RRP: $ 89 ( re­viewed on PS3)

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wilcox Email mike@hy­per­ac­tiveg­

EAS­ILY one of the most an­tic­i­pated video- game re­leases this year, Grand Theft Auto V takes the freeroam­ing open- world genre to the next level by putting you in a fa­mil­iar ur­ban set­ting, where if you can see some­thing far off in the dis­tance, you can walk, swim, drive, or fly there.

The lat­est in­stal­ment in this genre­defin­ing se­ries is set in a fic­tional mod­ern- day ur­ban jun­gle, re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to Los An­ge­les, and fol­lows the story of three pro­tag­o­nists, whom you switch be­tween through­out the game.

As the main story un­folds, you carry out var­i­ous mis­sions as each char­ac­ter, all the while learn­ing about their past and what brought them to­gether.

This branch­ing sto­ry­line is more en­ter­tain­ing than pre­vi­ous GTA games, though the chop­ping and chang­ing oc­ca­sion­ally over­com­pli­cates mat­ters.

The fa­mil­iar game­play me­chan­ics have also been re­fined. The wide range of driv­able ve­hi­cles – of which there are dozens – all han­dle bet­ter and re­act more real­is­ti­cally with the en­vi­ron­ment.

Fir­ing weapons re­mains clunky at times, though the new quick- se­lect weapon wheel and pro­tec­tive cover sys­tem are wel­come new fea­tures.

Be­sides the life of crime, the GTA se­ries has al­ways of­fered plenty of other dis­trac­tions. Why not take a break from the run­ning and gun­ning to do some yoga, ride a jet ski, try a triathlon, or play a round of golf.

There is also an online mode. This has been plagued with is­sues since its launch, though re­cent up­dates to the game have all but ad­dressed them, al­low­ing play­ers to meet up and carry out story- driven mis­sions to­gether.

GTA V is big­ger in scale, darker in con­tent, as en­ter­tain­ing as al­ways, and a defin­ing new mile­stone in the se­ries.

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