A Return to Crime

A Return to Crime
Credit: Google Images

New and Old Directions


Let's be clear Grand Theft Auto 5 is a sequel and being a sequel the themes of the past games are going to be the same.  These themes include things that are not meant for children, but due to the nature of video games will probably end up in the hands of children.  This is the unfortunate nature of the world we live in and in the United States it is relatively easy to pick up a mature rated game.  So what are the themes of Grand Theft Auto 5?  Grand Theft Auto includes themes from the past games:  sexism, violence, drugs, alcohol, crime, you name it.  Pretty much everything in Grand Theft Auto 5 is wrong and there isn't a true "good" theme to the game, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad.  It is a game and it is meant to escape the mundane real world.  Wrong or right that is one of the purposes of the game, but some people see the themes of Grand Theft Auto 5 as gospel.  They believe that just because there is something in the game then that means it must be an endorsement of the creators.  We will look at a few of these "reviews" at the end of the article and in my opinion they are biased because they pick out one or two things that personally offend them personally.  

DisclosureCredit: Google Images

Let's go ahead and jump into the review of Grand Theft Auto 5.  We will view the game in an objective manner.  That means that is something personally offends us we will disregard it because we are being objective.  In my opinion, Grand Theft Auto and all games for that matter are pieces of art.  Sometimes art offends people, but you have to get past your personal biases to understand something and enjoy it.  We will look at the game objectively, ignoring our biases, and enjoy the game for what it is: true crime.  


The Main Cast

To Begin:  

Grand Theft Auto 5 is a step up from the previous games because it gives the player a choice.  It is not a MMORPG like Star Wars the Old Republic or World of Warcraft.  Check out my reviews for those here:  

1) http://www.infobarrel.com/World_of_Warcraft

2) http://www.infobarrel.com/Star_Wars__The_Old_Republic_Review

You can't fully customize your character and I wouldn't expect a game like to include that feature, but you do have choice.  This makes it different than the previous entries in the franchise.  In Grand Theft Auto 5 you can play as one of three characters.  The game is built to allow you to switch between them at will and choose to play missions as any one of these characters.  Let's look at the characters.

  • Michael:  The ex-convict who resorts to his past ways to make a buck or two on the side. 
  • Franklin:  Franklin is the criminal matermind of the group and aspires to actually be a Kingpin, you know like the guy from the movie Daredevil.  He is also a lot of fun if you like to be the one scheming and running the show.  
  • Trevor:  Trevor is a conspiracy theorist who lives in a trailer park.  This guy is awesome and my favorite character by far.  
HeistCredit: Google Images

You can find out more about these individuals in this game guide.[1]   All of the playable characters are unique.  You won't be playing the same mission the same way with your main cast.  They each have quirks and want something different out of life.  This makes it awesome and adds replayability.  



Grand Theft Auto 5 is set in California in a fiction city named Los Santos County.  I think it would have been better if they had stuck with a real city.  There is nothing like playing a GTA game where you are actually in a city that you have visited or have seen on television.  In another Rock Star game called L.A. Noire you are actually playing in L.A. and it is awesome because the city is a 1940's version of L.A.  I wish they would have done something similar in this installment.  

Los SantosCredit: Google Images

Weapons and Driving 

In GTA 5 you will be able to use a variety of deadly assualt rifles, pistols, and explosive weaponry.  Rockstar has pulled out all the stops to make firing and ranged combat as realistic as possible and it feels that way.  A gunfight in GTA 5 is amazing and it is much better than the previous installment GTA 4.  Driving is very fluid and fun.  Each car drives differently so there is no question that a lot of time was put into finding and using vehicles.  However, realistic driving is out.  Rockstar has gone back to using arcade style driving like they used in older GTA games.  This isn't a bad thing, but it is different than GTA 4.  

What to do? 

When you aren't robbing a bank or pulling a heist there are numerous things that you can do.  The city is full of life and there are several cool places you can go and activities you can engage in.  

  • Dirt bike: racing (some of the map is in a desert location and it allows you to fully immerse yourself in dirt bike racing.  This is an awesome mini-game.  
  • Smoking:  Yes you can smoke in a video game
  • Yoga
  • Customize your car
  • Jump out of an airplane 
  • Sex:  This is a big one as all GTA games have included this to some degree.  

Of course this is just a small taste of some of the activities you can engage in while playing GTA 5.  These activities are not necessary to finishing the narrative story so you do not have to do them, but they are fun and you will miss out if you do not do them.  


Official Gameplay Video



There is a wealth of things to do in GTA 5.  It is a sandbox crime world like the other installments in the franchise.  If it wasn't I would have been very dissapointed, but it stayed true to the formula.  Games that stay true to their formula are my favorite types and I wish that more did.  However, before we end this review, we need discuss biased reviews.  


I will link the Gamespot review below, but be warned it is biased.  You can read through it, but you can clearly tell that the reviewer has beef with the game.  They do not appreciate the aspect of the game and what it is.  It's not the gospel of life or the bible.  It is a game and meant to be played by adults for entertainment.  No one should let their kid play this game.  I agree, but if you are an adult you shouldn't have to listen to petty reviews such as this.  Again, this is a review that will give you a taste of the bias we talked about at the beginning of the article.[2]  

GTA 5Credit: Google Images

Final Thoughts 

I recommend this game to any adult who wants to play a game that allows them to escape the mundane world.  Like all video games it is art and some things may offend you, but you have to take it for what it is.  It is a video game at the end of the day and if offends you in the first place you probably shouldn't be playing it.  It will only make you mad.  For those of you who want to play a game that stays true to the tried-and-true GTA franchise than I recommend it.


Grand Theft Auto V Review[2]

A Guide to Grand Theft Auto 5[1]  


I highly recommend this game and give it 5/5 stars.

Grand Theft Auto V - Xbox 360
Amazon Price: $18.00 $16.05 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 26, 2016)