world and the ridiculous sense of humor had me hooked. I’ve not looked back since. (Although IV, because the driving physics were completely intolerable, didn’t last very long for me until I got a handling mod and even then I couldn’t manage driving feats that were asked of me later on in both the main game and Lost and the Damned so I’m less than halfway through both and never got around to Gay Tony.)

    • dorobo says:

      Same here.. I have 21games on a wishlist and non of them gtaV. Id rather play skylines. I think the first gta was the best :D and then an assassin creed syndrom starts to emerge..

      • SaintAn says:

        AssCreed sydrome is from releasing AssCreed games once or more a year. GTA is not suffering from that since it’s usually 3+ years for their releases, and they’ve always turned out good.

    • waltC says:

      Games that have to do with “jobs” and running from the cops have traditionally bored me to tears…kind of like the computer-game equivalent of the Jerry Springer show…;) I’ve never been interested in a GTA game before because of that. I have to say, however, that this one looks fairly interesting–at least, it does so far (the single-player, of course–I can only imagine that the ‘multi-player’ in this kind of game would be awful–why would anyone waste his time on that? Ugh) I like the attention they’ve paid to getting it right on the PC–unless that’s all just smoke & mirrors & marketing, so far. I may have to pick this up at some point…but I’m just afraid that it’s going to be too immature for my tastes. But at least Rockstar gets more interest out of me this time than is my usual for a GTA game.

    • Dayfather says:

      I never cared for GTA prior to GTA V. I played a bit of Vice City and San Andreas but got quickly bored of both of them but on a whim I picked up GTA V when it was released for the PS3 and I absolutely loved it and I’ve repurchased again for PC. I don’t know if it’s just me who feels this way but I suggest you give GTA V a try even if you haven’t cared for the GTA series previously.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Not interested in GTA specifically. Did enjoy Sleeping Dogs, but then it was one of the few games set in an Asian city, so it was interesting because of that. Also lots of martial arts stuff.

    • noodlecake says:

      I find it very bizarre that you don’t understand the appeal of GTA V. It’s basically a game in which you can do absolutely everything, in a world that has more attention to detail than any other video game world, with NPCs that feel more alive than any other video game NPCs, with a very high bar set for voice acting and writing that blows most if not all other games out of the water. It’s physics system is unparalleled and a joy to play around with. If none of these things interest you then maybe video games aren’t your thing…

      • anark10n says:

        It is my contention that there are no NPCs in any video game that feel alive. They are at their worst, quest dispensers, and at their best, automatons. Without exception. And as always with the disclaimer, that it’s my opinion. Having the ability to do everything in a game world doesn’t automatically make doing everything fun (how is joining Scientology/Epsilon more fun simply because a bunch pixels have told you that you have just joined Scientology/Epsilon?). Good voice acting does not equal a good game. And I don’t think writing South Park-type scripts is the height of literature, but hey, das jus me doe. I will give you the point of the physics engine, as i prefer playing systems, and in the end that’s all it is, a system. A physics engine has ready-built systems for most people to play with and have fun in, but this hardly makes GTA a standout among all the other games that employ such an engine. What sets the GTA physics engine apart from any other?

      • Cropduster says:

        Even as a long-time GTA fan I must say that ‘absolutely anything’ is a bit hyperbolic. What you can do is still basically limited to drive/shoot/minigame. Rockstar make the best game worlds in this genre, but their gameplay hasn’t really changed since 2001.

        I’m enjoying it so far, but still frustrated by the limitations. The game’s beautiful world follows the same rules as it’s strippers, look but don’t touch.I was expecting 5 to go down more of Read Dead route, with bars, clubs and other buildings to get your RP on, but in that respect we’re basically back to GTA3. Streets, Cars, Guns, Missions.

        But it’s so damn pretty and well produced that I can’t help but have a good time with it. I just wish there was more to it at this point. Even just more cool stuff that you find by exploring rather than following a big ‘?’ on the map.

        I guess what I really want is Grand Theft Shenmue.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Nope. I’m not interested in playing it as a misogynist thug simulator is not my thing. I do like reading RPS writers’ ambivalent thoughts on it though.

  4. James says:

    So far my experiences have been of the confused variety. I booted it up and configured the graphics. I was immediatly confused by the fact that ‘normal’ is the lowest graphics option and that by default I had been put on that setting for everything. That is not unusual, my GTX 645 is adequet for a lot of games and performed well when I bought the computer a couple of years ago. Nvidia popups tell me I can happily ignore the graphics settings and ramp a few things up, which was technically true, but the result was areas of graphical perfaction and areas of garbage dotted about the screen as the PC throws the bits of frame the GPU had managed to cough up in time. The overall result was stuttering and a constantly exaggerated film-grain effect. Putting things on ‘normal’ (basically 720p everything) does result in a smooth 60fps mimimum. I’ve had a max of 100fps – so maybe I’ll turn up those textures in exchange for 30fps.

    The game itself is fine, I got it pretty quickly. Online was interesting. I’ve had no crashes, but I have has the odd car pop into existance inside another car and get sent to join the Kerbals. The best way to enjoy Online, I find, is not to do missions because the grind is appauling. GTA is meant to be my relief from the relentless tedium of exam revision, not an addition to the drudgery. So my advice for GTA online is simple: give zero fucks about levelling and have a great time! I have, and I’ve been shot repeatedly, run over twice, killed about 17 people by crashing a truck into a train station and bought the best apartment. I am having fun.

    I just hope I can get my hands on a GTX 970 soon, the ‘normal’ graphics are going to get on my nerves eventually.

    • soggyburrito says:

      I’m surprised that card can run the game so smoothly. Make sure you’ve updated your video drivers to the Beta version released April 13th. The GTX 970 is a great choice btw. Just make sure it’s gonna fit in your case. Goo luck!

      • James says:

        Honestly I am amazed by my PC. It is running GTA V at 1080p with high textures (normal eveonally else) and 4x AA at a solid 60fps, occasionally there is a lag spike when a vista comes into view or a jet explodes in front of me, but that is perfectly tolerable. Yesterday I thought I broke something when my PC crashed in Online but it turned out that it was just a windows exception error. Nothing to do with my GPU or CPU. I am pleased with how it looks even on these settings, approximate to the PS4 version with wavier shadows.

        I’ve been having a lot of fun with friends. I have not experienced the problems Graham has. My friend and I tried to escape a 5 star wanted level by shooting up the airport and escaping in a heli. We did it only to land in the military base by mistake and hide in a hanger. All was well… they had tanks but we were in cover and they had only just spotted us. I ran out of the hanger straight into the barrel of a tank. Good times.

  5. Oakreef says:

    Been watching my flatmate replay it on the PS3 and by god there’s so many long cutscenes about fuck all to introduce missions where you then have to drive half way across the map while listening to each character in turn rant about how they hate all the other characters and life is shit. It’s like the game actively doesn’t want you to enjoy it. I don’t remember 4 being so bad about that stuff but maybe I’m just remembering it with rose tinted glasses?

    • dangermouse76 says:

      You just listed some of the things I enjoy about it, weird that.

      • Oakreef says:

        Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind dialogue heavy games and there’s games I love almost entirely for dialogue and story but so much of the dialogue in GTA5 just seems to be people complaining about how their life sucks, how everyone they know is a useless shit and just how much they hate everything. It’s not the fact that there’s so much dialogue, it’s that I just find the dialogue that’s there really grating. Maybe things turn around for people and they whinge less as things go on? Seems unlikely considering how cynical the game seems to want to be.

        • dangermouse76 says:

          They moan a lot in this game that’s true. I don’t mind the writing as in I like it enough to listen to. But I do wonder if they need to change up the team a little in that department. I think it’s mainly one of the brothers is it not ? It does feel like he has only seen about 5 movies in his life.

          That and his mother took his teddy away quite early on in his life.

        • LordSheogorath says:

          sounds like a welfare recipient simulator

    • melancholicthug says:

      Sounds EXACTLY like 4’s “dates” or meetups with Roman or one of the other terrible, terrible characters. I don’t really want my escapist urban fantasy character to have a more active social life than the real me, dammit. That’s depressing.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Thank fsck you can skip most of the cut scenes by hammering the return key. The long drives are still there though (although the check-pointing is better, you usually only have to go through it once)

    • wengart says:

      This was definitely a problem with 4. I almost didn’t finish the game because of it.

      I don’t actually mind the long drives and exposition at first, but when I’m 10-15 hours into the game it can sometimes get a little long in the tooth. I certainly wouldn’t replay a GTA game.

    • noodlecake says:

      You know if you press “A” it skips the cutscenes, right? So they’re there for people who enjoy well written, well voice acted story bits, and you don’t have to watch them if you don’t care. Also you don’t have to do the missions. You can just run around and blow shit up, or just enjoy the beautifully crafted game world, or do one of the many many fun activities dotted around the city.

  6. v21v21v21 says:

    hey, rockstar, right?

    stopped caring after the frustration of #4’s launch. One of the easiest resolutions made, not to ever buy their stuff early. Easiest one to keep, too. Though, fair ‘s fair, they helped a lot with keeping it by pulling that console thing on everyone.

    Will probably become a fun game, eventually. Look, you ‘ve already waited two years already (half of that time being pointedly ignored), what are a couple more between friends, right? Right?

    p.s. there was an article I recall, here on rps, about how rock* can go stick #5 up its own, ’cause, Watchdogs. Of course, we now all know how //that// turned out, but, nevertheless, the feeling stayed with me.

    • Dale Winton says:

      Yeah I am not buying any of their games again due to this ridiculous slow download speed. Somebody needs to tell them its not 2004 anymore and to invest in better servers

      • Jinoru says:

        I was getting pretty consistent 14 MB/s down.

        • aircool says:

          Took me an hour and a half to download just after lunch.

        • Dale Winton says:

          Yeah if I bought it off steam I am sure it would be going at 17mb/s but it’s downloading off that shitty rockstar thing. Currently downloading at 134kb/s. First world problems eh?

          • Jinoru says:

            Nah, I was on the Rockstar Launcher too. It would flux between 3 to 14MB/s. I had it done in about 3 hours or so.

    • montorsi says:

      It’s a pretty good port. This article spends the bulk of its time mewling about MP which, to be fair, is usually a little borked on release day for a significant percentage of games. SP is fine, looks great, doesn’t crash for most people I suspect. Claiming it’s a rehash of 4 is so far from reality initially I wondered if it was satire.

      • airmikee says:

        Did you reply to the wrong person? v21v21v21 never said it was a rehash of 4, he said the launch of 5 has the same problems the launch of 4 had, pisspoor multiplayer and slow downloads, and as both games suffered from both flaws, he is absolutely right, which makes you just another commenter that can’t be bothered to read.

    • wengart says:

      I don’t understand this thought process.

      “Oh god your last game launched poorly” So what? It just means I’ll be more cautious before I buy the next. From everything I’ve read GTA5 is a solid port.

      “Oh god they pulled the console thing” I frankly am not sure what you are talking about? The delay? OMG, were you waiting this entirety of two years to play GTA5 so much that you just waited too long? We have PCs, at our fingertips are an almost infinite number of hours of entertainment.

      Personally I have Netflix and 600 some games on Steam. The late release of GTA5 literally meant I had nothing to do for TWO YEARS. I just sat here and twiddled my thumbs.

      Your comment just reads like someone who is “boycotting” a product they never intended to purchase.

  7. Scott says:

    This is where I’d usually stick a comment in suggesting that folks who want to play with the RPS community can find a thread in our forum with the details.

    But er… the content of the article may not encourage many folks to even play Online in its current state.

    (If you must insist: link to rockpapershotgun.com)

    • DanielBrauer says:

      I think my friend put it really well: “It’s kind of amazing how little fun it is considering it’s literally GTA online.”

      • Awesomeclaw says:

        I think that general open world shenanigans are only really fun when the aim of the game isn’t just to be an arsehole to everyone around you. If you’re playing in an open lobby, I recommend switching off voice chat and going into ‘passive’ mode.

        I found the one actual organized match that I played to be pretty fun (a 4v4 ‘last team standing’ thing) except that it took me over 15 minutes to actually get there. Load times are massive (even from my SSD so it may be network delays that look like load times), delays between matches are massive, and the UI is clunky as hell since most of the actions are displayed as button prompts in the lower right hand corner of the UI. Clunky and confusing UI seems to pervade the entire game though – I still can’t get the map to work reliably and the quick interaction thing is a complete joke.

  8. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Fucking hell, its £40. When did that become the normal release price for things? I may just wait for a sale given the slight shonkiness its currently showing. I will put that time into attempting to make my rig run Prepar3D and the Airbus A319 as well as possible (which is a game in itself. Jesus. Flight Sims)

    • airmikee says:

      $60 for new games started happening right around the launch of the SNES 25 years ago.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        The SNES was a ripoff then. Still, mario huh?

      • DanielBrauer says:

        If you adjust for inflation, games that are $60 now are only $34.17 in 1991 dollars.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Hmm actually if anything its to do with the dollar price against sterling. Back at the start of 2014 I was looking at £30 for a new AAA release (I know this because I always waited for a half price sale to take me into my sweet spot of £15). Now its £40, which matches the USD to GBP conversion. Inflation in the UK certainly wasn’t 30% in 2014, it was 1.2%. Its currently zero. Presumably the dollar price stayed at $60 for those in dollar land?

        • airmikee says:

          Neat, and that $20,000 car today would have only been $11,605.22 in 1991 dollars, but if you invent a time machine and go back to 1991 nobody is going to accept $11k for a $20k car, or $34 for a $60 video game.

      • SavageTech says:

        Some of them were were even more. I remember Earthbound, Killer Instinct, Chrono Trigger, and some other games were $70; there may have been some that cost even more. The standard was $60 until the Playstation came out and dropped it to $50, where it stayed until the Xbox 360 came out over a decade later. People had time to get used to the cheaper prices, so they bitched when it returned to where it was before even though each dollar was worth less than it was before.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Blimey. I remember having a Commodore 64, where you could go and pick up an Electronic Arts (!) game for a few quid from WHSMiths, a chain of newsagents. Paradroid! Yeah :D Thereafter games were about £20 on the Amiga I think. Couldn’t tell you the dollar price but we are talking 1980’s to 1990’s. With the old consoles you were paying extra for that chunky cartridge I suppose, rather than a little cassette tape (that went SCREEEEEEEEE when loading. Well, the computer did anyway. The tape just sort of turned a bit).

          • airmikee says:

            link to ign.com

            Games today are cheaper than they have been at any point in history, due to inflation.

            In the states, in 1991 a gallon of gas cost $1.14, today the average is $2.25. The average home price was $147k, today the average is $188k. A gallon of milk in 1991 cost $2.80, today it’s $4. Yet a video game in 1991 cost $60 and today it costs $60. The cost of absolutely everything has risen over the last 24 years, EXCEPT VIDEO GAMES. Still not convinced? Your precious C64 was $595 on release, the PS4 was only $399. ;)

      • pepperfez says:

        In fact, the failure of sticker prices to keep up with inflation is significantly responsible for a lot of the sleazier monetization schemes in games.

  9. Generico says:

    “The counter to these criticisms are obvious: it’s my own fault that trying to play a co-operative mission with random internet strangers. When is that not a recipe for disaster?”

    When the game is designed well, in such a way as to facilitate team play. Rockstar obviously failed at this, and by failed I mean doesn’t seem to have even tried. I’ve played lots of games where finding random people to work co-operatively is not that hard. To be honest, they’re not great at game design as a company. They’ve basically been rehashing the same formula since the first GTA (not that it wasn’t a good formula to start with, but anyone can follow a recipe), with minor improvements for most iterations. They really should just make movies, because they’re actually good at storytelling.

  10. aircool says:

    IF YOU ARE GETTING BAD STUTTERING.

    As, for some reason I can’t post in the forums, I’ll let you know here. If you appear to be getting a lot of stuttering, which gets worse as the game goes on, it goes away if you don’t play your custom radio. Not sure if playing the normal radio gets rid of it, but for some reason, playing your custom tracks causes stuttering.

    You’re welcome.

    • Minsc_N_Boo says:

      I have heard that turning off Vsync can also help with stuttering problems.

      I might actually get to play it tonight. I started installing about 21:30, an hour later I started to download the 5GB patch, with speeds of around 25 – 40 kbs! I gave up at that point. Modern gaming launch days are fun!

  11. fish99 says:

    My game downloaded in 3 hrs, all 60GB. Granted the post launch patch or whatever it was from R* Social Club took another hour, but overall not a big deal. No crashes so far, but only about 5 hrs into single player.

  12. OmNomNom says:

    Definitely wish I had the steam copy instead.

  13. Lord Byte says:

    I bought the PC version solely for playing the Online component with friends (and maybe finish the campaign, which I’ll never get to on the PS3).

    At first trying to play with friends was fidgetty and overpowered players tended to dominate matches, then we figured out how to start a private online session, and private jobs and we’re having a blast :)

    With friends, this thing is awesome :)

    • hungrycookpot says:

      First time I’ve heard of an opponent being better than you referred to as “overpowered”

    • Quiffle says:

      This is the RPS comments section, where everyone outside of your enlightened enclave is a troll, hacker, or someone looking to grief you into oblivion.

  14. c0rethebastard says:

    I will just watch the cutscenes in Youtube. It is all about an awesome story in a boring game with bad gameplay. I will save money and time and also will have my hands free to eat popcorn. Although it is still 7 hours.

  15. biggergun says:

    I have an i5 and a 270x and for some reason it’s really slow and stuttering. 5-10 fps on everything very high except MSAA, 40-ish (and ugly) on everything normal.
    Anyone with a similar config here? I believe I saw someone with i5 and a 270x here or on the forums saying that they were able to max everything out and get a solid 50.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The i5 is plenty even with stock clock, but i’m not familiar with the 270.

      AMD had a driver ready for the game’s launch, are you using that? Sometimes these things can mean huge things.

    • Minsc_N_Boo says:

      I browsed a few threads on reddit , and some problems were fixed by installing the 15.4 beta drivers. Try turning off vsync too

    • soggyburrito says:

      You need to download the beta drivers that were released a couple days ago.

  16. racccoon says:

    Your a very fortunate few…
    I on the other hand alongside god knows how many am still trying to download this demoralisation to the PC player game !

    I’m in 5 days now!!

    Rockstard sucks arse as they can’t even code a proper downloader that can carry-on by itself.

    Instead Rockstard have made us monitor it on a constant level forever having to see & make sure of disconnections that are rampant!! after which, our valued exhaustive time of monitorings, we have to manually hit RETRY!!
    what a bunch of lame arse ducks they are set in the year 2015!!

    ROCKSTARDS are truly retarded.

  17. OctoStepdad says:

    Graham,

    I don’t want to say how to play the game but I recommend playing online with a close friend and just create mayhem. A friend & I bought the game and have already put +7 hours into the online in the past two nights. We haven’t done a single mission, heist, race, etc…

    We have been knocking off convenience stores and then attempting to lose our Wanted Level. We also go screw around with other players on the servers and get them to chase us. It usually ends in a three way shootout between the cops, us, and them. We also recently found a helicopter that picks up cars so we can have been picking up innocent players cars and stealing them.

    My friend & I both owned GTA5 for the PS3 and probably put +20 hours into the online doing no missions. We tried them and I thought they were uninspired. I want to give the heist a try in the near future though.

  18. Toupee says:

    I would love to see an RPS story from someone who hasn’t played GTA5 until now. Today was my first experience with the game, and so far, I’ve been really impressed — more than I expected. I’m most pleased with the way the game handles perspective. There’s hardly a jarring moment at all. Like Half-Life did in 1998 (and few have done since), you rarely lose control of your perspective. The difference between this game and Half-Life is that it allows for many different camera angles on that perspective (including first-person!) and smooth transitions between different characters. I know I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg (licked the barrel of the gun?) with this three hours in, but there’s already creative surprises (like Chop).

    Of course this is all single-player stuff. I eagerly anticipate wreaking havoc on the city with my good buds… if it even approaches Far Cry 4’s level of coop missions, I’ll be excited.

    And I know Comcast is the devil, but our 105Mpbs line downloaded this in under an hour, I think. Holy hell.

  19. Toupee says:

    I would love to try the first person mode out in a VR headset…

    I should start a twitch stream of “attempting to legally drive in GTA5.” (Probably it’s already been done, huh?)

  20. BreadBitten says:

    “…its po-faced and inhibitive macho-man storyline…”

    Doesn’t sound anything like the GTAV I’ve played.

    • Thirith says:

      Same here. There’s plenty to criticise about GTA V’s story, characters and writing, but to be honest, some of the stuff I’ve read about it on RPS comes across as something between strawmanning the game and an undifferentiated kneejerk reaction to its failings. Perhaps I’m too much of a Rockstar fanboy and I simply disagree with the RPS writers’ take on the game, but I do think that GTA V, both in terms of where it succeeds and where it fails, deserves a more considered critique.

      IMO it’s not that the game doesn’t try to deliver a critical perspective on a particular kind of (male) American culture – it’s that it falls short of its aims. It tries to be The Sopranos Lite with Michael, but it wants to have its cake and eat it: it wants to show him to be shallow, self-serving, hypocritical, yet it is too much infatuated with him as opposed to the even more shallow, self-serving, hypocritical world he’s in. It wants to have Trevor as a funhouse mirror to the people who turn into in-game sociopaths in GTA games, yet it’s too smug about Trevor as the self-aware voice in the wilderness pointing out the hypocrisy of others – which simply doesn’t much fit with his played-for-laughs psychopathy. I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what it’s trying to do with Franklin, other than do something different with the whole ‘gangsta authenticity vs. self-made man losing his roots’ story.

      Po-faced, inhibitive macho-man? I could point to a hundred games, but GTA V? At the very least this deserves something more than the half-phrase dismissal: how is the game po-faced? Since it keeps making fun of hyper-masculinity, how does it become macho-man? A case could be made for the latter (and I think that Errant Signal begins to make some of that case), but I’m hoping that the case will be made more thoughtfully, rather than just resorting to a dismissal that’s more shallow than what it criticises.

      • Thirith says:

        Quick P.S.: It’d definitely be interesting to have a closer look at masculinity in GTA and especially in GTA V. Thinking about it some more, I definitely think that ‘macho-man’ doesn’t describe what the game does with its depiction of masculinity. If anything, it’s a critique that is too muddled and ineffective to be consistent or to say anything half as trenchant as it wants to. Michael is a doubting, wavering, self-pitying heap of jello on a man, mixing a pinch of self-awareness with a heap of “Poor me!” truisms. Trevor is an odd mix of pure id and holy fool, though the writers don’t really know whether they want him to be uncomfortably ambiguous or play him for laughs only. Franklin is the most level-headed one, but also the blandest, and he too isn’t exactly an example of a macho man. Where’s the macho in the mix?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Thanks for all of this stuff, i frankly don’t have the adeguate english level to write it myself, so i’m happy someone did!

          The problem is that some people either actively try to miss the point, or they simply cannot see it if it’s mixed with something unconfortable that steals the focus, plus it’s incredibly easy to try and push the same broad statements when there are prostitutes and gangsta style black people, but that’s also a way of admitting that you are not even willing to scratch the surface.

          As a random example, Lamar is actually there to pinpoint how much he is a fool compared to Franklin that’s just trying to do something, there are no black people being insulted here, Lamar is a poor crackhead living in the wrong neighbor that learned absolutely nothing in his life other than trying to act gangsta, he has no personality other than those of the models he follows. He’s supposed to be and sound this way, and yes, given he takes all his inspiration from the gansta mentality ( and gangsta rap ), i don’t think it’s pretty strange if everyone of his sentences cointains “Nigga!”.

          But no, that’s racist off course.

          • Thirith says:

            I haven’t yet heard that particular criticism; I’d agree with GTA V being called sexist, though. Yes, the game makes fun of male characters as well, but it still insists on presenting men only as more rounded (if still ridiculed) characters worthy of agency. In that particular respect, San Andreas and GTA IV did a better job (IMO) of creating female characters that aren’t just thin-as-stamps caricatures. IMO that’s a worthwhile avenue for criticism, but it’s not the same as the game being macho.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I don’t know, that’s a hard topic and it’s still too much dependent on subjective views i’m afraid.

            The relationship with Trevor and Maude ( the bounty lady ) as a random example is a not so popular example but it works, for starters. Maude is great and you can see Trevor respects her, Tonya is cool and pretty characterized, Franklin’s girlfriend is a “regular” person and a minor role, so i wouldn’t really expect her to show a lot of interesting traits in the span of the games, but her mails are still quite good.

            There are many many more even in GTA5 alone. The problem is that the characters depicted are criminals and scum in general, even if redeeming trait, and i can’t see them being that good with random prostitutes. This is “normal” aswell but off course that steals the spotlight far more than Maude.

            Eitherway, controversial content is always hard to judge, for one because it’s hard to detach when it might hurt your sensibility and second because you can’t always guess what’s the author intention. I’m merely here to ask people to try to avoid easy conclusions, if possible, not because they might be wrong but merely as an excuse to have some interesting reasoning sessions.

          • Thirith says:

            @TNP: To be honest, I think you’re focusing too much on things that aren’t actually criticised all that much, at least not here. It’s not that the female characters aren’t ‘nice’, that they’re hookers and criminals and kooks. It’s that they are consistently less complex and have less agency in GTA V than the men. They’re reductive in a way that Trevor, Michael and Franklin aren’t. That’s a more complex critique, and one that’s of more interest than a simplistic “All the women are bitches and sluts”, which to some extent is more of a strawman than what is actually being criticised.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Sure, i understand that, but i also think you are not listening.

            I could come up with a longer list, but it would prove useless for the simple fact that you’re apparently trying to draw parallels between the effort put in secondary or even worse characters compared to the main ones, and it’s mostly a male land when it comes to statistics about these kinds of crimes anyways, which might explain.

            They surely have the chance to make a DLC with a female lead though, and i’d love to see that.

          • Thirith says:

            Except that was true for the earlier GTA games as well, yet those managed to write better (as in, more complex) female characters with agency. It’s the GTA with multiple playable characters that does worse in that respect.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            Bonnie and Abigail in Red Dead Redemption were both great characters, too. Both tough enough to stand up to John, and way more intelligent. I really think that GTAV needs a good woman. Maybe they’ll surprise us with DLC.

        • SaintAn says:

          Watch the TV shows or just pay attention to the dialogue. The game isn’t sexist. It constantly mocks sexism and stereotypes. Just because a game lacks a strong female character shown in the main story doesn’t make it sexist. Do you think this game and everything that lacks a gay character is homophobic? No. That’s a ridiculous thing to think and I suggest you think for yourself instead of just copying the thoughts of the social warrior extremists that have given the fight for equality a bad name.

          • LexW1 says:

            It is sexist, and to be fair I don’t expect someone who uses “social warrior” as an insult to ever accept anything that they like is sexist. I’ll explain anyway, in case it helps you.

            The reason it’s sexist isn’t the lack of a strong, important female character. It’d be nice if they had that, but it’s okay that they don’t.

            The reason that it’s sexist is that all the major female characters are, in the end, portrayed in ways that play up well-known negative stereotypes about women, whereas the main male characters, almost universally (and surprisingly) undercut stereotypes about men. A good example is the female sidekick of the main badguy, who ends up meeting a gruesome fate, entirely because she suddenly transforms from being a cool, hard, asshole of a character, into a terrified hysterical idiot (avoiding too many spoilers).

            So we’re left with a situation where stereotypes about men are challenged (positively and negatively), but stereotypes about women are merely used for effect (and used very clumsily at times). That’s obviously rather sexist, because if they’d even thought about, even realized it, they’d have undercut some of those two (and it’d have been easy to do – with the character I’m talking about I thought that they were doing it – turned out they weren’t).

            It doesn’t matter that the game mocks stereotypes and sexism when it engages in them. I mean, the game mocks megaviolence, but it’s a very violent game – mocking it doesn’t make it magically non-violent.

            I would argue that it’s not misogynistic beyond it’s general misanthropy though. Just rather blindly sexist in the way I’ve described.

            Does that make sense to you?

          • jorygriffis says:

            {spoilies}

            Woof, I guess I mentally blocked lots of bad memories of GTA V’s story. I keep being reminded of how fucking lame the writing and characterization were. I completely forgot about the character you’re discussing, and you’re right, when she becomes the “hysterical shrew” stock character it felt completely jarring and awful. And then she gets fucking gibbed! It’s like a joke!

            Additionally the behavior of Franklin’s aunt (?) and her group of straw-man feminists is one of the worst, most totally unobserved works of “satire” I have ever seen. I had blocked that one from my brain as well.

      • pepperfez says:

        Since it keeps making fun of hyper-masculinity, how does it become macho-man?
        In the same way that when you make fun of your friend you’re really just reaffirming your friendship.

    • Geebs says:

      “Nothing is sacred, and I couldn’t be more serious about that” – Rockstar, apparently

    • LexW1 says:

      Yeah, I don’t think “po-faced macho man” is at all accurate for GTAV. It’s arguably accurate for other GTAs, but this one is neither of those things – it’s particularly un-po-faced. There is almost nothing in the game that is not, on some level, tongue-in-cheek. Much, much moreso that GTAIV, for example (or Red Dead).

      There are tons of valid criticisms of it’s story, not least all the “have your cake and eat it” stuff, but that doesn’t seem right at all.

  21. drinniol says:

    Wake me when there’s an Iron Man mod and a mod to skip the story entirely.

  22. RPSRSVP says:

    GTA V online connectivity= Cersei Lannister

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      Never thought of bandwidth as beautiful and incestuous before.

  23. ThePlake0815 says:

    @Graham Smith: i am not looking forward for the rest of your review… I had a lot of fun with Online on PC, starting with the first minute. You most likely already did mot enjoy GTAO on the console(s), as everybody i know who did, LOVES the PC version.

  24. Osiris says:

    Bizarre read, my experience has been the complete opposite. The voice communication works fantastic in this game. Before a game starts I chat with people and generally we all stick together or at least wait when we get to the position. Also playing with at east a couple of friends helps (but in what online game is that not the case).

    Almost every mission, or mini-game whatever has been amazing. I have laughed my ass off at all the bizarre GTA moments. Looking forward to doing some planned heists with friends (why would you even consider doing that with randoms).

    The only thing that has been somewhat annoying is loading in and out of a game and free-mode, and of course finding your friends and joiining their server.

  25. luke_osullivan says:

    I would just like to be able to play the game. I’m one of the people who bought the Steam version and finding that the launcher crashes as soon as I hit ‘play’. None of the fixes I’ve found (disabling the video card, using an alternative launcher, running as admin) work and I don’t have a user account with anything other than alphabetic characters which can apparently also cause problems. This is really lame of Rockstar: it takes them over 18 months to bring this to PC and then the game is broken at launch for large numbers of people.

  26. Darkz0r says:

    I’ll be happy when they fix mouse acceleration / smoothing. What kind of stupid dev ties mouse movement to FPS these days, for PC???? WTF???

    Also, the 3 character thing is not my thing. I’ve discussed this with friends and bah, I’d rather have ONE good storyline with a well made character than 3 bland ones. Only one I *kinda* want to play more is Michael

  27. McPartyson says:

    Graham Smith, you should have access to more weapons than just a pistol. When you’re at the gun store, be sure to scroll upwards through the wall of all the available guns. The transparent ones you can’t buy, and the solid colored ones you can.

    Going from the open lobby to instances for missions is kind of a pain. What you do is, you find a decent group, and keep doing missions over and over to rank up a bit. Then, you go back to the open lobby and spend and kill, etc.

    Open your phone and go to the internet app to buy a vehicle for yourself.

  28. Raoul Duke says:

    You know what’s completely useless? Performance information which doesn’t include the resolution you are playing at. You get 60fps at what? 1080p? 1440p? 4k? 640×480?

  29. draglikepull says:

    GTA V is an impressive technological achievement attached to a lousy game.

    There was a time when I really enjoyed GTA games, but at this point there are so many open-world games that have improved on what GTA III started, while Grand Theft Auto itself feels stagnant and stale.

  30. noodlecake says:

    I enjoyed the story a lot when I played it on the 360. Probably because, unlike Graham, I didn’t demand that there were positive moral implications to every aspect of everything every character did or stood for. I don’t really understand why anybody would! I enjoyed the characters. I didn’t really relate to any of them, but I found them amusing and sympathised with them in certain situations, and didn’t at all in others, just like I would with a real human being.

    • stringerdell says:

      Same here. I enjoy all 3 leads in this game more than most bland as hell video game protagonists.

  31. hollowroom says:

    DAMN IT (and this is real bugbear of mine) The controller configuration appears to be impossible to change.

    AGAIN.

    I realise they did quite a good job of allowing the kb mappings to be changed but would it really be that hard to allow the controller settings to be user configured too? So many games leave you stuck with the left stick to steer and no way to change it. It can’t be that hard. Part of the reason I stopped buying console games was because I had a few times where I bought a game and was unable to play it due to not being able to reconfigure. Drives me up the bloody wall.

    • noodlecake says:

      Why would you want to change it? Are you left handed? Do left handed people need the sticks reversing?

      • Razumen says:

        Configurable controls are a staple of PC games, people like to change them for a myriad of reasons. There’s really no reason they couldn’t have implemented someway to do it.

      • hollowroom says:

        I’m disabled: I don’t have a thumb on my left hand. Or many fingers for that matter. It means I can’t steer and brake.

        • Premium User Badge

          IronPirate says:

          I dunno if this will work but you could tray and disable the in game controller input and then use a programme like xpadder to map the controller buttons to keyboard inputs. Good luck.

          • hollowroom says:

            You know; I was actually considering this. The game is good enough to warrant the hassle.

            Also I would say: your considered response is one of the many things I love about this site. Makes a change from LOL SPAZ !!1!!

  32. Shadowcat says:

    Four (4) pages?! Wow. The shift to two-page articles was a crappy move to begin with, but now you’re really taking the piss.

    Probably time for me to take a break from reading RPS. Obviously it isn’t going in a direction I like.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Not that the content isn’t good… I just wish you’d go back to putting it on a web page.

      Basically there’s just too much content out there to keep up with, so any kind of persistent irritation can be cause enough to drop something from the reading list.

    • silentdan says:

      Agreed. Two pages bothered me, but I didn’t complain. I see now that I should have. Adblock is now re-enabled for me on RPS, and will remain that way until we go a few months without any multipage articles. If enough people do the same, they won’t get the extra ad money I presume they’re pursuing, and may shift back to exclusively single-page articles.

      • Premium User Badge

        Graham Smith says:

        I understand pagination is an inconvenience for some, but this article is literally 5000 words long and doesn’t cost you anything to read other than a few clicks of your mouse. If that’s too much, then by all means close the tab, but adblocking the entire site isn’t an encouragement to us to stop paginating. All it does is eventually make it harder for us to pay server costs and the writers who produce the work you obviously enjoy if you’re a regular reader.

        • silentdan says:

          Thanks for the response, Graham. I really appreciate it, and as a gesture, I’ve disabled AdBlock for RPS again.

          The few extra mouse clicks is a really minor thing in most use cases, I grant that. But, I have a long commute to/from work by bus, during which I have no internet connectivity, and a 5,000 word review is a real treat to have queued up on my tablet. Often, I use Pocket (offline reader) to store articles for reading on the commute. If I don’t notice it’s a multi-parter, I have to wait an hour to finish the article I’m reading. I know, I know, poor me, first world problems, but it’s irritating.

          It’s doubly irritating coming from RPS, which is so fantastic in 99% of all the ways being fantastic is possible, because I see you folks as being very adept at balancing the need for cashflow with respecting your users and the experience of reading the site. I like to think of you as “the people who wouldn’t do this.” I like to think you’re “better than that.” I like to think a lot of things, and not all of them are 100% realistic. Some of them may even be framed rather unfairly.

          I’ll try to reign in my ever-expanding cynicism, at least where RPS is concerned, but I hope you’ll take a second look at the pagination issue. It gives you a common point of behaviour with sites I actively avoid, and I’d just really like it if those were kept to a minimum.

          Thanks again for responding. So many internet columnists practically boast of how they never read comments, many going so far as to assure me that no online writer would ever even consider reading the comments. That you read the responses to your columns, does much to deflate the aforementioned cynicism — at least where RPS is concerned. :)

          • Premium User Badge

            Graham Smith says:

            I always read comments on the features I write, although it’s sometimes days after they’ve been posted before I find time.

            Unfortunately it’s not possible for us to turn off pagination for supporters, but I think there are things we can do to make pagination nicer for everyone. I have some thoughts and I’ll look into it.

            In any case, thanks for your support!

        • colorlessness says:

          Please consider that pagination makes the site much less usable for people with spotty internet. I routinely open up a bunch of tabs of ‘stuff I want to read’ at cafes etc. and then read them later at home (where I don’t have internet other than via cell phone). It’s a real bummer when I load up tabs of stuff and then later discover that it was only part 1 of x that I loaded up. Obviously RPS isn’t the only offender here but it used to not be an offender at all :(

      • Koozer says:

        How dare they want to make money! The swines! I am aghast at having to click a button to double their ad revenue and will be writing to my local MP posthaste.

        Those Outbrain ads are made of pure evil though.

        • silentdan says:

          I can’t speak for Shadowcat, but I, for one, want RPS to have *all the money.* They impress the hell out of me with their writing and general attitude. I just find the content more difficult to consume when it’s broken up, and would prefer to see their revenue increase via different means. I realize that’s not the most constructive criticism, but I don’t know enough about their financial situation to make sound recommendations. Here’s one that might work, though: Supporters get single-page articles. That’s a reasonable compromise, isn’t it? The Free Crowd can click for their articles, and Supporters make their contribution more directly. The site gets its lifeblood, I get my content hassle-free, no one gets hurt (except maybe the poor bastard who gets stuck with implementing that in WordPress; I don’t envy him/her.)

          You know, I don’t care for TF2 or Smite, and GoG is plenty cheap already, but I’ve just signed up as a Supporter. I’m not getting anything I want in exchange, yet, but I have tremendous faith in this site, I want it to continue to succeed, and it’s my hope that perhaps this idea can be accommodated, or at least considered.

    • wengart says:

      I understand why they are doing it, but it does annoy my webdesign sensibilities. It would be a hell of a lot easier for me to just scroll infinitely and text with a few images isn’t that much data.

    • Nova says:

      Yeah it’s ridiculous, but that’s the direction RPS is taking for some time now. Since Graham joined it accelerated quite a bit, though.

    • pepperfez says:

      If I ever want to refer to the article in the future, though, it’s nice not to have to wade through whole thing for the section I want. Most articles should be (and are, as far as I’ve noticed) one page, but one this size really is nicer split up.

    • Spacewalk says:

      With this much text to deal with the notch on my scroll bar is small enough already so if articles of this size were reduced to one page plus the comment section it would probably disappear so I’m glad that RPS are using pages.

  33. UncleLou says:

    “But now we come down to the reason why GTAV is great and why I love it and why I think you might find something to love within it, even if the criticisms above resonate with you. Los Santos is the most gorgeous, expensive, robust world ever to be built inside a videogame.”

    Yes. It is just … staggering. Every underpass, every backyard, every single *wall* anyhwere feels hand-crafted, and placed meticulously. It’s of course scaled down, but every last corner of the game feels incredibly real, and distinctive, and authentic.

    I don’t know any other gameworld that is nearly as impressive, not on such a scale.

  34. WHS says:

    The second page of this review is the best commentary on GTA I’ve ever read. I wish Rockstar would build a game that let you immerse yourself in their worlds’ nuances rather than simply blowing things up. Sometimes it feels like they’ve managed to put the whole world in a little bottle, and then they couldn’t think of anything to do with it but shoot it up. It’s depressing.

  35. xfstef says:

    4 pages ? Nope !

  36. Laurentius says:

    Driving is crap in comparison to GTA IV, cars feels weightless, crashes nonsubstential, overall physcics got massive downgrade. It’s a big disappointment for me, apart from this game looks splendid.

    But this driving model, nah, I can’t stand this, why R* , why ?

  37. aircool says:

    I’ve had no tech problems with the game, apart from severe stuttering which was easily fixed by not using the custom radio station.

    I’ve stolen a few cars for money, and the rest of the time, I ride my motorbike. I’ve had some fun in races and become involved in a city centre scrap with other players.

    I punched a hipster last night (felt good), and his mate just took out his phone and started recording the beating, so I just carried on kicking him.

    Some days, life just gets you down… everyone you meet is a dick, or is trying to shaft you one way or another. So it’s nice to escape for a while and BE that dick and shaft other people for a change.

    If there was one thing I would wish for, it’s being able to go into more building and have random conversations with random npc’s.

  38. Kerr Avon says:

    As good as the GTA series is, I’d buy a PC version of Red Dead Redemption over GTA V in a heartbeat.

  39. stringerdell says:

    Its kind of surprising to me that anyone would think the world of GTA5 is too nice to wantonly destroy for fun. Sight seeing is fun from time to time but most of the time its more fun getting a few friends and holding a rooftop against swat teams and pubbies.

  40. wyrm4701 says:

    I’d really like to know if this iteration has missions that are, well, fun. GTA IV quickly became repetitive in it’s grim, humourless missions. I’d consider playing V if it’s closer in tone to San Andreas, before Rockstar seemingly became obsessed with being taken seriously.

    • dongsweep says:

      The issions are much more like san andreas than 4, or more like ballad of gay tony than 4. It is a fantastically fun game.

  41. Kerbal_Rocketry says:

    I’m personally not going to buy GTA5 until it’s very cheap as it’s, in my eyes, on the wrong side of silly but somehow also the wrong side of serious. Call me a wet hen but i find it hard to enjoy shooters anymore, it just feels a bit gruesome to me. Which is weird as while when playing stratergy games the little battle screens that (for all intents) says “you sent this many men to their deaths” is chilling but feels somewhat more justified than when i fire a rocket into a crowd and bet on how far the corpses fly.

    Call me when it’s on sale and there’s a infinite money mod, so i can just cruise around and take in the sights. But till then i think i’ll stick to what i feel comfortable with.

    • pepperfez says:

      on the wrong side of silly but somehow also the wrong side of serious
      This is a good statement of my feelings about GTA, put much more tidily than I’ve ever managed.

  42. Asurmen says:

    I’ve tried Online and while I’ve enjoyed it and people haven’t been useless at all, the constant loading screens, despite being on an SSD, were doing my nut in. Hope it improves.

  43. Person of Interest says:

    Thanks Graham, this was a good* review. I understand that this was your experience with the game, while acknowledging that other players may have different experiences. And thanks for attempting to describe your reaction to the plot without giving away too many beats.

    I do wish you had been a bit more specific about performance, controls, and load times, but this write-up was already pretty long, and I know that’s not normally RPS’s angle. Thanks to the folks in the comments who filled in those details.

    Sorry on behalf of the entitled page-haters: I think the pagination is reasonable, even if my preference is for a single impossibly-long page (that would make it much easier to search for things in the article… and the page loads are distracting).

    * from the perspective of a prospective GTAV customer who reads RPS regularly and has played other GTA games on PC.

  44. stblr says:

    My experiences with multiplayer so far have been very much in line with Graham’s: an extended series of load screens and connectivity issues punctuated with moments of absolute gaming bliss. All I want to do is join Jobs with my friend reliably and quickly. This simple desire inevitably balloons into an epic calamity as we struggle through an unhelpful UI, constant timeouts and disconnects, and lobbies filling with other player before the other joins.

    However.

    When the gods smile upon us, smile they do. We were in a match where the objective was for one of two teams to nab a briefcase and deliver it to a drop-off point. This simple objective flowered into a taut action sequence as my friend grabbed the briefcase and I, driving a swank muscle car, picked him up to deliver him and the goods to the objective. First we had to lose the cops, so we pull into a parking garage to wait them out. Unfortunately, while we could elude the cops in this manner eventually, the enemy team could see our location on their minimaps at all times. As the enemy swarmed the garage in their own vehicles, we had no choice but to climb ever upward this massive parking garage. Every turn risked hitting a wall or corner and allowing our pursuers to catch up to us. After half a dozen floors we finally make it to the garage’s roof, all spinning wheels and smoke. Our only way out is down: we have to jump our car off the roof. I circle around to maximize speed, I spot a convenient ramp, and at the exact moment of vertical climax our police stars vanish, we crash down to the pavement mightily, our trusty steel steed held together by sweaty palms and desperate shouts, and we floor it the half-mile to the drop-off point with every enemy car and police vehicle in the city limits hot on our heels. What a ride.

    When it works, GTA V delivers thrills I’ve experienced a scant handful of times in my gaming career. The problem is getting there.

  45. TheApologist says:

    Wot is a ‘review’?

    • Oakreef says:

      Yeah I’m confused. I don’t care about Graham looking at things. I want to know wot he thinks

  46. DrollRemark says:

    I spent so long trying to join my friends’ games last night, and it was a wholly painful, depressing (because I could hear them hooting about the fun they were having on Teamspeak whilst I went nowhere) and irritating experience. And in the end, they had to invite me, because the game just would not let me do the joining.

    Like you said, why they have to drop you out of your current world, just to tell you that the other is unavailable, god only knows.

  47. jenniferehuston says:

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Thursday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go.to tech tab for work detail………..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://w­­­­w­­­­w­­­­.j­­­­o­­­­b­­­­s­­­­a­­­­u­­­­d­­­­i­­­­t­­­­­­­.­­­­C­­­­o­­­­M

  48. Monggerel says:

    Thats fine and all but Wot You Think?

    No, really. If I wanted legit (whatever legit be) reviews I’d be off somewhere in another corner of the world flossing teeth with barbed wire chanting the litany against fear rubbing salt into my eyes.

    GTA V does not deserve a break from format. I like the longform article (because I like those) but not the reviewness. If this was 5000 words about what a shitty character Trevor is, I probably would have appreciated it more.

    Then again, I’m not even here.
    *booooo*
    *disappears into mysterious fog, as is his batmanesque wont

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      It’s a break in format only in terms of the title – I’d have written the same body copy even if I’d put “Wot I Think” at the front. And being originally titled “Review In Progress” meant that “Wot I Think” wouldn’t fit at the same time.

  49. jeeger says:

    Two tiny spelling errors: “…fling yourself over the site…” and “lense”. Just wanted to point that out, seeing as nobody else seems to have done so yet.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Fixed!

      Although it’s arguable that “lense” is acceptable.

  50. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    Fours hours in, having the best gaming fun I’ve had in yonks. Then some guy called Trevor turns up and smashes a cuckold’s face in with his boot. Massive comedown.