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Grand Theft Auto 5 was released on sept 17th, 2013. The game is massive fun, and I have burned dozens of hours playing the single payer. I awarded GTA5 with a perfect 10/10 score. There is however a second part in GTA5, namely the online part. This was only activated on oct 1st, 2013. I was wise, and did wait a couple of days before jumping into GTA online, because the launch was a, to be expected, disaster. A bit too much a disaster for some, but anyway as said, it was to be expected. Hopefully things will iron out. Anyway, I did start with GTA online 2 days ago, and I did not encounter many problems. I was kicked out a couple of times, and saw some ‘lag’, but for the rest it was, after getting used to the ‘online’ idea, a pretty great experience. You start with creating your own character. Now I did hear some who complained about this part being horrible. I had no problems with it. I created a character to my liking, a ‘Hutch’ (from the 70’s Starsky & Hutch) lookalike and a complementary (stolen and resprayed) car to go with me. Sure you must have a talent for creating something nice but I’m more than pleased with my character. So, what did I do in GTA online? Well, just taking it in really. The playground is essentially the same living world as the offline/singleplayer world but now with added online people running and driving and shooting around. This (now online) world is fantastically filled with all kind of details. Just too much to be listed here so I give you just a few gameplay examples which I experienced.
You start with no money, and are gently hinted at that you can ‘rob’ people. Robbing people is pretty easy, but shaking off the cops is less so, especially if you try to shoot the cops. At one time I was chased for more than 10 pretty hefty tenses minutes by 10+ police cars and 2 choppers and 1 online freak before I could shake them off. I did at least change cars 6-8 times and (tried to) hide in parking garages etc. to get out of sight (of the choppers). A great feeling when you pull this off.
The fun thing is that the cops notice when you drive around in a stolen car. I did not know this at first, so I was happily cruising around, driving past a police station, when suddenly 6 police cars came after me with sirens and all, and I was ‘What did I do wrong?’ But the cops seemed pretty serious about me so I had to escape once again, until, as said, I discovered that this cop behavior was because I was driving around in said stolen car:)
I also tried to shoot other online players. This is pretty fun when you pull this off, but of course they wasted me as much as I did them. On one occasion there was this guy chasing me. I was in a pretty high-end (stolen) sports car but he was still hanging in there and ready to drive-by-shooting me. I drove blazingly fast on the left lane of a highway, with him tailing me. In the distance there was a turnpike. I waited till the last moment to make my (for him unexpected) turn into the side lane, and shook him off. I guess he was going ‘f*ck, f*ck, f*ck’. Great moment.
Too much stories to tell really, so I better say ‘Just enjoy GTA online yourself’
So the girl behind the counter said: ‘Ahh, THE game’ … and sure it is. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) is out now. On Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. I actually had not planned to buy/play it day 1, but when the EUR release date (sept 17th, 2013) was there and the review scores came in … and the review average got stuck at an incredible 98% on Metacritic, it was but a question of time before a GTA5 copy would find its way to my 360. I walked into a superstore to discover all copies were in fact sold out, but as I was at that moment still not into the ‘play day 1’ modus this was no problem for me. The next day (wednesday) I passed a local shop and found 2 nice shiny copies of GTA5 for Xbox 360 still on the shelve … and so I took one, nodded to the sales girl, who was arranging some other stuff in the shop, that I had come to purchase ‘a game’. The girl came to the counter and spoke the holy words: ‘Ahh, THE game’ … obviously a girl who knows what she is talking about, or perhaps because she saw 20+ copies leave the shop in record time, could be this:P Anyway, I am playing GTA5. It is fun. It is a truly mega big budget title which squeezes every last single bit out of the aging Xbox 360. It comes highly recommended. Buy it!
Edit (sept 21st, 2013): The integration of game and internet is fun in this game. In the game you can use your mobile phone to take pictures. Those can be published onto Rockstar’s dedicated social hub, but also can be published further onto Facebook or Twitter. When playing the game I happened to stumble on the mysterious ‘La Puerta Murder case‘. Eight people died in that massacre. Of the killer there is no trace. As I myself just experienced some weird stuff when enjoying ‘grass’ (mini game) I have no 100% recollection of what I did just afterwards. Later, when checking the bullet count of my SMG, I discovered 30 rounds were missing? But I can not remember firing any rounds. Weird. Was I perhaps the killer? And who is the girl?