Grand Theft Auto V review

GTA V has a remastered edition for Playstation 4, a trend for late last-gen games in 2014. But unlike Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and some others, this is a bit special and could well be worth a buy even if you rinsed the original release.

We won’t spend time talking about the core game, as that is pretty much the same and you can find out about that in our original Grand Theft Auto V review for the PS3.

Instead we are going to look at the remaster itself and what it brings to the table. The immediate thing is just how wonderful the game looks. Hell it look bloody great on the PS3 and 360, pushing those consoles to the limit, it looked better and more alive than even some next gen games, such as Watchdogs and could have been released completely as is on the PS4 at a lower price and still managed to sell a ton and been well received.

But this remaster makes almost every other release to date look last gen and sub standard in comparison. That would almost be enough alone to warrant a purchase. It has the expected upgrades in the visual department, but doesn’t stop there. GTA V on the PS4 adds to the population of the living breathing world, with more people, more vehicles and just seemingly a lot more going on.

Traffic seems to act as it would in real life with the streets being dense during potential rush hour times, start and finish of working days and the such. Then you may find the people who inhabit the world are then denser in certain areas at certain times, again affected by the time of day and other factors.

This coupled with the improved graphics would have been enough and had the remaster of GTA V well received, but Rockstar didn’t stop there.

Did you buy and play GTA V on a PS3 or 360? Of course you did, it broke sales records. What if we said you can import your character from the last gen versions to the current gen? Not that impressive you say? Other games have done that you say? Well that is true, but Rockstar understand that people may well have changed brand when they upgraded. So they have allowed you to import you character from either version of the last gen, to either version of current gen. 360 to PS4, PS3 to PS4, PS3 to XB1 and so on.

You can pick up right where you left off and carry on without hardly missing a beat. That is great, but hey sometimes you could be a fool and lose your save, sell the old console… That doesn’t matter at all, because starting GTA V from scratch doesn’t feel like a chore and you can really feel like you are playing a brand new game, even if it is a retread.

Why? Well, importing you characters, a more alive feeling world and better graphics would have been enough and GTA V would have been well received. However Rockstar didn’t stop there.

With the addition of the first person mode, GTA V becomes a whole new game. You heard that right a first person GTA and it really is a game changer.

We can admit that we at Gamestyle were almost on the fence about getting a remaster, especially of a game that just about a year old. We weren’t tempted by Tomb Raider and hell, even The Last Of Us is only on the list for id we hit a dry period. But when the trailer for the first person mode hit, we were sold instantly.

The sell job on this isn’t even just marketing bull either. We would have reviewed this title a bit earlier, but have spent so much time just wandering around taking everything in via first person views that we have hardly touched the main parts of the game. Well we have now, as we had to…but we could happily have spend more time just pottering about.

After the opening tutorial level, we got control of Franklin and when we reached his home, forty…yes FORTY minutes were simply wasted standing in front of a mirror watching Franklin’s eyes and head move as you’d expect as you move the right stick around, followed by taking selfies from different angles with different expressions, just because we could.

Then we venture outside and the detail of the world created by Rockstar just hits home. It is easy to miss the subtle little details in third person, but looking through the eyes of your character you become easily distracted by almost everything. You become so immersed in this world you forget what is happening in your own world.

Add some headphones and it just sucks you in and we hate to imagine how this will be with Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus. There is a reason this works so well and probably more so than even many game built with first person in mind. You viewpoint feels like you are in the selected character’s head, rather than their chest, or some other point for effect. It really is amazing.

It isn’t perfect though, as this view when driving at pace feels a bit disorientating at times as it can take a little pause to get your view facing forward again, also because of the realistic viewpoint, it feels like weapons are being held at a funny angle by your neck. But that is really being picky, as there are options to allow you to customise some elements to get your favoured setup.

We scored Grand Theft Auto V a 10/10 upon its original release in 2013, yet this is better in every way and adds so much more to the experience that it becomes an essential purchase, whether you want to play through again of just experience something simply amazing.

The original isn’t all of a sudden worse, so unofficially lets give this version a 11/10.