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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Remastered game improves on ‘GTA’ universe

"Grand Theft Auto V"

Rockstar North

“Grand Theft Auto V” is by far the most detailed and visually stunning game Rockstar North, the company in charge of the “Grand Theft Auto” series, has ever created. Even before the game was remastered for the most recent generation of consoles, the graphics were a large improvement from “Grand Theft Auto IV.” The story also takes a slightly different approach by adding multiple intersecting storylines. The game allows the user to switch between characters for the benefit of combat, flawlessly using every partner in crime to a strategic advantage.

In the opening scene of “Grand Theft Auto V,” the main character has just robbed a bank and begins his getaway. With no other options, the game prompts the player to switch who they are controlling in order to finish off the police officers and get to the getaway car. This feature makes the combat part of the games much more three-dimensional and really gives a fresh feel to something that hasn’t changed much throughout the series.

“Grand Theft Auto” games usually take place in an urban environment, with little to no wildlife or land to work with. “Grand Theft Auto V,” taking place in a much less dense city, made Rockstar focus more on the environment than ever before. The game consists of highly populated beaches, lively boardwalks and just an overall different aesthetic feel than its usual gloomy New York City type structure. The game’s open world and outstanding attention to detail are what separates “Grand Theft Auto V” from competitors like “Saints Row 3” and “Dead Rising 3.”

“Grand Theft Auto V” has recently been remastered for the next generation consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. While the story is exactly the same, the game does come with some additional perks and tweaks. The first and most talked about change is the ability to shift between first person and third person. The “Grand Theft Auto” series has always been known for being a strictly third-person game, but Rockstar decided to spice things up for the remastering and give the player the choice. Many games have created this first to third person interface before, but with “Grand Theft Auto,” the entire combat dynamic is changed.

In the classic third-person mode, the character is able to easily lock on to targets around him and shift between them seamlessly. In first-person mode, the character has much more freedom aiming weapons, which can be fun, but also creates a large learning curve. For someone who has grown up playing the “Grand Theft Auto” games, it can be very jarring and difficult to complete the missions with this entirely new aiming system.

While the visuals prove stunning, the new perspective does require even more practice when it comes to driving. The first-person driving angle takes some serious adjustment as it realistically cuts off the user’s peripherals. Much like the shooting mechanics, this change may take some getting used to, but the added realism may be appreciated by gamers.

Another large difference is the details to the textures and definition of the “Grand Theft Auto V” world. The game has bumped its output resolution from 720p to 1080p for the new consoles. The remastered version has the benefits of a new console generation’s power, which allows for more characters on screen as well as a higher volume of vehicles, weapons and outfits. While these details aren’t crucial to the game, it does help increase the incentive to buy this game on the next-generation consoles.

Something that will be drastically different in the remastered version is the multiplayer interface. “Grand Theft Auto V” allows for 32-player online matches, an increase from the original titles’ limit of 16 players. In addition, the remastered version has revamped the online lobby completely, allowing people to customize their character with more ease and configure match settings with more precision, including the choice between first- and third-person mode while online.

“Grand Theft Auto V” is one of the best, if not the best, in the Rockstar series, and most definitely worth spending the $60 price tag on a newer copy. The game has very few flaws making the jump between consoles despite adding more detail and increased servers for multiplayer mode. Becoming immersed into the vast and beautiful “Grand Theft Auto” world and experiencing the crazy plot in first person is a must for any video game fan.