GTA V: What’s Your Favorite Moment So Far? (Part 1)
With a world as huge and rich as GTA V’s Los Santos, there’s quite obviously a lot to see, do, destroy and everything in between.
With that in mind (and with Ross Lincoln’s review on the way later this week), we’ll be doing a daily post sharing GF staffers’ stories about cool, unique or otherwise noteworthy stuff we’ve experienced in GTA V. And of course, you guys are invited to chime in and share how your rampage through Los Santos has been so far.
What’s been your favorite moment so far?
Without further ado, here’s GTA V Moments with Game Front: Part 1
Mine is pretty simple, but was instantly gratifying on a gameplay level, and was also just kind of a cool moment. In one of the first missions, Franklin is tasked with stealing a car for his employer, a crooked car salesman. On the way back to the dealership, a race ensues between Franklin and his friend Lamar, and you’re given a crash course in GTA V’s revised driving mechanics.
So there I am, racing Lamar in a very fast red car, and I see that (crap…) in seconds I’m about to hit an intersection clogged with traffic, and unless I do something drastic I’m about to die hard. I trigger Franklin’s special ability, which is basically Matrix-style bullet time, but it only works in cars, and only for a limited amount of time. What was surely a death trap becomes a challenge–steering the car through a gap in the traffic so small there’s no margin of error. I make it, just barely, and kick off Franklin’s ability on the other side.
If that hadn’t been GTA V, what would have happened? I’d have pulled right, hit a street light, had to reverse awkwardly, and expletives would have been uttered. Instead, you can create cool action movie moments like the above and keep playing. Good stuff.
Driving around Los Santos in GTA V is strange. Really, really strange. I live in Los Angeles, and the strange sense of déjà vu I would often experience as I entered a new area that I knew in my head I had never been to before even though it felt so intimately familiar to me really threw me off. There are the weirdly opulent LA metro stations, a mall that is the spitting image of the Beverly Center, a stretch of road that I could have sworn was taken straight from Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, and so on. If nothing else, Rockstar nailed the look of the real world that surrounds me every day when they built this new version of Los Santos.
And then the sun went down. LA in our world features some readily identifiable nighttime ambience — always lit but never glowing in most places — and LS hit the lighting perfectly. It’s almost unsettling, and definitely incredible.
Like Phil, my first take-away is the fact that, fake or not, this game just oozes Los Angeles. It doesn’t get everything correctly, or course. For example, Los Angeles’ public transit system is actually great (it’s only terrible on the West Side). Also, the cliches and tropes that define said West Side don’t actually apply east of Highland. But it’s full of moments that feel almost creepy-real.
Case in point: while playing the game this afternoon, I was interrupted when, in real life, several police cars careened down Beverly Blvd, right by my house, sirens blaring. This coincidentally happened as a television production happened to filming something on my street. Not 20 minutes later, during a side mission in which, as Franklin, I helped a paparazzo take compromising photos of a fading star, a random police chase almost caused me to fail the mission.
If someone in an SUV had breezed through a stop sign while texting, it would have been exact.