My 'GTA V' endgame experience: the game within the game

Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:00 AM Written by 

[MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]

 

GTACoverAfter an exhilarating 30+ hours, the story of “GTA V” has come to a close. The tale of the unlikely trio in Michael, Trevor, and Franklin has wrapped, but they are far from riding off into the sunset.

“GTA V” has gone through my typical cycle of a game review. It usually goes like this: acquire game, play game to completion, produce review, put game on shelf, begin next game. Everything was going according to plan. I wrote the review - usually the parting point between myself and a game - but I still can’t put it down.

I keep feeling the need to drop in and check on Michael, Franklin, and Trevor to see what they’re up to in their new lives. I spent so much time with them throughout the game’s duration that it seems cold to stuff them on the shelf with a cast of characters that received closure in their journeys like Dante, Shepard, and Chell.

I eavesdropped during Michael's therapy sessions, and family fights. I’ve seen him go through the heartbreak of having his family walk out on him, and struggle to bring them back. I even witnessed him go through the ongoing challenge of keeping the seams intact after their return.

Franklin had predicaments forced on him. The lone character with an actual good heart, he wants to do the right thing while enjoying his spoils. I watched his “rags to riches” story.

Trevor, the business-minded man of the bunch, still has Trevor Phillips Industries to tend to. I saw him single handedly take over the rural areas of San Andreas.

The three are no longer controlled by the chaos that once dictated their every decision. No more rich enemies gunning for them. No more wives of mob bosses to kidnap. No more precious cargo to hijack. Their lives are calmer now by conventional standards. They have exuberant amounts of time and money. How will they spend them? The world is at their feet. Their new lives and stories begin now.

While there aren’t any scripted story sequences that occur after the game’s completion, that doesn’t mean that there’s a shortage of things to do. These activities create a general outline of a story, and it’s my job to fill in the blanks. Here is how I have Michael, Franklin, and Trevor living the remainder of their lives.

I’ve always seen Michael as being driven by a few things in his life: his family, money, movies, and finding inner peace. Michael has $20 milion after the final heist, and there are some movie theaters for sale around Los Santos. He recently purchased The Doppler Cinema for $10 million, which yields a weekly income of $130 thousand.

Being the proud owner of a local movie theater makes him happy, but he keeps an eye on the future. There are two more theaters in the area for sale. Once the Doppler turns a profit, he plans on buying those, too. “De Santa Theaters Inc.” is well on its way to becoming a reality.

There’s still the homelife to tend to. His family has lived well throughout their lives, and seems to enjoy material riches. Michael parked three new cars in the driveway for them to enjoy. His wife is still on the yoga kick, so he takes the time every so often for a yoga session in the back yard. He even throws in a round of tennis with her.

Now that Michael has his family, his very own piece of the Vinewood scene, and a steady income from his businesses, maybe inner peace is within his grasp.

GTAV3

Franklin has always taken a liking to cars. That’s what lured him to the auto repo business in the first place. With his $20 million cut from the final heist, he browses the internet for the world’s most prized rides.

After the purchase, he frequents Los Santos Customs to make them even more unique. He has a collection of rare cars that he joyrides around San Andreas.

He has always had a good intentions. While joyriding, he stops to talk to strangers or aid a hand when he sees random crime. He’s like Batman, but everybody knows his face. He’s building quite the reputation around Los Santos.  

At the end of the day, Franklin can’t forget about his best friend Chop. He takes him for rides to the park. Chop needs his exercise and attention. Franklin makes sure to be a responsible pet owner.

This isn’t how Franklin ever envisioned his retirement, but he has no complaints.

People have always brought out the worst in Trevor. That’s why he avoided living in Los Santos and stuck to Sandy Shores. Trevor Phillips Industries is being put on the back burner. The rest of his life is being spent by himself on the back of a motorcycle, exploring the San Andreas forests for a mythical beast. Trevor is on the search for Bigfoot

He is fully prepared. Before he started, he paid a visit to Ammunation to buy protective gear and camouflage. He bought a collection of the most powerful bikes from the auto sale website just in case he loses or wrecks one.

So far, Trevor’s journey has been fruitless. There’s been no sign of bigfoot, but he’s seen a bevy of other great sights. The vineyards of San Andreas are lovely this time of year. He even stumbled upon a cult that was nestled deep within the wilderness.

The fine people of The Bay Medical Center know Trevor on a first-name basis, since he’s in there often from mountain lion attacks or motorcycle accidents. He knew the risks when he started his journey. Bigfoot must be found.

Herein lies a piece of “GTA V’s” greatness. There’s a meta-game to be found once you’re past the excellent narrative. There’s still a vast world at your fingertips. What you get out of it is up to you.  

I’m not sure when I’ll be put down “GTA V.” Perhaps I will once Michael owns all of Los Santos’ movie theaters, Franklin has rid the city of crime, or once Trevor finally finds Bigfoot. But for now, I’ll just enjoy the journey.

 

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.