Grand Theft Auto V is officially available for purchase and is getting rave reviews from gamers for it’s immersive, Southern California universe.

Grand Theft Auto V, from Rockstar Games, is the follow up to the 2008 Grand Theft Auto IV, which took place in a gritty New York City-like town, and mocks Los Angeles with the dangerous city of Los Santos. Los Santos acts as a kind of parallel universe for modern day city life. Los Santos has Facebook, called 'LifeInvader,' and it’s own version of 50 Shades of Grey, titled Chains of Intimacy.

In a Grand Theft Auto first, GTA V features three completely amenable characters players can inhabit in the game, all male: Michael, a bank robber, Franklin, a repo man and Trevor, a drug dealer.


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The newest incarnation of Grand Theft Auto focuses on bettering the relation between the characters as they are written in the game narrative and the characters as manipulated by the player. A character can go on a tangent about a dislike of puppies in an animated sequence and a player can then go out and make that character kick a puppy, for example, making the character less than cohesive. Grand Theft Auto V has tried to lessen this gap.

“That seamlessness between narrative and interactive is something that we have worked on everywhere,” co-founder of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser told The New York Times.

The universe of Grand Theft Auto is known for presenting gamers with the opportunity to act recklessly and lawlessly in the universe of the game and has received quite a bit of criticism for it.

Players can murder characters, steal, torture and do any number of socially unacceptable things without consequence. The power of the journey of the game lies with the player instead of the game, something fans of Grand Theft Auto thrive on.

GTA V has an abundance of… moments, big and small, that make San Andreas – the city of Los Santos and its surrounding areas – feel like a living world where anything can happen. It both gives you tremendous freedom to explore an astonishingly well-realised world and tells a story that’s gripping, thrilling and darkly comic. It is a leap forward in narrative sophistication for the series, and there’s no mechanical element of the gameplay that hasn’t been improved over Grand Theft Auto IV,” writes Keza MacDonald for IGN.

Another critic praised the game for its more involved and immersive missions, pointing out that a player can inhabit Michael, Franklin or Trevor to plan and then execute a bank heist.

“Just like its predecessors, Grand Theft Auto V is spectacular. Between the countless activities and criminal tales of Franklin, Trevor and Michael, Los Santos is a difficult place to leave,” writes Brett Molina for USA Today.

Rockstar is also gearing up to launch Grand Theft Auto Online, a more personal version of the game in which players will be able to have their own unique characters, in October.

Grand Theft Auto V is available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 at $59.99 and is rated M.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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