GTA 5 Review: Damn it Feels Good (& Bad) to Be a Gangsta
Grand Theft Auto V is a remarkable achievement. Fun, challenging, satisfying and morally complex, it’s also proof of the ability of games to tackle mature subjects while still being enjoyable diversions, all in service to great characters and a gritty story. No, it’s not a revolution by any step – it’s more the stable government established once the revolution is over. It perhaps relies too heavily on successes from the series’ past. And in a couple of ways, it really represents a step backward away from progress the gaming industry desperately needs to make. But it’s by far among the best games of the current generation.
I’ll be spending a lot of time in Los Santos. And just like in LA, I’ll probably love it even when I hate it. It’s hard to argue with that.
- Varied gameplay ranging from tactical combat, to simple messing around. It’s not a revolutionary step forward, but perhaps is the most complete experience in the series
- Expert combination of numerous recent gameplay innovations
- Gameplay between the three protagonists balanced almost perfectly
- Excellent graphics, beautiful environments and a spot-on parody of Southern California
- Vast improvements over GTA IV
- Perhaps the best licensed soundtrack in series history, plus a wonderful original score
- Great performances from voice cast
- Surprising moral complexity, nuanced storytelling that grapples with mature themes without losing the sense of fun
- Excellent script with distinct, well written protagonists
- Satirical elements rely heavily on old jokes, played out references, a shallow understanding of the objects of satire, and ultimately aren’t funny. It feels out of touch, especially compared to the main story
- Too few safe houses turns mundane gameplay tasks into chores
- Certain side missions confusing or unclear
- The scarcity of women characters, and a related mini game, is an example of the game’s limitations when it comes to creating a living virtual world
- slight performance issues
Final Score: 93/100
Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.