The reviews for Rockstar Games’ major 2013 video game release, Grand Theft Auto 5, have flooded the internet today. The response thus far? GTA 5 is a near flawless product that contains one of the most complete video game experiences of the year. Some of these reviews point out the mostly negative aspects of this game, though…
Check out some of the most major review quotes and video reviews we’ve seen so far:
IGN – 10/10
Grand Theft Auto V is not only a preposterously enjoyable video game, but also an intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America. It represents a refinement of everything that GTA IV brought to the table five years ago. It’s technically more accomplished in every conceivable way, but it’s also tremendously ambitious in its own right.
The biggest jump in quality since Grand Theft Auto IV is the character animation, but the world is also much more expansive, detailed, and populous. The price we pay for that is occasional framerate dips and texture pop-in, which I found became more prominent the longer I played, but never significantly detracted from my experience.
GameSpot – 9/10
GTA V is an imperfect yet astounding game that has great characters and an innovative and exciting narrative structure, even if the story it uses that structure to tell is hobbled at times by inconsistent character behavior, muddled political messages and rampant misogyny.
Characters constantly spout lines that glorify male sexuality while demeaning women, and the billboards and radio stations of the world reinforce this misogyny, with ads that equate manhood with sleek sports cars while encouraging women to purchase a fragrance that will make them “smell like a bitch.” Yes, these are exaggerations of misogynistic undercurrents in our own society, but not satirical ones. With nothing in the narrative to underscore how insane and wrong this is, all the game does is reinforce and celebrate sexism.
Game Informer – 9.75/10
Grand Theft Auto V has the lofty expectations of living up to the pedigree of its critically acclaimed predecessors. Rockstar Games deserves credit for pushing the boundaries of its flagship franchise yet again with improved controls, great mission variety, and the most jam-packed open world I’ve ever visited.
While the plot doesn’t live up to the high standards set by Red Dead Redemption and GTA IV, the design surpasses every previous Rockstar game. Grand Theft Auto V melds together the expansive open world of its Western, the vehicle control and customization of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, the shooting mechanics of Max Payne 3, and Rockstar’s signature sense of humor to create its most well rounded game to date.
Destructoid – 9/10
Grand Theft Auto V is both a reflective and deflective game, diving into the heart of the GTA series with more than a few subtle things to say about itself. Michael is tired, and old, and wants to change, but he can’t, and eventually he grows to accept and even enjoy that. Franklin is smarter than his surroundings, dreaming big but held back by old fashioned ideas.
And while the narrative is as morally reprehensible as ever, the underlying intelligence backing up the wanton immaturity manages to keep GTA V treading the line of acceptable. There will be much pontificating on the morality of the game, and what its story says, but in GTA V, I see a game that knows its own reputation, owns it, and makes fun of itself in a nonetheless celebratory fashion.
Joystiq – 4.5/5
Since GTA5 features three main characters with vastly different personalities, your time is split, and the narrative isn’t given enough room to resonate. Peripheral characters suffer as well, with each protagonist being designated specific individuals throughout the story. You spend less time getting to know the people that make up the craziest parts of the world, which has always been one of GTA’s more fascinating components.
Story complaints aside, it’s the world of San Andreas that is the main attraction, and it does not disappoint. For every narrative quibble, there are dozens of discoveries to be made, and many of the best moments will be the ones you create yourself.
Rev3Games – 5/5
The Escapist – 3.5/5
Nothing hammers the scope of GTAV more then when you play in your first aerial mission. Flying a plane across the state of San Andreas, seeing the sun set behind the mountains and knowing there’s missions to complete, characters to meet and cars to steal across each inch of the landscape beneath you, is breathtaking.
It’s certainly fun to be the bad guy sometimes, but only buy Grand Theft Auto V if you’re prepared to play as characters with no justifiable motivation for doing awful things to people.
Official Xbox Magazine – 10/10
From skydiving and submarine exploration to bounty-hunting and watching animated shorts, GTA V is absolutely crammed full of things to do, and it looks amazing while you do them. While a few blurry textures here and there made us wish we were playing on Xbox One, this is easily one of the prettiest games of its generation, with lushly rendered forests, underwater environments, and architecture – as well as some very impressive lighting effects.
It doesn’t quite hit the epic highs and emotional swells of Red Dead Redemption – but then, it’s more comedy than drama, and it offers more than enough action to make up for it. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most impressive games of its generation – and a great last hurrah before we step up to the next one.
Polygon – 9.5/10
Grand Theft Auto 5 is the video game equivalent of an all-inclusive tour package. It offers a bottomless checklist of things to do, such as jet-skiing, off-road racing, bank-heisting, waterboarding, tennis playing, shopping, car upgrading, weapon modifying, flight schooling, train stealing and star touring, to name just a few.
Rockstar has expanded and improved upon so much of what’s special about video games as mainstream spectacles, from the playful use of characters to the refined take on world design. The developer’s progress makes the aspects of the game left in cultural stasis — the poorly drawn women, the empty cynicism, the unnecessarily excessive cruelty — especially agitating.
Edge – 10/10
There are wrinkles, but none so serious as to prove ruinous. The game’s treatment of women – every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at – is a real concern until you realize that it applies to the male characters as well. As Trevor, there’s a forced torture scene that will make you thoroughly uncomfortable until five minutes later when, back on the road, you misjudge a corner, kill a handful of pedestrians and laugh out loud, and it becomes apparent that Rockstar has made quite a powerful point, one that will later be acknowledged by one of the protagonists. We are all despicable people.
No one makes worlds like Rockstar, but at last it has produced one without compromise. Everything works. It has mechanics good enough to anchor games of their own, and a story that is not only what GTA has always wanted to tell but also fits the way people have always played it. It’s a remarkable achievement, a peerless marriage of world design, storytelling and mechanics that pushes these ageing consoles to the limit and makes it all look easy.
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