Yup the facts are in, this is a multiplayer oriented game through and through. They went with something different this time. Many people who played the game have arrived at the same conclusion due to the following :
1) Missions : Only 70 story missions between 3 characters + 60 side missions. San Andreas had like nearly 200 missions. Also a lot of the ones in 5 are really short also. The heists were overhyped, only a handful of them and most don't give you any money. They advertised the hell out the 3 character dynamic but its barely even used! So few missions have freedom to swap between all 3 characters. There are more missions with 2 characters only but often the swapping makes no real difference. Usually its either a single character mission or a multicharacter mission with forced/scripted swaps......yay.
2) Map : Big empty map with nothing to do. More detailed sure, but not as many fun things to do and interact with. The map is obviously geared towards multiplayer. Playing the game I couldn't help but notice the seemingly pointlessly detailed design. Why so many ladders? Why all of these buildings out in the middle of nowhere that you can't enter? When I saw the power station it hit me. I saw everything you could climb and the whole layout and thought, yup, this is a multiplayer map. It serves zero purpose in free roam. I figured penitentiary was also MP map. Sure enough when I try online for the first time I see powerstation and penitentiary as MP maps.
3) Activities : Few activities outside of missions. 15 races total for a map this big is PATHETIC. Not to mention they are all pure and utter sh*t. The routes are boring, even off road races stay on dirt tracks and never go over hills or though woods. The AI bascially lets you win and you have to be very very bad not to win first place. San Andreas had 25 races and they AI was on your ASS. It took skill to win and that made it rewarding, as opposed to 5's pussified "races". I like how San Andreas races were not confined to city or country but could cross through both also. Then there is this :
Golf : It actually takes skill and is enjoyable.
Tennis : Sucks, too easy as it is without the game telling you where to f*cking move.
Darts : Its crap just aim in middle and win every time.
Yoga : Do I even need to explain this one.
Triathalon : Again as with races you have AI that is too easy to beat. Also tapping a that many times is a royal pain. The last one takes literally half an hour and I wanted to just give up and let my f*cking hand rest many times.
I'll take jet packs, destruction derby, and car hydraulics over ALL of this crap.
4) Story : Poorly written and all over the place. How many times do we have to hear about crooked law enforement? Try something original Rockstar. All the characters ever do is bitch, moan and complain. Michael bitches about his life, Franklin bitches to Lamar, Trevor bitches to Micheal who bitches back at him yada yada yada. Franklin is a 2d character with no purpose. Total 3rd wheel black guy that has no lines other than yeah whatever, or okay then. Finally the ending is crap and provides no closure.
5) Driving & crash damage : Arcadey and a step backwards. Yes GTA 4 had sever understeer, but they shoudl've just tuned it instead of going the other way completely. And taking a head on collsion with a train only to recieve a slightly dented bumper, accelerating and stopping on the dime, and hanging right corners at high speeds, is whack. They obvious reason they did this is for multiplayer. Realism would slow it down. With all the online races, and cars being accessible in most if not all game modes arcadey makes sense. Not wrecking your car all the time and turning corners at freeway speeds without crashing speeds up gameplay and keeps the noobs happy. Its sad that San Andreas, nearly a decade old murders this game in vehicle handling. The cars drift more and you have to slow down for turns, I love how your tires can lift up on side if you turn too fast on anything with 4 wheels (In GTA 5 the cars are glued to the damn floor). The acceleration is gradual and damn near perfect. You slowly build up speed and not just float around like in GTA 5. Also the motor bikes feel like actual motor bikes. Too fast on a turn or too far back on a wheelie and you are sent flying. The way bikes handle in GTA 5 is straight up Sleeping Dogs status, very very very bad. No only do you not have to brake for 70 mph turns you don't even have to decelerate!
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6) Economy & Progression : GTA 5 has very poor sense of progression and an uncooked economic system. Most missions give you jack sh*t and you only get
7) Phone is only used to call couple people per character to hang out with. Your phone is mostly cluttered with people you can't call. Hell they stay as contacts even after they die! Playing MP you can see what the phone was really made for. Its a great way to organize jobs, missions, and contact other players from the same session.
Only improvement in this game is the graphics, effects, cover system, wanted system, police tactics, and brilliant AI. The AI is purely stunning. It takes cover intelligently, flanks you, climbs over walls etc. Cops use pit manuevers, try to ram you off the road, and search for you, its great.
Sorry for wall of text, but I just had to. Been waiting for this game for a long time and I want to share my concerns for not only this game, but the series as a whole. I love multiplay but have San Andreas on PC and have way more fun in that game for single player. Would've sold this game had it not been for the very fun and addicting multiplayer job portion.