GTA V Gameplay And Performance Review: The PC Version Rules

GTA V Gameplay Discussion

Unlike previous installments of the GTA franchise, which revolved around a single main character, GTA V has three playable leads. Experiencing the main story from three different perspectives is quite enjoyable, though it can be frustrating at times. We found ourselves becoming engrossed in one line of the story, whether from the point of Michael, Franklin, or Trevor, only to switch to one of the other leads in order to continue the main story. While this switching can be somewhat jarring, Rockstar has done a pretty good job of breaking up the story amongst the three protagonists.

Thankfully, we were not forced to follow the story at a certain pace. Being able to explore the open world and do whatever you want is still the main staple of the game. Whether you want to hijack an armored car, rob a convenience store, mow down pedestrians, or simply drive around, you can do it all.

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I may, or may not, have run over that pedestrian...

All of this can be done from a third-person perspective with the option for PC users to utilize the mouse and keyboard control scheme or a controller. Because of this, owners of the PC edition can swap between the different control schemes for varying aspects of the game. For example, you can use the mouse and keyboard for when you are in a firefight with law enforcement and then switch to a controller for getting out of that situation in your getaway car, plane, boat, or submersible. Even then, we found the mouse and keyboard combo perfectly fine for all aspects of the game though it took us a little while to get used to flying.

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As always, money is the name of the game. It is what drives all three protagonists and it is what will drive you to perform acts of crime, perform certain tasks, or even play the stock market. There are multiple avenues to earn money, some that are easier than others, with the big windfalls coming your when when the protagonists perform heists (as part of the main storyline). In these heists, you will have to choose your crew, sometimes collect certain items, and plan the heist.

Once completed, you can invest your money into acquiring certain businesses that will generate money for you automatically or you can personally take part in to generate some extra revenue for your character. There is also the option to invest in the stock market that can, just like in real life, be rather dicey. That is, unless you decide to take a hand in personally affecting the market such as investing in a particular car company and then performing certain actions that will raise the value of its stocks.

Because GTA V has three leads in it, we found ourselves juggling three different bank accounts which is quite the experience.

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I see Franklin (left) and Michael (right), but where is Trevor?

But it’s not just about the money. Simply driving around in Los Santos is a fun experience. The various make and models of vehicles vary in speed, performance, and traction that we needed to get a feel for in order to successfully traverse the streets of Los Santos. Failure to do so will leave you slipping and careening into vehicles, objects, and pedestrians while destroying your vehicle in the process.

The shooting mechanics in GTA V are another aspect of the game that holds up well and is greatly improved by giving players the option to switch into first-person mode (we preferred conducting shootouts in FPS mode). For those that prefer first-person for any kind of shooter, this is a welcome addition and one that we hope Rockstar will continue to implement in future installments.

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Oh, there's Trevor!

We can’t say this enough, but the inclusion of a first-person mode was a great decision on the part of Rockstar Games. For veterans of the franchise, the mode brings a whole new perspecive to the game and, in our opinion, it made us feel more like we were a real part of Los Santos as we strolled along the streets gazing up at the tall skyscrapers.

Thankfully, the control mechanics are optimized for the PC platform and even allows users to change keybindings to whatever control scheme they find comfortable. Driving cars, planes, boats, and submersibles with the keyboard and mouse is perfectly fine and controlling the characters works great.

This time around, we feel Rockstar Games has done a fantastic job with gameplay and control mechanics for the PC platform.

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