GTAV: Not for the faint of heart

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Gaming’s most coveted and controversial title has released another chapter in its long reign. Grand Theft Auto V, released last week, made a billion dollars in sales in just three days and $800 million during the first day, which made it the fastest selling game in history.

The story follows three characters living in Los Santos, a creative version of Los Angeles, and the surrounding area. The characters’ paths intertwine and the player is able to switch seamlessly between them while taking advantage of each one’s unique abilities. Bank heists, leisure sports and interactions with the odd citizens of Los Santos are just a few of the activities available.

The game features the biggest map yet—about three times the size of its predecessor. The main story contains 69 separate missions across the three players, with hundreds of other side attractions and jobs to be completed.

Of course it wouldn’t be Grand Theft Auto without a little controversy. This edition contains a gruesome torture scene, full top-half nudity and highly offensive language and racial slurs. A strong stomach is necessary for much of the campaign.

Response to the game has been overwhelming and it has received critical acclaim. On the website Metacritic, which calculates an aggregate score among all major reviewers, the game received a rating of 98 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 and 97out of 100 for the Playstation 3.

The game’s budget totalled approximately $267 million, which made it gaming’s most expensive budget to date. Fortunately, its entire production budget was earned back before the release date.

Arriving at Conestoga Mall on Monday night, the lineup for the midnight release was already about 300 people long. In total, there were 700 pre-orders at the location, which had several poster giveaways and promotions to go with the release.

The wait, which was enjoyed among the company of other Laurier students, lasted just over two hours. Despite the cold night, spirits of excited fans remained high for the entire duration. Cheers ran out as 12:01 a.m. hit and the game was officially released.

The game itself contains extreme replay value and never grows tiresome. While Grand Theft Auto IV’s story dragged on, the fifth installment has yet to lose its charm. It should be noted that the graphics and game mechanics have been vastly improved and the game has very few glitches for its massive size.

Fans of the game only have another week to wait until the multiplayer version is released. On October 1, gamers will be able to wreak havoc online with their friends and take part in dozens of activities. There will be co-operative challenges and competitive game modes aplenty.

Overall, Grand Theft Auto V may be the series magnum opus. It seems unlikely that they will be able to top this effort, but that has been said before. For now, gamers everywhere will be captivated by gaming’s juggernaut franchise for months to come.

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