Getting a sense of déjà vu? Think you’ve seen something similar to this before? Nope it’s just your imagination, this is a completely new concept. And even if this had been done before, could you blame us for doing it again? If there’s one game in the last year and a half that’s been consistently popular and excited gamers universally, it’s GTA V. That’s why we need to discuss it further and find out if it’s worth splashing out on the new gen version. Let the game chat commence!
Nice easy one to start with. What’s your name and Gamertag?
I’m James! I make games and have been called in to say something about this! I’m jimmirock on PSN.
Matt, also known as munkimatt.
Name: Greg Giddens, Gamertag: Giddens
Si Stevens which is the name given to me by those two people that were luckily enough to have me that I call my parents. Well actually they called me Simon because they went through a ton of names and Simon was one that “couldn’t be shortened or made into a nickname”. So a round of applause for Mum and Dad on that one. My gamertag on most things is the imaginative SiStevens or unless you are an Xbox player then it is SyStevens.
Sarah and I’m generally known as Giant Cookie because of my love of donuts
How many times have you played GTA V and how are you enjoying it this time around? Is there anything you missed before or maybe didn’t like? Or, if this is your first play through, shame on you. I mean, how are you finding it?
James:I was hopelessly addicted to GTA Online back on the PS3 where I clocked up 14 days’ worth of playtime. Because of that I never even finished the story mode! So no spoilers. Shhh.
Remote Play has really opened it up too and works flawlessly once the controls have been tweaked for it. The game isn’t the most responsive ever so it’s a nice little showcase for how neat Remote Play can be. This was the biggest reason for me to upgrade and pretend that my Vita has a nice shiny new game too.
Greg: I voraciously played through GTA V when it originally released on the Xbox 360. All other aspects of my life were put on pause so I could spend huge amounts of time in Los Santos. I wanted to complete the campaign quickly enough to avoid spoilers upsetting my experience, and with GTA Online not launching for two weeks after the game hit retail, I wasn’t distracted by that.
Having not gelled with GTA IV I was a little worried about this latest version, in particular the driving mechanics. Fortunately I was greeted with a brilliantly designed open city and well balanced driving, so my biggest fear was slain. Due to the sheer breath of the story, as well as the allure of GTA Online, I only played through it the once on Xbox 360, and with new consoles on the horizon and the community shifting to other online games, even my time with GTA Online was limited. I don’t think anyone was shocked when Rockstar announced it was bringing GTA V to next gen machines, and I knew this would be my opportunity to dive back in to the online mode as well as revisit the story; and now I’m enjoying it as if I’d never played it before: it’s just terrific.
Si:When this first came out last year I don’t think anything else was put in my 360 until I finished the main campaign, and with two kids and a wife to battle with over the TV that’s saying something as I normally get about 2-3 hours gaming time a night if I am lucky – remember this was before Remote Play. GTA Online was a bit of a different story; from an outside perspective I was almost constantly on it day in day out but in reality I was just constantly doing that opening bloody race. All my progress online is actually my brother in laws stepson playing my machine when they visited in the summer.
Do you find yourself spending more time on the story campaign or online? Why?
Matt:Story so far, but that’ll shift towards online when I’ve completed it. We’ve already had a few nights on GTA Online and, now the load times are better, it’s superb fun. Getting a bunch of friends together and being let loose in Los Santos is a guaranteed evening of top notch entertainment.
Greg: Jumping between three distinct characters and enjoying their different perspectives and personalities made an already intriguing story all the more interesting and entertaining and that’s definitely the case now even having played it before. But it’s GTA Online that’s taking over my life right now. I adore GTA Online. Completing jobs with friends, racing against randoms, or simply dossing about in the massive open city, it’s all hugely entertaining.
Sarah:Story all the way. I’m not that sociable when it comes to games and the story in GTA V is compelling enough to keep me playing even though I already know the beats.
Si: At the moment I’m all about the story….again. I know what the story is and I know how it is going to pan out but I simply can’t let it sit there untouched. Once I start getting bored or stuck I will probably jump into the online a little more. I also can’t plan gaming time (previously mentioned wife and kids) to an exact time so online time with the community is more luck than judgement and most of the time when I am online I seem to be grouped in with a bunch of pre-pubescent teens who although are good at the game are also dicks resulting in me quitting after about the 5th spawn, die, spawn, die cycle.
Have you found there to be any major gameplay changes and if so, do you think this is an improvement on before? Did it need fixed?
James:I’ve found first person mode makes me a more cautious psychopath. I drive slower too. Things can go really wrong when you make mistakes in first person. They’ve added a “crouch down in your vehicle” feature too but I don’t think this really does anything except screw up cool handbrake turns for people coming from last-gen systems.
Matt: The first person view is a significant addition. It’s a nice change, and it’s certainly interesting to see the game from a different perspective, but after trying it out for a few hours I can safely say that overall it’s not for me. Aside from that, I’m loving the extended radio stations. It’s a brilliant juxtaposition to be hurtling through the city streets, hanging out of the window while firing a sub-machine gun, with The Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” playing in the background.
Si:There are a huge ton of enhancements, just check out our article we released just before the release for the sheer scale of how many enhancements there were but did we NEED any of them? Based on the fact this game had us singing from the rooftops last year, had our community voting it (by a clear margin) game of the year and received plaudit after plaudit I would have to say no. Now that’s not to say I don’t like the enhancements, the added “life” in both the city streets and the wilderness is a sight to behold, the reflections off car paintwork is amazing and the extended radio stations means even more to listen to but for me there is only one thing that has me sitting on my couch grinning ear to ear, the first person mode.
Only joking, that first person shiote mode got turned off about 5 seconds after turning it on, not for me at all. It’s the Dual Shock 4 for me. Every time you change character the light bar changes colour to whoever you control (Green for Franklyn, Yellow for Michael etc.) and when you are wanted it constantly flashes between red and blue like a police cars lights as well all phone calls now coming out of the controller’s speakers.
Looks are important. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And GTA V was already a mighty purdy game. So do you feel its worthy of a place on your sexy new gen console?
James:It’s an odd one for me. It looks great in screenshots but not so much in motion, at least at high speeds. Framerate plummets aren’t so great. And would it have killed them to add at least a little bit of motion blur… at least around the display. I mean. Come on. The facial animation definitely doesn’t hold up. But I’m willing to forgive that one due to how vast the game is.
I give the graphics Four James’ out of Five.
Matt: Oh my, it’s so beautiful. Everything feels that little bit more alive in the new version. Forest areas have more foliage, the ocean has more sea life, the city has more traffic and pedestrians. There’s still an occasional texture which reveals the remaster’s previous gen roots, but overall it’s a beautiful game.
Greg:It’s absolutely worthy to sit next to all the other pretty next gen games in my catalogue. GTA V looks remarkable with its new textures and extra details.
Sarah: It does indeed stand up against other next gen titles but I do feel I could have waited for this version. The attention to detail was and still is amazing, from big bold landscapes to light reflections and the way the leaves flitter across the screen…the next GTA will be proper next gen.
What has been your most memorable moment from your GTA V playing time? (Including last gen)
James:My most memorable moment became my modus operandi; being an absolute dickhead in the Buzzard attack helicopter! I’ve worked out a way to take down jet planes so nothing can touch me (except for network hiccups). It’s especially good when you have a bounty. Some smart arses will try and take the chopper down with the Advanced Sniper Rifle (Heavy Sniper?) so then you’ve got to fly away and summon your car. Leading would-be assassins on a drive through the city and countryside if always a good second act.
Matt: Easy one. I was playing GTA Online with community member Phil Bonner, and we were struggling on a mission. We had to enter a property, kill a target, take a picture of his corpse and then escape. Sounds easy enough, but we failed time and time again. The target was heavily guarded and if you did manage to get to him, police swarmed the house too. It seemed impossible. Jokingly, one of us said “It’d be handy if we could just parachute in!” – And that was the lightbulb moment.
A quick call to Merryweather got us a helicopter delivery (after a swift bullet to the head of the pilot). After flying to his Vinewood mansion I expertly managed a smooth landing onto target’s balcony (by which I mean I practically crash landed it), at which point we disembarked and cleared out his guards. The mark was swiftly taken down and pictures were obtained. One quick dash to the helicopter and we were out of there, laughing uproariously.
Greg:There was a GTA Online session way back on the previous gen near launch where I met up with a group of the Midlife Gamer community and we grabbed helicopters and planes at the desert airstrip and jousted. In particular I remember GoddTodd giggling manically as ten or more of us wildly flew around trying to destroy each other. It was only 10 minutes of murderous carnage in the open world in between playing races and missions, and it’s a memory that I fondly recall and laugh at to this day.
What’s exciting is we almost recreated this magic only the other day on this next gen version. GoddTodd was present again, along with DigitalPariah, BaronVonPleb and munkimatt, and we once again grabbed a bunch of aircraft and began our aerial fight – in first-person view of course. This is what’s so great about GTA Online: the insane amount of fun you can have simply messing around with friends.
Si: I remember it blowing my mind when I played the game on last gen and it was the scene where I took my first in game photo. It was just after a mission at the FBI safe house and I remember looking out, at nightime, over the balcony of inconspicuous bright white house and seeing the Los Santos skyline and being totally mesmerised for a good five to ten minutes.
What’s been missed? What had you hoped to see in this release that hasn’t happened?
James:A stable framerate was one of the big promises for the big new consoles so I’m gutted that it isn’t as smooth as it should be. Driving a fast car through town still causes some slowdown. I thought of GTAV as being a nice taster for next gen when it launched last year, but I think this new one just lacks a teeny tiny bit of polish.
Matt: Heists! Where are the Heists?! For many people this was a key part of the allure of GTA Online, but we’re over a year on from GTAO’s arrival and still they’re nowhere to be seen. We’re told they’ll be here with the next update, but Rockstar have given targets before and they’ve been missed, so I’m not holding my breath on this one.
Si:You know the obvious answer for most here is going to be the heists but I don’t actually miss them as I don’t really play online. A little more detail on the character faces maybe, a little more sheen on the driving (motion blur would be nice). I’m gonna be a little pedantic and say the only thing missing is bloody Red Dead Redemption for next gen which is what I was really hoping for when they announced GTA V for next gen.
There’s a fair bit of controversy in this game. But while some people bang on about the torture scene and various social/cultural issues, the thing that worries us at Midlife Gamer the most is that the developers may have stolen an innocent young actress’s likeness. So, in honour of this, please rate your next gen version of GTA V based on the following (rather complex) system:
Mean Girls – totally fetch. Things can’t get better than this. Buy it now!
Freaky Friday – no doubting the endless fun to be had but did it really need to be redone? Wait for a drop in price.
DUI – tut tut. Reckless and disgusting behaviour. Avoid at all costs lest you catch something nasty.
James: Mean Girls – totally fetch. Things can’t get better than this. Buy it now!
Matt: Mean Girls – totally fetch. Things can’t get better than this. Buy it now!
Greg: Mean Girls – totally fetch. Things can’t get better than this. Buy it now!
Si: Freaky Friday – no doubting the endless fun to be had but did it really need to be redone? Wait for a drop in price.
Sarah: Mean Girls – totally fetch. Things can’t get better than this. Buy it now!