It hasn't even been one week since Grand Theft Auto V was released, but the game has already broken several notable records. In the first 24 hours, GTA V had sold more than $800 million worth of copies. It would take less than three days to pass the $1 billion (that's right, billion with a "B") mark. But with all the hype surrounding this game, how does it stack up?
While I'm sure most of the sales are due to the multi-player options, the single player mode leaves something to be desired. Just so everyone is clear about this review, this is only about the single player campaign, nothing else. There will be a separate review regarding the multi-player and all the extras.
Unlike previous GTA games, there are three protagonists rather than just one player you control throughout the game. It's a nice twist because they are not simply palette swapping the characters. Each one has their own strengths and each one has traits that can be improved (a weakness is when you can't improve upon something) through a variety of activities.
The trouble with three main characters is having to combine three different stories into one. This is where Rockstar falls a little short. There's nothing wrong with the story in general, but with the constant switching of characters, it's sometimes tough to remember who specific secondary characters are and why they are important to the game.
The other issue with the three characters is the ending. Without spoiling anything you are forced to make a difficult decision with three choices. Options A & B involve killing and betraying one of the two other characters. Option C means the three characters join up and essentially take on everybody you've wronged in the game. If you choose option A or B, the character you decide to kill is still available to finish up his other side missions even though you receive phone calls stating that he is in fact dead.
The main part of the single-player mode is pulling off heists. If you've seen Heat, The Score or even The Italian Job you have a general idea of what to expect. You are given a target, then have to decide the proper strategy to succeed. You have to hire drivers, gunmen, hackers etc depending on the specific heist. Better trained crew members cost more, but you do get what you pay for with them. In addition to the crew, you need to obtain whatever vehicles are required for the job as well as hiding a getaway car when the job is done. Each heist is different so having the same strategy for each score is a bad idea.
When not on a specific mission, you can switch between all three characters on the fly and in certain missions you can, but are not required to, swap your playable character to assist the other two out. It's great when there are enemies hiding from you but visible to the other guys and even if one character has the shot, it's a nice change of pace to switch and see how the other guys can aid you in missions.
If continuity isn't a problem for you, then there's no reason you shouldn't play this game. With GTA Online set to be playable on October 1, 2013 now is the best time to get a feel for the game before you take on the several million other players who have already picked up this game.