Fashionably late as ever, we’re taking a look at Grand Theft Auto 5 today. I blocked out allot of the hype that has been built up around this game, primarily because I felt I let the hype get to me in Grand Theft Auto IV, resulting in my overrating it in our review. Now that my hands are finally on GTA5 it’s time to see what the hoopla is all about in today’s First Opinion.

Grand Theft Auto 5

The first thing I noticed was Grand Theft Auto 5 is gorgeous – when it works. The animations are superb, the character and vehicle modeling is very well done and the world is incredibly attractive. The textures are very sharp as well, but I’ve noticed that camera pans in cut scenes result in allot of pop-in and textures loading late. For example, in the intro cinematic, entire scenes failed to render properly, with only low-resolution vehicles floating over an invisible road. I haven’t noticed any of this during gameplay, however.

The cars are really fun to drive, in a way that the cars in GTA4 (or entire Saint’s Row series) were not. They have a feeling of weight to them, yet they don’t feel sluggish and respond well to the analogue trigger for accelerating. Small details like manually controlling the roof on a convertible and being able to turn the headlights on or off are things that ultimately don’t change the experience but really add to the immersion. These smaller details are what make this game so engrossing.

If there’s something I don’t like about GTA5 so far, it’s the lack of feedback during police evasion. You don’t know how long you need to lay low, avoiding police vision cones, which makes the process more frustrating than tense. I don’t need an exact timer, just some form of indication that I was doing things right.

With only a few hours under my belt, I am really enjoying Grand Theft Auto 5. Of course, with a game this big there’s allot more that I need to do before rendering a review, including trying Grand Theft Auto Online. Wish me luck that I finish before the end of the year.

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