GTA V Gameplay And Performance Review: The PC Version Rules

Our Opinion And The Wrap

Rockstar Games has, once again, outdone itself when it comes to the scope of Grand Theft Auto V. While one might be wary of the game’s main story broken up between three playable characters, rest assured, it's not an issue at all. All three characters are fun to play for their various personalities, psyches and circumstances.

Characters and Storylines:

There is Michael, who we were first introduced to, was a criminal who faked his own death to live a life of luxury though he has to deal with a very dysfunctional family. Franklin comes in later and is a young man looking to create a better life for himself. Finally, there is Trevor, who comes in later, a former associate of Michael who is deranged beyond measure. All three characters, and the way they interact with each other, ensure a very entertaining story line for the game, a wide range of options for the gamer and good re-playability.

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Tired of the city? Head out to Blaine County for a change of scenery!

But while GTA V’s story, visuals, and sound score are fantastic, we did have some issues. While primarily playing on the mid-range PC (so we could get a good measure of mainstream end user performance), we noticed a lot of texture popping and some screen tearing. Given the large scope of the areas, and the amount of little things going on in any given scene, such as cars and pedestrians, each with their own animation and AI, the texture popping was very noticeable and somewhat jarring. In this regard, we;'re hopeful that Rockstar will come up with a solution to make it less noticeable. Screen tearing wasn’t as big of an issue, and was only noticed during the cutscenes, yet it is another thing that needs to be addressed. These are issues that many other game titles have to deal as well and it's the nature of the beast for a game of this scale.

Game Play:

As for GTA V's first-person mode, we still say that this is a great feature of the game. However, the field-of-view is rather limited and needs to be expanded. Yes, there are currently mods that address this issue, but not everyone is aware of this or feel they are capable of implementing them. Because of this limited field-of-view, gun models, hands, and even the smartphone can look abnormally large. Even when driving in first-person mode, our view was very limited and made handing a vehicle a bit difficult.

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My god, Michael! What a big...err...smartphone you have.

One other thing that is still a problem, even as this review goes live, is that the game tends to freeze while playing on our mid-range rig and with both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Sometimes 15-30 minutes into the game, or after two hours straight, the game will suddenly freeze and we'd have to alt-tab out and close it down.

Which is all very frustrating, because GTA V is exceptionally good despite these issues. If it wasn’t a great game, we wouldn’t have spent over so hours playing it and testing it; and we plan to keep on playing it. The good news is, Rockstar is releasing updates regularly and small patches have already come through since the time of this publication.

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There may be a few issues, but Rockstar Games deserves a round of applause for GTA V.
Find it here for the PC and other platforms, you won't be disappointed.

PC Master Race? Hell yes...

Despite these issues, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V is the definitive version to own and play, in our humble opinion. Not only does it look a lot better than its console counterpart, but it plays much better as well, occasional glitches notwithstanding. Over the next few weeks the experience should only improve.

This is a Game of the Year contender, folks and a game you do not want to miss out on.

hothardware editors choice
 hot not
  • Great story line
  • Fantastic game play
  • Decent performance on mainstream systems
  • Good playability and replayability
  • Currently a little unstable
  • Texture popping and screen tearing
  • Sometimes FP mode seems cramped.

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