If you’re a PC gamer who’s spent the last eighteen months enduring delays and watching your friends play on their consoles the wait is over, and it was worth it.
Rockstar has delivered on an open world experience unrivaled by any previous game. It has crafted a world that feels truly alive and brilliantly captures the perversion of the American Dream that has been glorified by popular media today.
The action is divided up between three protagonists and each one has their own style, story and theme. There is Michael’s story about a criminal who achieved the dream of making enough to cash out and the depression that followed, to Franklin’s story of ambition that will eventually lead him to Michael’s fate and Trevor’s crazed madness that embodies the player’s natural destructive tendencies when playing a GTA title.
This is nothing new from the consoles so what sets GTA on PC apart? GTA 5 PC benefits from the new lighting model, post-processing effects, day-to-night cycle and added vegetation of the next-gen console versions and shadow detail that affect everything from the way characters’ faces look close-up to depth-of-field effects, water and grass.
The controls translated well enough to the mouse and keyboard except for flying, which requires use of WASD, the number pad, and the mouse, which means you need three hands to easily pilot aircraft. Driving also takes some getting use to, as slight adjustments are easy on a joystick but difficult on keyboard. Prepare to crash some really nice cars before finally getting the hang of leaving the Los Santos Police in the dust.
The PC version also has first person perspective, which brings crime to a whole new personal level. Walking the streets of Los Santos and seeing the world through the eyes of Michael or Franklin bring the immersion to a whole new level. Gunplay also feels tighter in first person and driving has a completely new thrill.
The definitive addition to the PC version is the new Rockstar Editor and its accompanying Director Mode. At any point, you can start recording your play session in clips of up to 90 seconds in length. You can also use an instant replay function to grab footage from an always-on buffer after you do something cool or crazy. You can then use the Rockstar Editor to edit and montage these clips, changing the camera angle, adding filters, and putting in new background music. This addition has created a tool for those who want to make YouTube Videos but don’t have the sophisticated software to do so.
This is the definitive edition of GTA V; if you have a powerful enough PC you have an experience ahead of you that won’t be rivaled for at least a few years. Even if you don’t have a rig that came off the Starship Enterprise you will still be able to match or exceed the performance of the PS4 and Xbox One. With an active modding community this iteration of the GTA may be the longest-lived yet.