Editorials

3 things Grand Theft Auto V gets right and 2 it still gets wrong

Sean takes time out from reviewing Grand Theft Auto V to weigh with 3 things the game gets right…and a couple of things that haven’t yet been addressed.

Sean Mesler

Many people are saying that Grand Theft Auto V is the best game in the juggernaut series and quite frankly this is not faint praise. From the ambition and scope, to the much improved moment to moment gameplay, chances are Grand Theft Auto V has something for fans of the series and even those burned by Grand Theft Auto IV.  That said, there are also areas that even  after 14 games they still haven’t improved on, which is baffling.

Keeping with the theme of five, I’ve listed 3 things Grand Theft Auto V gets right and 2 things it still gets wrong.

First the rights:

1.  Quick saving – I can not express how useful this new feature finally is. No more having to rely solely on autosaves for long stretches between crib visits, this feature’s value is immeasurable. Resuming your game from a quick save leaves your chosen character exactly where you left him in between missions.

2.  Character switching – I’ll be honest, when I first heard about this I wasn’t sure how this would work with my OCD to see everything the game has to offer in terms of branching paths. The beauty of it is that there aren’t branching paths. Switching to the next character after a time will only show you the tail end of a moment in the character’s life. For example, you will catch up with Franklin as he’s leaving a corner store, or a strip club. Or Michael on one of his many visits to the beach. And the best yet, finding Trevor in some sort of compromising position; be it waking up under an overpass wearing nothing but his tighty whities, or in the middle of a three star police chase while yelling psychotic apologies out the window. And that’s just between missions.

3.  Dynamic Side Missions – This feature was lifted from Rockstar’s previous open-world effort, Red Dead Redemption but taken to an impressive extreme. Sure some are relatively rote, like stopping a robbery and returning the money, or getting lured into an ambush, but with missions like rescuing a mobster’s daughter and receiving a huge cash reward for it, to saving a construction worker from certain death, there is a LOT of variety, making driving around and exploring the city even more interesting than ever before.

Now the perplexing things GTA V still gets wrong:

1.  No GPS – There is nothing more frustrating that racing to a mission set waypoint and blowing past a turn because you have to keep your eye on the road and not on the minimap, which is still the only place you can get directions from. Even if you’re not in a mission, what’s the point of building this great city if you force the player to look away from it constantly following the way to a waypoint? What’s even more vexing is that last year’s Sleeping Dogs had a great implementation of GPS and navigation by placing translucent directions on the road showing the player the direction in which to turn. And on top of that, GTA V does do this but only during races. Rockstar North could have easily doubled up on this featuring making it available during regular gameplay.

2.    No restart checkpoint/mission option – You know there are moments in which you will inevitably fail the mission at hand and unfortunately you have to watch this play out. Or for the OCD suffering folks like myself in which you want to get a gold medal and it isn’t possible due to some mistake and, again, you’re forced to watch it play out. It would be a huge benefit to simply bring up the menu and select “restart checkpoint” which so many games have now. At this point the best option is to blow yourself up, provided you have the proper equipment to do so. And even then you still have to wait for your death animation to play out.

Sure those last two may seem like I’m picking nits in an otherwise fantastic game, but think of how much better the experience would be overall if those features were added into the game for the player to use should they want to.

I could definitely add two thousand plus words on the game (I have to save something for my review!)  but these are my favourite new additions and vexing omissions in Grand Theft Auto V. Do you have any yourself? Sound off in the comments below.

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  • GTALover

    Being forced to press A or tap A to run is a real pain, especially during shootouts. They should allow stick movement to determine the speed at which the character moves, or left click of the stick. Also, it would be cool to have a speedometer listed somewhere in the HUD. Driving is fun but the sense of speed weaving between cars would be even greater if you had some idea how fast you were really going. The game is awesome, period.

  • Sean Mesler

    Tapping A never bothered me or hindered me in any way so it didn’t even register.

  • Matt

    The 5 minute limit on the invincibility cheat need to be lifted so the cheat is actually fun. It’s also annoying as crap when the cops ram you from behind and the game makes you lose control instead of letting you correct your steering.

  • Anon

    Complaining about cheats not being strong enough :’)

  • Mickhel the Maddened..

    1: ..If you want your hand to be held through a game, please sell GTA and get a subscription to Hello Kitty Island Adventure. Otherwise, be an adult and allow your eyes to drift to the Lower Right for 1/10th of a second to get your bearings.

    2: ..So then you neglect the fact that you can “Replay” missions?

  • Jon ‘Jonny’ Preece

    the option to skip after failing 3 times is lame and i found trevor and micheals special abilities pointless. gps on roads would be awesome.

  • Sean Mesler

    Thanks for reading and reading and being condescending!

    1. Naturally because I wish the game did away with its antiquated GPS system that has to mean that I need my hand held and should be playing kid’s games. That makes PERFECT sense.

    2. You neglect the fact that I said “replay checkpoints” as an option during the mission.

    Replaying a mission is for when you’ve completed the mission. Not sure how you got that from taking about specifically being IN mission.

    How did I do?

  • Sean Mesler

    Both michael’s and Trevor’s special abilities come in very handy during later sections of the game. At least for me they did.

  • David Brown

    What they got right: Story Mode. What they got wrong: Everything they held back from story mode to put in Online mode. GTA Online is the biggest game fail since ME3’s ending.

  • Jon ‘Jonny’ Preece

    i completed it pretty quick, never really used them :( always had enough money for loads of ammo and best armour

  • InvisiGhost

    I completely agree with you on having to press the A button…I actually quit playing red dead redemption because of this annoying feature…and I actually screwed up the button from repeated use and had to buy another controller…we will hear this happening w/GTA as well…

  • Gottalovegta

    Sleeping dogs also had a thing where if you pressed in the left stick it would automatically go from mission to mission on the gps instantly showing you the way there, that’d be a great feature for gta to have with how long it takes for the pause menu to come up and close but on the same page I usually just find what I’m looking for by just heading in its general direction till it’s in my mini maps vicinity.

  • GTAFan

    Disagree with number one. I feel like directions on the road while driving take away from the experience so I personally wouldn’t want it. However, having the option to turn it off and on would be great. And as far as number two, absolutely agree, there are times when I just want to restart a mission just cause I feel like I can do better but I’m stuck having to kill myself.

  • Sean Mesler

    Thanks for reading! Yeah an option for how you use GPS would be great!