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Grand Theft Auto V Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . No matter if you're new to Grand Theft Auto V or a returning player, there's more than enough in this next-generation port to keep you satisfied. The first-person perspective manages to make a year-old game feel new again, and the changes made to the graphics, gameplay and online mode are substantial. One of 2013's best games is made even better on the PlayStation 4. Rating: 100%
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V
  • Review Score:

  • A+
Whether you like it or not, 2014 has been the year of the remastered video game. Sure, we've seen a number of impressive original titles released this year, but so many of the major games have been last-generation ports with next generation visuals. And while these products certainly look better, they rarely offer enough new content to tempt existing owners to double dip. But that's not the case with Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This updated port does more than just boost the resolution; it offers a brand new way to play through one of 2013's best games.

For the last dozen years, everybody has known Grand Theft Auto as an ultra-violent, crime-themed third-person action game. Now, for the first time ever, Rockstar Games has given fans exactly what they've asked for -- a first-person mode. As gimmicky as it sounds, this brand new perspective goes a long way to make the series feel fresh. I must have put at least two hundred hours into Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox 360, so you can imagine my surprise when the next-generation version felt substantially different ... maybe even better.

Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I was skeptical going in. While I never doubted the developers at Rockstar, they're not exactly known for their first-person shooters. Adding this new perspective is fraught with potential complications, and too often this kind of tacked-on mode feels cheap and unsatisfying. Thankfully that's not the case with Grand Theft Auto V, which somehow manages to feel even larger and more exciting as this type of action game.

As a first-person shooter, this game manages to get all of the basics right. The guns look great, it's easy to control and it's a lot of fun traversing the miles of diverse terrain that makes the state of San Andreas so special. Best of all, the game comes with a number of control schemes modeled after today's most popular first-person shooters. Even the cars have freshly drawn (and fully functional) interiors allowing players to drive from the first-person point-of-view. And because the perspective can be toggled on the fly, players can revert back to the third-person at the push of a button.

I expected playing this way would make the many shootouts a little easier, but had no idea it would make everything so much more exhilarating. I felt empowered in the first-person mode, finding myself tackling each section differently than I did one year ago on the Xbox 360. And even when the shooting is done, this perspective helps drive home just how large the state of San Andreas really is. Not since Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence have I been this impressed with a perspective change.

In fact, this mode is so good that it overshadows this update's other major selling point -- the incredible graphics. If you played the 2013 original, you'll already know that Grand Theft Auto V was a great looking game. Now it looks even better, and not just because of the boost in resolution. All of the characters have been given new facial animations, the roads are filled with a sharp increase in traffic, and, most importantly, all of the animals of San Andreas have been given soft fur. The world has also been improved, with an incredible amount of added detail to each texture. Despite being a port of a year-old game, Grand Theft Auto V remains one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4.

Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Beyond the obvious stuff, there are also a bunch of smaller additions that make this the definitive edition. For starters, all of the new weapons, vehicles and clothing items have been merged into the single-player adventure. There are also several new activities and events, as well as a murder mystery that ultimately unlocks two noir style filters. For those who can't stop taking pictures, there's a brand new wildly photography challenge. And don't forget about the crazy simian-inspired street artist who will give players a new monkey costume.

If you somehow missed the best-selling game of 2013, this is the story of three unlikely partners who work together to pull off a series of heists. We are first introduced to Franklin Clinton, a street thug looking for a way out of the ghetto. He sees the gang violence around him and knows he needs a change of scenery, but his best friend Lamar is content to live hustling and pulling off shady jobs for cash. Franklin spends his time repossessing cars, which is where he meets the second star of Grand Theft Auto V -- Michael De Santa.

Unlike the 25 year old Clinton, Michael is a middle-aged bank robber who is enjoying the finer elements of retirement. Instead of dodging cops and stealing money, the 45 year old retiree is suffering in a loveless marriage with two misbehaving children. He has a nice house, an expensive ride and all the amenities he could possibly want, yet there's an emptiness quietly eating away at him.

Perhaps it's not emptiness that is keeping him up at night, but rather guilt. Years earlier, Michael was part of a botched heist in Canada that sends one person to the morgue and the other on the run down to San Andreas. Enter Trevor Philips, who is has spent the last decade believing Michael was dead. As you can imagine, things get sticky when Trevor realizes that he's been lied to and his former partner has been living the good life in Los Santos.

Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Trevor is a mentally unstable psychopath, something of a cross between the Joker and Sam Kinison. He's unpredictable and just about anything will send him into a violent rage, making him the absolute worst person to be part of any team. Unfortunately, neither Michael nor Franklin has much choice in the matter.

Instead of using this jumping off point to weave an over-the-top story, the developers at Rockstar Games keep things grounded and relatively simple. With only a few exceptions, the story revolves around the fallout that came from that botched heist. We quickly learn that Michael is in deep with the Feds, to the point where he's forced to do their dirty work. And now that Trevor is back in town, things are about to get hairy for the retired thief.

When they're not dealing with the nastiest people in all of Los Santos, Michael, Franklin and Trevor will be setting up a series of heists. Things start out simple as our "heroes" rob a jewelry store, however it won't take long for the trio to set their sights for a much larger score. These three men are about to become multi-millionaires ... if they don't end up turning on each other first.
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