It's been over two hours since I set a waypoint on my map, to go and steal a submarine for my next heist, but I'm nowhere near the location. I just keep getting distracted. Instead I robbed an armoured car by blowing it's doors off while cruising down the motorway and grabbing the loot. After I lost the cops, I stopped a mugging and returned a woman's purse. Then I jumped in a cable car and rode it to the top of a mountain, stole a dirt bike and accelerated down the steep cliffs getting wild air and pulling front flips for style and just about made it to the bottom before I bailed, and was eaten by a mountain lion.
I wandered out of the hospital, fixed up and good as new, and decided to make another move towards the submarine. I was half way there behind some slow moving traffic when a guy pulled me out of my car at gun point and stole it from me, driving off into the night. After I chased him down and revenged him, I was still nowhere near the submarine, but I was close to a jet ski race.
And that's what Los Santos is like. It's a fluid, adaptive city where artificial characters go on with their lives regardless of your presence. They go camping, they steal from each other, they drink, they drive, they do their jobs. It's fascinating to observe; for the first time ever, an open world single player game has delivered on it's promise to create a living, breathing environment.
Between buying clothes, cars and guns, playing tennis and golf, going to yoga, competing in sea and land races and triathlons, finding all the alien space ship parts, nuclear waste and missing letters, buying businesses, collecting bond bounties and fixing the stock market with assassinations, there's barely enough time to participate in missions. But when you do, they're sure to blow you away.The traditional formula of 'drive here - shoot them - drive away' has been abandoned for exciting set pieces and over the top heists. I've abseiled down buildings from helicopters to steal a man from the feds, I've broken into a military base to procure a Chinook helicopter, caught my idiot son off the side of a swinging boom from my hijacked yacht down the freeway, and when I did get my hands on that submarine, I used it to steal a nuclear device. And I'm about half way through the story, because I keep getting distracted by the beautiful city of Los Santos.
Believe the hype. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest games ever. Completely gorgeous, hilarious, deep and endlessly entertaining, Grand Theft Auto V is an achievement not only in video games, but in modern story telling and entertainment. The perfect swan song of this generation of games, GTA V is a must have title that promises to keep giving as it's multiplayer unlocks next week. Meet me online, I want to steal your helicopter.