Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot
Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot

Three new GTA trailers hit this week, and popular opinion was predictably divided between those who think the game will be the greatest thing ever made (even better than those lamps that turn on or off when you clap), and those that still aren't sold.

I'm in the former camp, in a big way. GTA is one franchise that excites me like N64 kid downing an experimental new version of Red Bull, and 5 seems like GTA: Greatest Hits edition. For me, this is Very Good News.

The reason GTA wins me over is that the world Rockstar creates are best in class. Phrases like 'digital tourism' are often thrown around in discussions about the series, but that's not what I mean. Tourism generally implies going somewhere, arguing with your other half, and wishing in no small measure that you were dead.

Not so in GTA. Here, I'd reluctantly opt for another overused word: playground. And like most playgrounds, it's not long until violence descends. Rockstar's cities exist to augment your rampages, not simply contain them. People moaned that GTA 4 was too realistic, not fun enough. Mother 'ucker, Rockstar gave you New York on a disc smaller than the circumference of the Starbucks Grande Twatte you drink every day. Even the guys at NASA were impressed, and it's their job to be more severe and gamerious than a straightjacketed Victorian headmistress. If you couldn't make your own fun in a game that gave you New York, helicopters, and the opportunity for 16-player free roam, then give up. It's over.

Rockstar's worlds are realistic in the sense that they mimic actual places, but they're not slaves to realism. They work because the dev teams understand the essence of the places they're attempting to replicate, not just their more obvious features. So rather than a backdrop you have a world. The interplay of different areas is always masterful: no other developer does this as well, and it's one of the keys to GTA's success. Saints Row's Stillwater is so nondescript I'm fairly sure it took place against a backdrop of a massive grey jumper, even when Volition attempts to break the city down into different districts.

Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot

That's why I love GTA, because it feels like you're freewheeling around an actual place, albeit one just disconnected enough from reality, killing thousands of people and generally having a bloody good time. Pleasingly, GTA 5 has gone bigger. It's massive, like lifetime Call of Duty sales figures projected onto the surface of the moon. It's greater in scale than everything Rockstar has ever done, put together. You can see it from space. If you were to walk from one end of the map to the other, you would actually die.

Crucially, unless there's a Modern Toss-style total bloody disaster, this means more of the same excellent world-building. People have moaned that there's no (or little) gameplay in the trailers. Fair enough. But for me, the glimpses of the world itself – and the toys you'll navigate it with – are the exciting part.

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reynoldio's Avatar



I have a foot in each camp. I'm really excited because it's new GTA and they're always great. Interesting, exciting, brilliant multiplayer, loads of opportunities for stupidity - can't fail to be entertaining. But bigger doesn't always mean better. I've never completed a GTA game (I don't complete loads of games, to be honest) and so bigger doesn't mean better to me, it just means I'm missing even more. As long as it's lots of fun though, I'm in.

Hope it's as good as you dream, Stevinho.
Posted 18:58 on 02 May 2013
tvr77's Avatar


Excellent article, you speak for the masses.
The trailers may not reveal any gameplay but we see enough of the marvelous world that we will soon be populating to get the blood pumping and i can't bloody wait.
Rockstar are just choosing to not reveal all there cards at once and i'm sure closer to launch and maybe at E3 we will see some gameplay footage and i reckon we will ALL be blown away!
Posted 14:07 on 02 May 2013
SimTsoka's Avatar


Hell F*****g Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!! \(",)/ Dude you just read my mind... Whoever thinks this game is not going to be the best ever... is a dumbass... #truestory
Posted 13:28 on 02 May 2013
sharky's Avatar


yeah it's gonna be sweeeeeet. but the trouble with something so awesome is, its small problems become amplified because we love it so much. i can't wait to enjoy it, then go through a phase of hate and talk about what it could have been.
Posted 13:26 on 02 May 2013

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Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5
Available For: Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC Genre: Action Score10

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