Lets establish one thing for certain. By relative comparison, GTA V's story will never be as good as what GTA IV was. The story of GTA IV was about a Serbian war veteran in his early 30s trying to start a new life in Liberty City with his allegedly 'rich' cousin who enjoys bowling. Of course, they get sucked deep into Liberty City's underworld and then follows the dramatic tale of The Cousins Bellic trying to break free of the criminal lifestyle and realize The American Dream.
For those who have played GTA IV even halfway through would know that the story is actually deeper than my dimwitted summary. I could type out the whole thing, but then I may as well send it off to a publisher and have it made into a book to compete with the Twilight series.
Now that we had a couple of minutes to think about GTA IV's bottomless pit depth, lets contrast this to GTA V. In the previous installment, I saw suspense, heartbreak, cynicism, trying to stay optimistic in a broken world. Being said, I'll NEVER cover every single theme. As for GTA V, what did I see? What engaged me in its epic, dramatic tale? In case you haven't figured out, GTA V's story is just about as hollow, dull and engaging as looking into an empty shell.
YES, that's GTA V's story in a nutshell...An EMPTY SHELL.
I have seen very few positive comments about GTA V's story. 10% of them. Most likely even less. As for the majority viewpoint, some people have gone as far as to call GTA V's story downright f*cking horrible!
I don't think I would reduce the efforts of the writers at R* to "downright f*cking horrible*. If you want downright f*cking horrible, click here and try not to end up in therapy like I did.
As for what I think of GTA V's story, I don't think its horrible. A little stupid, maybe. Defiantly not a bestseller. To summarize GTA V's story in one simple, yet powerful word.
Its easy to tell GTA V is trying to tell a little story, but its so awkward that after ten minutes of actual gameplay you forget that its there. There are occasional reminders we are in a story, such as Michael's family life or Trevor's little company or Franklin living out every overrated rapper's rhyme book. However, as soon as we go back into Freeroam or even start shooting those Merrywether goons in one of twenty missions, you just forget the story is even there and you immerse yourself more in the gameplay rather than the poetics. Isn't that what GTA is about? Common sense shows more players gear towards gamePLAY rather than the story content. I am a statistic in this matter, but I still have a right to judge other things about the game. (As does anyone else)
Still, what is GTA V's story. Its so empty all I can really see is a retired bank robber, an international CEO and a CJ clone put in the same room.
I'm not saying GTA V's story is all awkward.. The game did have some heartwarming moments including when Trevor finds out that it was actually Brad's dead body in Michael's grave. Not to mention any moment when said psychotic motherf*cker falls in love. For the most part though, I can't say GTA V's story was good OR bad.
How am I to justify this? I have so many examples. Look at all the games that have come out recently with hopelessly generic storylines. Any of the Saints Row games, Scarface: The World Is Yours. The Tekken series started getting old after the second one, storywise. Far Cry 3 wasn't too bad, but my lenience for this game was majorly influenced by YOU KNOW WHO. I remember downloading Rainbow Six Vegas 2 a while back and I only went 2/3rds of the game before my attention span dropped. Do NOT get me started on any COD game because I know their lore is dumb as hell and I don't even play that copypasta atrocity.
So yes, that is my take on GTA V's story. Hope you enjoyed it. Butthurt totally not appreciated.
tl;dr GTA V's story is not explicitly not good nor bad, just awkward. It is a persistent, yet after not five minutes of actual gameplay, you forget that it is even there.