Grand Theft Auto V is the 15t installment in the franchise. It was originally released in September 2013 by Rockstar North, and is an open-world pay-to-play PEGI 18+ RPG action-adventure game set in the fictional city of Los Santos, LA. Players can choose either the first- or third-person perspective, while playing either the main story-line or the GTA Online game.
The Premise – GTA V
The main GTA V game is a single-player storyline, where players switch between three main characters, namely he main game, payers take on the roles of Michael De Santa, a former bank robber now under witness protection, Franklin Clinton, a former Families Gang member and Trevor Philips, De Santa’s psychotic former partner-in-crime from a botched heist that occurred nine-years prior to the events of the game.
The game starts out with De Santa needing to resort to a return to a life of crime after inadvertently destroying the property of a gang-lord while taking revenge on his wife’s lover. As the story unravels, he meets Clinton and reunites with Philips. The three protagonists become embroiled in crazier antics while their personal lives spiral out of control.
Throughout the story, players will need to carry out a number of heists and robberies and participate in many shootouts and high speed-chases using various cars, weapons and allies.
Grand Theft Auto Online was released in October 2013 as an independent online open-world gaming experience for up to 30-players per server, with many NPCs populated the world as well. However, it can only be accessed once players have registered their GTA V game online. Players can form crews of between two to five other players or play solo in order to fulfill in-game missions, which can be either cooperative or competitive vis-à-vis other crews. Crews can be created with other friends or through random lobbies.
When players create their characters, they will need to allocate 6 statistic points across Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving and Lung Capacity. Each category has five slots, so the remaining slots will need to be leveled up through gameplay:
- Stamina is leveled up through physical activities such as running, cycling or swimming.
- Shooting can be increased at the shooting range or by firing shots anywhere else during the game. Skill shots award higher XP, so accurate shots fired during conflict will earn the character more shots that accurate shots at the firing range.
- Strength is increased by fighting by either punching or kicking other player characters or NPCs.
- Stealth stats are increased by switching to stealth mode and managing to sneak around for as long as possible without being noticed by other player characters and NPCs.
- Flying skills can be gained through practicing flying an actual aircraft and by taking classes at flight school.
- Driving is also improved through operating land and air-vehicles, with bonus experience being issued for performing tricks.
- Lung capacity is improved by practicing diving in the water and by performing yoga exercises.
Improving each skill grants boosts to that skills performance, such as it becoming easier to maneuver vehicles as the character’s driving skills improve, or being able to hold one’s breath for longer periods of time when diving before sustaining damage.
After they create their character, players can participate in the tutorial, which will award them their first car. Once the tutorial is completed, players can start interacting with the open-world, by fulfilling missions or participating in various activities. Completing these tasks will award players with both cash and experience. As players gain experience, they will level up, with each new rank unlocking new contacts on their character’s cellphone. These contacts can be tapped for other missions when called back later.
All unlocked missions can be repeated as many times as the player would like to. Checking in with these contacts will sometimes result in new missions being unlocked. Some missions can only be located at certain times of the day, by viewing the map on one’s phone. They will see a flashing icon indicating where the mission can be found. As missions can be joined through lobbies, it is possible for low-ranking players to join higher ranking missions that they wouldn’t yet have access to otherwise by joining a random crew. PvP missions are listed under Adversary Mode missions.
Missions can include anything from smuggling various contraband goods, delivering packages, or stealing cars to racing, assassinations and prison breaks, among many others. GTA V online regularly provides updates with new DLC missions, features and cosmetics.
Cash is earned through completing missions, job performance or by buying them with real-world currency. This currency can then be used to buy vehicles, vehicle modifications, cosmetic items such as clothing and jewelry, properties such as apartments, houses, warehouses and offices.
While some transactions can be done through the character’s mobile phone, such as bank transfers, others require the character to be at a specific location, as with driving to a clothing outlet to purchase clothes and accessories or driving to the property’s location to purchase it. Fortunately, many of the consumer outlets offer the same range of products, so players don’t need to visit every clothing store in the city to acquire all of the items that they want.
All housing properties come include hangars and garages that are able to hold between 2 – 10 vehicles, depending on how high-end the property is. Additionally, all properties and most vehicles and be decorate or modified, adding other dimensions to the gameplay, if players want to express their creativity in-game.
Furthermore, all purchases can be sold later, although many devalue over time. Aside from garages, apartments and certain other buildings serve as safehouses for the player’s character and whomever they let in, meaning that they will be safe from PvP attacks when they’re inside. Purchasing business properties will also generate revenue both passively, and by making new missions available to the player over time. New business properties are unlocked when certain missions are completed. Some properties can only be purchased in the main game and are character-specific.
Events and Activities
Events are periodic, limited events in-game that usually result in price-cuts of certain in-game merchandise and bonus profits for completing missions. These can be weekly or special events, with special events usually occurring around holiday season or before an upcoming update.
Miscellaneous activities that players can do include playing, tennis or darts, sight-seeing and going to the movies. Some player mod activities include going to school and playing football matches.
GTA Online also allows for users to create content for their world. While many of these mod contributions are aesthetic, some have a greater impact on gameplay, such as the ability for users to roleplay as LSPD law enforcers in the GTA world. This role is immersive, and requires the player to respond to calls, interrogate suspects, make arrests, interview victims and file reports, among other tasks. Another factor is that as these players are on the right side of the law, they also need to abide by the law. This means that they shouldn’t run traffic lights unless they are in pursuit of a suspect and have their lights flashing. Details on how to download these mods can be found on YouTube and forums. Other mainstream jobs include working in the food industry, driving a taxi, construction, farming, rapping and being a parking valet.
Other mods are a little quirkier, such as the grappling hook mod that allows the player to traverse distances quickly or the superhero and villain mods that allow players to embody various familiar characters from their favorite franchises and create utter chaos in Los Santos.