GTA V: What’s Your Favorite Moment So Far? (Part 2)
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.
On our second day in Los Santos, we’ve discovered a cheat code for instant, parachute-less skydiving and a quick and dirty way to turn Michael into Heisenberg from “Breaking Bad.” What have you been up to? Let us know about your favorite moments in the comments, and check out our big list of Grand Theft Auto V Cheats for a leg-up in discovering more crazy awesomeness.
Meantime, here are ours:
From a visual standpoint, the world of GTA V embodies an interesting contradiction: on the one hand, it’s so beautiful it can look almost un-real — like a painting. On the other, it seems hyper-real — the exaggerated version of real life that the GTA series takes as its founding principle. Open-world developers are getting better and better at art direction, and Rockstar’s are the masters. It seems like every time you turn a corner, whether in Franklin’s tagged-up neighborhood or Trevor’s desert hellscape, there’s some kind of vista or perfectly composed tableaux.
Rockstar supports this artistic prowess with technology. “Longer draw-distance” and “reduced texture pop-in” are bits of gamer jargon that might make the average GTA fan’s eyes glaze over, but they’re crucial to the game’s visual presentation. Some games have great art direction, but their technological guts fall short. Other games are the reverse. Rockstar has always succeeded because they understand how the two components combine to make a whole.
After many hours of playing around in Los Santos, I finally was directed by the game to spend some time out in the desert oasis of Sandy Shores. Essentially a spread-out trailer park full of meth heads and meth dealers and meth cookers, Sandy Shores manages to be quite picturesque even so, sitting next to a large lake. The contrast, too, was welcome, especially as someone who greatly enjoyed traipsing around Mexico in Red Dead Redemption. Just driving around and taking in the sights was pleasant.
And then, out of nowhere, a coyote ran out into the road in front of my truck and I nailed him. So real, Rockstar.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “sheer size and scope” in reference to GTA V this week, and with good reason. You can sense it’s a big world even while walking around at ground level.
But when I got behind the wheel of the Atomic Blimp (a bonus for preordering the PS3 version), and took it up to insane altitudes, the sheer size and scope of the game become clear as crystal. And there seems to be no real limit to how high you can go. I thought it’d be fun to see how high I could fly before hitting an invisible wall — instead, I got so high, the clouds themselves were thousands of feet below, a nd Los Santos a tiny, a from-orbit sized grid of imperceptible movement and life. You can see the curvature of the earth out on the horizon.
It took me several minutes just to descend to mere plane-in-the-sky height, and I did a lap around the city.
Then I accidentally flew over the airport, and heard a warning, “You’re flying in restricted airspace. Turn back immediately.” I attempted to comply, but my efforts must have been missed (or ignored). In seconds my slow-ass blimp was accosted by a police helicopter. I said, “Nobody, nobody takes me down in a blimp.”
I purposefully steered the blimp into the helicopter, causing the blades to grind unbearably against my hull, and the helicopter began to smoke. Might I be victorious?
No. I suddenly lost power, and took a slow, gloomy nose dive straight down to the freeway below, and exploded beautifully.
So yeah, GTA V: big game.