Grand Theft Auto 5: A review


Stefan Kretzschmar

GTA 5 advertisement on the towers across from LA Live.

Grand Theft Auto 5 is a video game created by Rockstar games and was a prequel to the sadder, darker predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 4. The setting for the game is in Los Santos, Southern San Andreas, which is based on Los Angeles and Southern California. The story, according to the GTA wiki,  follows a young street hustler, a retired bank robber, and a crazed psychopath who managed to find themselves working together with some of the most disturbing and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry. They must commit a chain of dangerous and daring heists that could set them up for life in a ruthless city that worships money and status and is paradise for those who manage to have it but a living hell for those who don’t. According to their respective articles, GTA 5 revolves around three protagonists:



Franklin wielding a baseball bat.

Franklin: A young street hustler from Southern Los Santos who had became part of a gang at a young age, committing several small crimes along with his friend, Lamar Davis. Franklin in the story wanted to become something more than just a gangster and also make something of himself.

Micheal talking on the phone while standing on a roof.

Micheal: He’s a former bank robber and career criminal who had faked his death in order to retire to live a peaceful and orderly life in Los Santos. Unfortunately, his strained relationship with his family forced him to come out of retirement and return to his old ways, while his midlife crisis seemingly broke him and he is determined to achieve something big in his life. He is trying to escape his past and start and new life with his family.  Micheal’s story in the game consists of how his ideal and perfect life was halted due to his past demons haunting him for choices he made back then when he was a career criminal.

Trevor coming back to his house.

Trevor: Also a former bank robber who had a very complex past. He founded Trevor Phillips Enterprises, running weapon smuggling and drug dealing operations throughout Blaine County (based off San Bernardino County). His friends are Ron Jakoski, a conspiracy theorist, and Wade Herbert, who also works for him. He is also the oldest friend of Micheal, who Trevor believed for a decade had been dead. Trevor has a very aggressive and antisocial personality, but remains loyal and respects to those who are close to him. Trevor’s story consists of how his actions have consequences for himself and his friends and him accepting with his friend Micheal’s past actions.



The story first of all is really good. There’s really some goofy stuff that happens in the cut scenes, especially with Trevor, who is unpredictable at times about what he is going to do next. You can grow attached to some of the characters, especially with the protagonists. Franklin, for example, seems to be a reasonable person and his reactions to the craziest situations are really funny. I also really liked how the game makes fun of everything, including celebrities, the media, video games, etc. And don’t forget about the ending because the ending was the best ending that you can get, if you pick option C, of course. You got rid of all your enemies, you’re rich, you’re basically set up for life, so you just got to figure out what to do next.

Franklin blowing up a motel.


Then comes the gameplay. It allows you to do some really cool stuff like fly on a helicopter, drive a dirt bike to a top of a train, get in car chases and shootouts, hijack an entire military base etc. It’s really crazy by the amount of options that you can do and those options are expanded in the missions. Like in mission “The Paleto Score,” you rob a bank at Paleto Bay, then it cuts to a cut scene of so many police cars pulling up to the scene with their weapons ready, then Trevor, Micheal, and another accomplice come out of the bank with full body armor and wielding machine guns, and then all hell breaks out.


A nice Los Santos sunset.



Finally, the atmosphere of the map is really good. Los Santos is really accurate to Los Angeles. They have Downtown Los Santos, which is an obvious nod to Downtown Los Angeles, with the U.S. bank tower, 1Cal and 2Cal plaza, South Los Santos, a nod to South Central, Rockford Hills, another nod to Beverly Hills, etc. At night, the city looks beautiful and it’s really cool to fly in the sky at night, seeing the city still moving. It also includes LA culture, like the gang culture in South Los Santos, the beach culture in Vespucci Beach, and more.



There’s also GTA online but I won’t be getting into that since it’s way more complicated and will probably take up a lot more of this article than my review on story mode. But overall, I give GTA 5 a 10/10 and would recommend for anyone to play it.