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GTA 5 Review - Grand Theft Auto 5

Updated on September 19, 2013

Very few games manage to create the same hype and appeal as the Grand Theft Auto series does. GTA 5, the most recent addition to an amazingly successful video game series, has managed to exceed expectations on many fronts. If you want to truly enjoy a modern-city open world game, then GTA 5 is your best bet. Within a couple of days of its release, it has become the Godfather of all games.

In this GTA 5 review, I will break the game down into 4 major aspects:

  • Storyline
  • Gameplay
  • Characters
  • GTA 5 World

Each segment will explain the notable features of the game, so you can truly understand how the game really is, and hence, can make an informed decision about buying the game if it fits your needs.

The Storyline:

Every GTA game rides on its own wonderfully written script, yet no user considers the storyline of a GTA game any significant than the gameplay. While the recently released GTA 5 has a thrilling gameplay experience, its story stands out greatly from its predecessors.

GTA 5 outrageously depicts a dark-comedy about the brutally killed American Dream. While GTA IV was a dark satire about ‘achieving’ The Great American Dream, GTA 5 throws you in the middle of the circumstances when the American Dream has gone all wrong. It only takes a couple of hours of gameplay to hook you completely with its well-written story. Just like any GTA game, you might feel you are doing some stupid missions in the beginning, but they are all crucial to what is to come very soon.

The thing that most impressed me is the developers’ ability to twine the story of three protagonists into one powerful and blooper-free script. You never feel discarded with any protagonist as everything is very well-connected to the main story line. The tension is gripping and the excitement unmatched. The story keeps jumping from one protagonist to another, but it never leaves a gap in between. The fun gets double – or should I say triple – when all the three game characters get involved in the missions. The major USP of the GTA 5 storyline is that it gives you a taste of many different things in one, complete package – without feeling like an overdose. It keeps you entertained through its dark humor, fills you with excitement, thrill and surprise with its unique way of story-telling and lets you totally enjoy the core, explosive gameplay without being intrusive.

GTA 5 successfully presents a dark comedy, which is an action-packed, thrilling and riveting experience on its own.
GTA 5 successfully presents a dark comedy, which is an action-packed, thrilling and riveting experience on its own.


As we all know, for the Grand Theft Auto series, gameplay is definitely the king. Maintaining its unmatched legacy, GTA 5 adds numerous dimensions to its basic gameplay to provide you a well-rounded, fascinating and breathtaking experience. The GTA 5 gameplay still revolves around robberies, thefts, car hijacking, killing people, driving over pedestrians and cinematic action sequences – which successfully make the core of the Grand Theft Auto series. But what makes the GTA 5 gameplay unique from its predecessors is the depth added to these features. The missions feel more realistic now and have greater impact on the game. The approach of these missions is redefined and you now have to be attentive and very clear about what to do, how to do it and even whether it should be done or not in the first place.

GTA 5 Gameplay - Official Video

A good example is the new ‘heist’ feature. In GTA IV, one of the missions that I totally loved was that of the bank robbery. When I completed it, I simply wished I could have more missions like that. GTA 5 has fulfilled that desire by adding the new, electrifying and more complex (in a good way) ‘heist’ missions. In these missions lie the core elements of GTA 5. You do not just have to rob the bank, but you also have to plan it completely. These ‘heist’ missions are a set of multiple sub-missions that need to be completed in order to have the main heist unlocked. As mentioned earlier, you will even have to ponder whether a decision you are about to make is actually the right one or not. For every heist, you are given multiple approaches to select: either you go in ‘bang bang’ or you opt for a more subtle, sneaky and calculated approach. To give you an idea, in one of the heists in which you have to rob a jewelry story. You can either breach the store with all guns blazing or sneak the sleeping gas through the AC vents. If you go for the 1st option, you will have to complete a sub-mission in which you have to steal the required guns. On the other hand, in the 2nd option, the sleeping gas will have to be arranged.

Apart from that, you will also have to assemble and hire a crew together, so you could pull out these heists successfully. A driver, gunman, hacker, are some of the crew members that you are usually required to choose. The abilities and strength of these crew members play a vital role in the final outcome of your heist, as well as their own survival. However, make sure that the more capable a crew member is, the higher the ‘cut’ you will have to give him.

I hope you got the idea by now that how GTA 5 offers a lot more depth and richness in its gameplay. And most importantly, the ability to switch between your three main characters, on the fly, is just plain brilliance! You can jump from one character to another either in free-roaming or during a mission. With this innovation, GTA 5 has set a new benchmark for many games to come.

Along with the main gameplay, there are numerous other activities, quests and side-missions, too, which you can undertake. From bike riding to riding jet skis, playing tennis to darts, you have a lot of mini-games to satisfy your thirst for a truly open-world game. The side missions are not too bad either. In fact, it has some very good ones too. But – rightly and expectedly – it never matches the thrilling and gripping experience of the main missions.

The heist missions are intriguing, exciting and impressive.
The heist missions are intriguing, exciting and impressive.


Along with the gameplay and story, what stand out in GTA 5 are its three main characters: Franklin, Michael and Trevor. Each character has its own story, traits and abilities that hook you right from the start. You start feeling connected to each of the character in a unique and almost weird way. Each of the three characters has his very own unique personality that sets the tone of the game perfectly right. It also helps you to truly know your characters.

As mentioned earlier in the review, each character has his own set of problems, dreams and opportunities, but they all keep tangling with the main storyline together – and this is one of the most exciting and thrilling experiences of GTA 5. Franklin is a small-street thug who is trying to make something big for himself. Michael is a retired robber, who is forced to come out of retirement because of some unfolding circumstances. And Trevor … well, the less said about him, the better it is.

Each character develops his abilities with your help and intervention. These abilities play a vital role in getting the mission done successfully. More importantly, because of the unique strength and special abilities, you automatically start to feel that a certain character, out of the given three, will be more suitable to that kind of action – which again, redefines the whole open-world experience. With your ’hard-earned’ money, you will also be able to customize your characters to the way you like. Yes, the GTA: San Andreas USP is back. You can change their hair-cut, customize your outfits and get them tattoos. Another important thing is that every character has his own money to spend, cars to use and weapons to blow people away with. As soon as you start knowing these characters, you will feel an unexplained urge to satisfy their needs as they were real people. I unexplainably bought some guns for Trevor and a beautiful car for Franklin, as I know these are something they would have had for themselves if they could. This is the level GTA 5 defines the in-game realism.

Trevor is a kind of guy who best reflects the insanity and madness of GTA 5 - brutal, merciless and total nuts!
Trevor is a kind of guy who best reflects the insanity and madness of GTA 5 - brutal, merciless and total nuts!
A bird's eye view of Los Santos.
A bird's eye view of Los Santos.

The GTA 5 World:

Where do we start? The GTA 5 world is HUGE! The map is literally enormous with so many different locations to visit. One of the major complains from GTA IV was the fact that the entire map was a bit too similar and not distributed in different locations, as it was in San Andreas. GTA 5 has tackled this issue extremely well. The world is full of things, different locations and is bigger than you could ever expect.

More importantly, the GTA 5 world is full of life. You can see people living their own lives, while you roam in a very beautifully created expansive world. You mingle with thousands of different characters in a huge world, which only adds to the realism all the more. As soon as you start playing the game, you cannot help but notice the amount of efforts and hard work put in to create such a massive, engaging and vibrant world – which never feels repetitive, even after hours and hours of gameplay. There is always something happening in the world.

Occasionally, when you are roaming around the city, certain situations will pop in, which you may or may not decide to interfere in. The system can be understood a bit like Red Dead Redemption, but it is much more detailed. The lightning, thunder, rain, sunlight: everything feels more real and dynamic. You can even guess that it is about to rain by just looking at the grey clouds forming over your head (at least I did). This is why GTA 5 has set new benchmarks for upcoming games to match, if they are to compete with this act of brilliance.

About the realism of the world, I can give you another example. In a mission, where Franklin and Michael meets in a far-away area and in the end of that cut-scene, Franklin drives away to home while Michael stays. Michael is the character I was control in and just to see how much ‘real’ the world is, I instantly switched to Franklin and there he was, riding his bike, back to home, merely a kilometer or two away from the location he just visited to meet Michael.

It's a beautiful world.
It's a beautiful world.

GTA 5 for XBOX 360 (Special Edition)

Final Verdict:

GTA 5 is a totally unique game in its own, which redefines how the open-world game should actually be made. It maintains the core gameplay that has made the Grand Theft Auto series such a huge success, but it also adds lots and lots of different features that really add the much-required depth to the game. The mechanics and features are simply brilliant that can easily compete with many games yet to come in the next couple of years.

All in all, GTA 5 is the game that the current-gen required as the perfect goodbye and the next-gen needed as an exemplary display. If you are 18+ of age and looking for a good game, GTA 5 is definitely one to go for or you will regret missing out on a true masterpiece.

Feel free to share your views about GTA 5 in the comment section below. What did you like the most in this latest edition?

© 2013 Syed Hunbbel Meer


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    • gta5xbox profile image


      5 years ago

      thanks for great review. Trevor is my favourite character.I adore this new GTA 5

    • Hunbbel Meer profile imageAUTHOR

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 

      5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Brajeev: Rockstar has a tradition of announcing the GTA game a bit later on the PC platform. I'm 80% sure that it will follow the same path and I hope it doesn't end up with the same fate as Red Dead Redemption. Expect the announcement in the later half of 2014. However, it will take one hell of a gaming machine to run this giant!

    • Hunbbel Meer profile imageAUTHOR

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 

      5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @JohnGreasyGamer: Thanks for stopping by. Honestly speaking, I really don't see any problems with this game (at least, so far). One of the most impressive things about GTA 5 that I've noticed is that it is an amazingly bug-free game. And by bug-free, I mean that you rarely see a glitch or in-game bug and none of them are game-breaking in nature.

      The problems, if gamers would find any, will actually be subjective. This is why it is getting so much praise from all around the world. Personally, I found the sexuality and profanity elements a bit too disturbing but hey, this is GTA we're talking about and it has always been this way. Secondly, I think there should have been more heist missions because they were so much fun. In the next editions, I would prefer to be have a more proactive role in planning the heist, with each particular character offering a different suggestion on the basis of his own abilities and strengths.

      But these are just suggestions and actually I'm nitpicking here. Rockstar has never disappointed me and I'm pretty sure that they will get on board with some even better ideas the next time they come around. And I hope they come around soon :)

    • brajeev profile image

      Aswin Rajeev 

      5 years ago from Cochin, India

      That is an awesome post. I hope GTA V comes for the PC in the near future. I am waiting for it.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Fantastic review and you've managed to cover a lot of the things that I'm looking forward to. GTA has never really been that innovative but you've managed to make this addition to the series look like everyone should give it a shot.

      My only suggestion would be to add some flaws. This game has received positive reception worldwide but there has to be something wrong with it. Did you have any minor irritations or major complaints? If so, I'd like to know about them so I'm not thrown off when I eventually play the game.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared amongst Hubbers! ^^


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