Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Grand Theft Auto V: PS4 Review

Grand Theft Auto V: PS4 Review

Released by Rockstar Games
Platform: PS4

There's no denying that Rockstar Games has pulled out all the stops for the spit'n'polish port over to the next gen consoles of its Grand Theft Auto V series.

With controversy ringing loudly in its ears thanks to The Warehouse using the game to spearhead a ban on R18 products in store, you'd be forgiven for thinking this latest incarnation of the series was the personification of the Devil in digital form.

Without wanting to wade into this debate, it has to be said Grand Theft Auto V's PS4 outing is nothing short of an ideal game. It's essentially the same game as was released last year around this time with you taking in the lives of three characters in and around Los Santos.

There's Michael, the con who got out of the game, Franklin the youngster who's about to start climbing the career rope on the streets and Trevor, the psycho who's spent too long in the wild and toked a little too hard on the pipe a little too often. Much like Pulp Fiction did, these three lives intersect in ways that are both surprising, amusing and as is the GTA way, violent.

If you've already played through the main game, you'll know what to expect of the story and the missions within. From stealing / repossessing cars to saving your son, there's plenty of story-line to explore and plenty of trouble to find yourself in if you're that way inclined.

And here's the rub with Grand Theft Auto V on the PS 4 - it's just so damned easy to lose yourself in full immersion in the world within.

From first person mode to third person mayhem, everything in Los Santos is brushed with an epic sheen that glistens the more time you spend within the world. Rockstar's done an epic job of bringing the world around them to life - it feels like you're part of a city that never sleeps. Cats roam the streets now and if you're content to just sit in a car, you can watch the whole world around you - both the good and the bad. Sure, there's controversy over the first person sex scenes (which you can see on YouTube if you want) and some of the violence within (a torture sequence is a little uncomfortable) but most of this has already come over from the original version, so it seems a touch unfair to get so wound up about it all. Grand Theft Auto will always push the envelope and I applaud it for doing so - at the end of the day, everything within the game is a choice. It's your choice to attack others or do what you will and there are ramifications and consequences of doing so.

The PS4 controller also comes to life in this with flashing colours at various moments and the speakers within making the phone calls and police chatter much closer to you than before.

Visually, the game soars - HD graphics and use of light really help it achieve something utterly incredible. Soaring over the city in the skies as part of some missions really does show how wonderfully evocative it can all be, giving each environment the visual edge it needed on the next gen console.

The thing is with GTA V, there's a whole world to lose yourself in - and with the tweaks for the next gen and online match-ups, Rockstar's done a great job of ensuring that this Grand Theft Auto is one you need to own and experience its open world once again. Thanks to the grunt of the PS4, the world around Los Santos is what shines; cars fill the streets, lives take place around you and a world goes by. It's incredible.

Forget the naysayers and just immerse yourself in Los Santos - the next generation's already provided some thrills and Grand Theft Auto V simply rises high into the sky.


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