Allow me to preface my review with a little background; I grew up on the Grand Theft Auto iterations, traversing the regions of Liberty and Vice City, but was quite excited with the prospects of returning to San Andreas, arguably Rockstar’s deepest territory. V promises a return to the last generation’s parody of Southern California, and this is its first mistake. Gone are the beaches, hookers, and crime syndicates, replaced exclusively with racetracks. Don’t get me wrong; I love racing. Vehicles have always been a major focus of the GTA franchise. What irks this reviewer, however, is the focus on racing inV. After popping in the game for the first time and selecting a race from the main menu, I was asked to select my car then immediately thrown into a race. Where was the introductory video, the character development, and the traveling to/from missions?
“Relax,” I thought to myself. “Maybe this is something new.” Little did I know how correct I was. With the wave of the checkered flag, I was off to the races. But the race got fairly monotonous quickly, and I decided this mission was not for me. Bailing on the race, I decided to hit triangle on my dualshock. “Huh? No I don’t want to go in reverse. I wanna get out of this ‘rari and bash in some bangers!” I thought they had changed the controls, but I was dead wrong. In V, they’ve done away with extra-vehicular activity. You can no longer get out of the car.
“That’s fine,” I suggested timidly to myself. “Drive-bys will have to do.” Guess what, folks: no guns either. It seems Rockstar, in an effort to appease various media outlets and concerned parents, have completely altered the game to enforce family values. The most havoc I caused during my gameplay was throwing on the horn and causing a public disturbance, and still did not see any sign of a wanted level. It’s clear public pressure has transitioned the series from a “Mature” rating towards an “E for Everyone” (seen on the right side of this column).