'GTA V' review journal: day 2

Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:25 AM Written by 

GTACoverSo much to do! So much to see! Los Santos is massive, and taking a look at the map can be a daunting task. It’s important to not rush to complete everything. “GTA V” is at its best when you relax and enjoy.

Speaking of relaxing and enjoying, I’ve met my companion dog, Chop. Chop belongs to Franklin’s friend, but he’s taking care of him in the meantime. This pit bull can be trained and walked at any time at Franklin’s safe house. When walking, a tennis ball shows up in your inventory. Chop will eagerly play fetch if you choose to throw it. He isn’t just a dog for show. If someone messes with you on the street, Chop will go for the throat and take him down.

Apart from walking and taking down bad guys, Chop can learn tricks, too. These can be taught via the “GTA V” companion app call “iFruit.” Sadly, I can’t partake in the fun with Chop just yet. iFruit is only available on the iOS app store, and not on Google Play. It is currently in development for Android and Windows.

My map legend is filling up with potential activities. These include competing in a triathlon, shopping, golf, tennis, visiting a strip club, meeting the city’s freaks, and that’s just a small sliver of what’s out there. I vow to see them all by review time.

GTAV3

Having three characters makes it slightly easier to see everything there is to see in Los Santos, and switching between them is a joy. Holding down on the D-pad allows you to switch between Franklin, Michael, and Trevor at any time when roaming the city. It’s fun to check in on a character you haven’t seen in a while. I’m often treated by dropping in on an out-of-context moment. For instance, I dropped in while Franklin was being harassed by a Los Santos police officer. Meanwhile, Michael was stepping out of what looked like a sleazy motel, shaking his head.

Switching back and forth more frequently is technologically impressive. I stole a shiny Porsche-looking vehicle with Michael and hit the highway, but I wanted to see what Franklin was up to. I jumped to Franklin who was on the other side of the city to check on a few waypoints in his neck of the woods. When finished I jumped back to Michael, who was still in the car I stole, stuck in traffic on the highway. It’s impressive that the game is constantly keeping track of what’s going on with the three characters whether you controlled them recently, or not.

“GTA V” has yet again upped the ante for vehicular combat. This new advancement is reminiscent of being able to shoot tires, which was added in “Vice City.” Now you can shoot cars so they leak gasoline. Shoot the trail of gasoline to ignite it, and watch the car at the end of the trail go boom. It’s quite satisfying when performed during a heated mission.

So far, I’m completely enthralled by the early stages of “GTA V,” and there’s still so much to see. Stay tuned for part three tomorrow.

In the next chapter

Planning a heist 
Making friends
Giving into peer pressure

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.