GTA V Patch 1.06 Detailed

Grand Theft Auto V Gameplay 9

Rockstar Games has released the game’s latest patch update, fixing bugs and exploits in the online component of Grand Theft Auto 5.

“Today’s GTA Online title update, which brings the multiplayer mode to version 1.06, includes ‘Beach Bum’ as well as a host of fixes for bugs and exploits.”

Here’s the full list:

  • Fixed an issue where the game would delete your personal Vehicle if you have another player in it when you add a Tracker and Insurance.
  • Fixed an issue where players could become stuck on the aerial view when entering GTA Online with cloud servers down and having just launched a minigame.
  • Fixed an issue where the mission ‘Damaged Goods’ would start even though it had previously been completed.
  • Fixed an issue where under rare circumstances players couldn’t claim back their personal vehicle in GTA Online.
  • Fixed an issue where under rare circumstances players were able to get the Declasse Sheriff SUV into Los Santos Customs and respray it causing the menus to malfunction.
  • Fixed an issue where in rare circumstances players would lose all personal vehicles after being idle kicked and unable to rejoin an online session.
  • Fixed an issue where players could occasionally get stuck after killing a pedestrian with a golf ball.
  • Corrected an exploit where players would retain their personal vehicle after selling it at Los Santos Customs mod shop by transitioning back and forth between Story Mode and Online.
  • Corrected an exploit where players could keep repeatedly selling a Bati 801 to Los Santos Customs.
  • Corrected an exploit where players were able to duplicate vehicles by accepting a Mission while leaving a high-end garage.
  • Corrected an exploit where a player could start a Team Deathmatch with all players on the same team.
  • Players are no longer able to delete their GTA Online character while the Rockstar cloud servers are unavailable.

The patch also comes with tuning changes to tweak the way GTA Online plays, including rebalancing of rewards:

  • The Bad Sport penalty for destroying personal vehicles has been reduced significantly.
  • Players will no longer receive a Bad Sport penalty when they are in a non-moving tank and other players crash a vehicle into them.
  • The GTA$ and RP rewards for Races, Deathmatches and Parachuting are now based on the average time they take to complete.
  • Players now receive GTA$ and RP rewards when failing a cooperative Job or being a member of the losing team during a Versus Mission, depending on how long the Job / Mission lasts.
  • Players now receive a bonus GTA$ multiplier for Missions when played at the higher difficulty levels (Normal = 1.25, Hard = 1.5).
  • In Team Deathmatch, all players on a team now receive the same GTA$ and RP rewards, with the winning team getting roughly 4-5x what the losing team receives.
  • Removed some instances of debris in specific Races, including the cardboard from the ‘Down the Drain’ Race.
  • Deliveries from Pegasus have been reduced from $1,000 to $200.
  • The cost of removing a wanted level by calling Lester has now been scaled based on the amount of stars you have — at a cost of $200 per star.
  • Restricted cars and vehicles that have been added to player garages through exploits have been removed. This includes tanks, helicopters and police vehicles.
  • The following vehicles have been added to the southernsanandreassuperautos.com website in-game: BF Dune Buggy, Canis Bodhi, Karin Rebel, Maibatsu Sanchez 2, Vapid Sadler, Vapid Sandking SWB.
  • To eliminate any remaining vehicle loss issues, an additional automatic cloud save will occur when purchasing a vehicle or vehicle modification.

(Source – Rockstar Games)

Grand Theft Auto V Review (PS3/360): “The New American Dream”

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Grand Theft Auto V is the latest iteration in the GTA series. GTA V was developed by Rockstar North, and published by Rockstar Games. It is single-handily the biggest budget video game ever created. It is also the most anticipated release of this console generation; however does GTA V live up to all the expectations and hype?

Story: 5/5

Rockstar has officially launched the next-gen era two months before PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has even released with their sixth game, GTA V. Gone are the days of simple story structure from the past GTA’s. Rockstar has finally created a story that is more compelling and tightly woven, than in previous iterations. The game begins with a prequel mission set nine years prior to the events of GTA V. The mission establishes how Michael and Trevor, two of the three main protagonists come to know each other. Both men are career criminals and are on a heist when things get chaotic very quickly. Chaos and murder follows, and the men are forced to take different paths in life. Nine years later, Michael is living comfortably in Los Santos (Los Angeles). Surrounded by a large mansion, cheating wife, and two spoiled teenage kids, his life is a wasteland. We come to see Michael in a semi-retirement stage of his life, but it is clear that he is unhappy. Eventually, we meet a young gang member named Franklin. Franklin (like Michael) is a thug, however his economic status is clearly much lower than Michael’s; living with his aunt on the south side of town. Working as a repo man for a sleazy car dealership, Franklin crosses paths with Michael, and the two begin a dangerous but profitable business relationship.

As the story line progresses, it’s clear that this is the tightest, most complete story that Rockstar has ever told for a Grand Theft Auto, and possibly all Rockstar games for that matter. More extraordinary is the level of script writing, and the overall narrative itself. Over the course of the game, the missions involved are deep and quickly pass the typical GTA “point A-B” runs of titles. Each mission evolves as the characters themselves do, and becomes more engaging. 95% of the story missions actually feel like necessary levels for a character, rather than just easy filler. We watch Michael slowly break out from a middle-aged depressed criminal (ala Tony Soprano), into a purposeful criminal trying to protect his family and come alive inside again. Franklin and Trevor both progress and become richer as the narrative expands and unfolds. With that being said, it’s worth noting that GTA V stepped away from the complete seriousness and grittiness of GTA IV and went back more to a Vice City/San Andreas style of storytelling, just extremely refined to top cinema quality.

Grand Theft Auto V

Gameplay: 5/5

“Go pick up my girl from the hospital, and take her to my garage”. ”Follow this guy’s car and see where he goes”. Gone are those GTA days of old where this simple mission structure was standard and a staple. GTA V brings us into the next generation with a glimpse of what is possible now with enhanced mechanics and mastery of current consoles. Let me first just preface on GTA IV and something’s that must be mentioned before discussing GTA V. In 2008, GTA IV launched with a blockbuster sales record and unheard of development costs, setting the record for what was at that time, the biggest budget game ever at 100 million dollars. There has been much discussion and debate, as to the game’s review scores back then, and what people would have given it now. At the time, the game was a groundbreaking and innovative open world title that fully represented the pinnacle of a studio’s talent and hard work. Recreating New York City and its surrounding boroughs was no small task, let alone creating a living, breathing, virtual city filled with citizens, crime, cars, depth, and story, all complete in HD visuals. Rockstar did this. Unfortunately, they changed and/or missed a lot of key elements that made the GTA franchise what it is today. What was missing was the over-the-top, ridiculous, funny yet dark humor. They also took away the power of giving the players lots and lots of choices, and extra things to do. In Liberty City, once you completed the game, there wasn’t too much else to do in the city. Gone were the addicting features of owning vast property or businesses, and flying planes. Customizing your character with different haircuts, varied outfits or even customizing your vehicles were just some of the features lost. There are more things I could list, and so can all of you, but it would be pointless now. Even with all of these elements gone, GTA IV still went on to win countless awards, sell millions of copies and once again, making a significant cultural impact on a generation of gamers. It was Rockstar’s first venture in open world next-gen gaming and they were just starting to understand the power of the 360 and PS3.

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Fast forward five years later. The Xbox 360 is now eight years old, while the PS3 is seven. From 2008, up to current day, they have released five successful blockbuster titles this generation. They have nearly tripled the budget from the previous entry, making GTA V the largest budget for an entertainment property at over 260 million dollars. I must say that it clearly shows in large letters that Rockstar has put the money to use. They have learned the mistakes of GTA IV and mastered the power of the systems by creating something unseen, unheard of, and unmatched this generation. Gameplay has been refined with a fine tooth comb this time around, giving gamers a much more comfortable feel. Rockstar has managed to combine the shooting mechanics of their own properties such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne, as well as the driving of Midnight Club, making the perfect hybrid. The opening missions start out in the seedier side of Los Santos, which made me feel like I was playing a super charged version of GTA: San Andreas from 2004. If you just drive north, you can head through the maze like freeway interchanges, open country sprinkled with ranches and farms, and hillbilly-infested desert and backcountry. Everything is brimming with life, and packed with things to do. Within the first twenty minutes of gameplay, you start to become overwhelmed by the scope of it.

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As I stated earlier, Rockstar has taken mechanics from their previous AAA games of this generation, and combined them into GTA V. The shooting system has been improved to be more like Max Payne 3. Adding to that, there are three options you have: Free-aim, classic GTA, or Assisted Aim (I would suggest GTA or Assisted Aim) until you get acclimated with the controls. With assisted aim, characters get a lock on when pushing down the triggers and targeting enemies. The reticule feels way more responsive than in IV’s shooting. Weapons also seem to have more of an impact as well. The biggest enhancement is in melee combat, which is very satisfying. Keeping in mind, it’s worth noting that each of the main characters has a skill set that can be constantly improved in areas like fighting, driving, shooting, flying, stamina, etc. This means that the more players actually do in each of these activities, the more they will improve. This has a real impact on the game as you continue, due to the fact that the missions become more challenging. When driving with Franklin, it feels different than driving with Michael or Trevor. And shooting with Michael feels better than with Franklin or Trevor. All have their strong suits, but you can make them all achieve higher skill sets to maximize your favorite character.

Driving has taken a major step forward from the mechanics of IV as well. If you love the blend of arcade and realism that Midnight Club has, then you’ll love GTA V’s driving. When driving at high-speeds from a band of gangsters or swat teams, I don’t feel like I’m fighting my own car while trying to turn fast or burn out, and do a 180. Each of the main protagonists possesses their own special ability which is unique for a GTA. By pushing in analog sticks, Franklin slows down everything except his own driving ability, allowing him to maneuver in and out of traffic in an effortless manner. Michael has a Max Payne “Bullet Time” special that accentuates his experience with guns. Trevor’s special is a psychotic rage mode that allows him to take and dish out more damage via his weapons or fists.

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After several hours, the game grants you the ability to switch between each of the three main characters. Swapping characters is a major part of what makes GTA V distinctive, and it’s as seamless as you could possibly hope. Just by holding down on the control pad and flicking your analog stick, you can instantly transition to another character. The amazing aspect to this is the sheer realism of the characters and their lives. For example, just because you’re playing as Franklin at the moment does not mean that the other two characters are standing still in their respective corners of the world. Switching rapidly between characters will have you witnessing them in a variety of actions or situations depending. I was playing early on as Franklin and switched to Michael, who happens to be my favorite. As soon as the camera zoomed down on the character you’re switching to, you are immediately treated to a brief preview of what they were currently doing. In my case, I saw Michael enjoying the company of a hooker in an alley on the lower end of town. Another time, I switched to Trevor, who was in the middle of a gunfight with a group of gang members on a beach filled with pedestrians running for cover and screaming. There’s such an incredible volume of things to do that even after fourteen days of playing, I’m still overwhelmed by the options they offer.

Two years ago, when this was first announced, I was one of the first in my group of friends who was completely thrown off by Rockstar’s desire to have three main playable characters in a GTA game. The whole idea seemed ludicrous and sloppy. Oh boy how I was naive, and severely wrong. Rockstar has created the perfect chemistry and gameplay for these characters to coexist. A new addition to the formula are the missions called “Heists”. Heist missions involve all three characters working together, and it works flawlessly. When Michael, Trevor and Franklin are busy setting up a heist, they all work together piecing different aspects of the crime step-by-step. This changes up the formula from past GTA’s. Instead of simply having the plan come together in one mission with one character, the gamer has to plan each step of the heist. Casting out the area of the future crime or choosing the right crew such as a good getaway driver, gunman, and a tech guy is all crucial to being successful. From there, you choose whether to invest in paying for a few seasoned criminals or some “fly-by the night stick up men” with itchy trigger fingers and nervous junior drivers. As an example in an early heist I did, I chose to pay cheaply for a getaway driver and put all my money into a good gunman. This was a mistake, because as the mission was ending and we were fleeing the scene, my driver crashed and was caught by the cops along with half our money that he was holding in a bag. There’s a lot riding on the decisions the player makes. Most plans begin with choosing one of two options and those are either: go in blasting or go in silently. For the jewelry store mission I played, you can storm in; rob the place, and then shoot your way out after they’ve collected the diamonds. You can also be discrete, steal a chemical that induces sleep and will knock out all the store employees including the security guards and make a silent getaway. The six heists are the highlight of Grand Theft Auto V. These are the moments when all three characters are working as an organized unit. These situations are tense and full of harrowing moments you’ll never forget. Best of all, they are as varied as the San Andreas landscape, which is again, extremely vast. Not only are the three thieves going after a different score with each heist, but the way they pull them off is constantly changing, and evolving. They seem to become more sophisticated with each heist and crime, and they need to be. Each heist becomes more elaborate, and our heroes will be forced to track down all the parts needed to pull off the successful hit.

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Unless you experience it for yourself, it’s almost impossible to fully grasp how big GTA V is. It’s not just a living breathing city, it’s a world. It’s the colossal story, the utter amount of missions and the diversity introduced with them, the activities to take part in, or the mysteries waiting to be uncovered. It’s without a doubt, the highlight of this generation. How Rockstar managed to achieve this on these current systems is baffling to me. Especially when you see too many developers today still botching up games that are both multiplatform or exclusive. To be honest, other studios should be embarrassed at this point, if not anything else, and Rockstar proved it.  To look back at GTA IV, it is clear they took the highs and lows of the past and completely overhauled the scope and mechanics, and invested heavily in all these areas. Rockstar has brought back a number of elements that were taken away from the last game. It goes without saying that Los Santos is a world riddled with activities beyond anything I would or could even attempt to list here, for fear of becoming the longest review in history. The gigantic map is bursting with icons ranging from exercising to flight school to shooting ranges and tons, tons more. To name a few things, you can smuggle drugs and guns, purchase investments through the fictional in-game stock market via your smart phone, buy real estate and businesses. You can also play darts, ride a bike along the beach, compete in triathlons, watch TV, go to the movie theater, or strip club, and even train your dog. Additionally, you can tow vehicles, drive trains, dive and snorkel in underwater coral reefs, smoke weed, drink, get a haircut, get tattooed, race vehicles, skydive, customize  your car or bike, buy new clothes, jet ski, surf the web or even go to a shooting range. Honestly, that doesn’t even cover half of what can be done in GTA V. The key word here is “vast”.

GTA V puts crime and murder back into the funny and over-the-top category, if that’s possible. You can drive expensive sports cars right at the opening of the game. The money you earn in-game has way more value than in IV because of the amount of things you can spend it on, some of which I have mentioned earlier. The entire state is yours to explore, and conquer. As I stated earlier, the character I enjoyed doing this the most with was Michael. However, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is so big that it requires three characters to explore it. While that line may sound cheesy and laced as a PR comment directly from Rockstar, it’s true. If they told the story from the eyes of just one character, this would lead to new areas not being revealed until multiple hours into the game, eventually rendering the game a 30+ hour campaign that would bring any GTA loyalist to disgust. Along the way, you’ll find an abundant amount of distractions to keep you exploring the state. This ranges from random activities to intuitive side missions. Again, the staggering amount of content can be overwhelming and sometimes even a tad frustrating, but in a good way. There is just so much to see and do, that most gamers will become dumbfounded at first. You can be exploring the rich suburbs of Rockford Hills as Michael (who lives there), to the beautiful and scenic Vespucci Beach complete with an iconic boardwalk and festival games. And at the flick of a button I can traverse through the slums of the ghetto as Franklin, observing the everyday happenings of Los Santo’s lower income neighborhoods. Choose to play as Trevor and you will explore vast dessert and forests. In between those are small town Americas filled with bars, gun shops and trailer parks. This all encompasses Blaine County, which is directly north of Los Santos. The gameplay is damn near perfect, and though there are some blander side missions, the main story is bursting with unforgettable characters that feel more fully grasped than even the best of the series’ previous characters. It’s a remarkable example of open world gameplay at its finest, it does so much so well that it’s hard to find flaws in Rockstar’s colossal epic.

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Graphics: 5/5

Simply put, GTA V is one of the best looking games on current-gen consoles. If you combine the vibrant nature of Red Dead and Max Payne 3, with the detail of LA Noire and GTA IV’s Liberty City, it equals a lavish package that represents the most extraordinary sandbox of our time. Visuals are pushed with the RAGE engine, as well as the Natural Motion Euphoria engine for the stellar animations. It’s because of this, that the technical/visual achievement is the most distinguishable aspect of the game. I must say, it’s not the great leap forward that GTA IV was over the original GTA’s on the PS2 and Xbox. However, it is a vast technical improvement in a number of areas. The draw distance stretches out further to the horizon than ever before, the freeways and streets are more populated with cars, and the vehicles themselves are much more detailed. Compared to Liberty City’s grit and urban decline, the state of San Andreas is sunny and glittering. The lighting effects perfectly capture the bright sunshine of the West Coast. Creating a virtual world has always been Rockstar’s strongest suit, and with GTA V, they have raised the bar once again. The game no doubt takes visual theatrical cues from some famous movies such as Michael Mann’s “Heat” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”, along with many other movies and TV shows. Whether it’s the landmarks, visual style of characters outfits or the cutscene animations, the game screams Hollywood. Movie buffs will get a thrill at the number of classic cult film references placed in here.

The level of detail is unquestionably astounding, from minor extras like the working desk fans in an office to dome lights turning on when you open car doors, or after getting wasted and being discharged from the hospital, your character will still have cuts and bruises on their body. The moon phases actually change as the days and weeks progress, or while in a police shootout, if you shoot one officer in the leg or body, another might drag him behind cover for safety. If you drive at night with your headlights off, oncoming cars will flash theirs, to alert you. And this is only a miniscule list compared to the amount of features Rockstar has crafted into this world. The water effects for the ocean and waves are some of the most beautiful detailed water physics I have seen in a title this generation. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game is that the size of the world and the level of detail it contains. Amazingly all of this equaled zero graphical slowdown. To be fair, my version (for the Xbox 360) I had installed the first disc which was mandatory on both PS3 and 360, but the second disc I installed on a flash drive. I wanted to make sure that I was playing on the most optimal of settings. Aside from literally one or two times where I noticed some visual stuttering, the game was polished with precision. Another impressive aspect are the character animations when they’re in conversations between each other. While walking or driving around together, their movements are fluid and top-notch. For example, while all three guys are in a vehicle together, I would regularly rotate the camera to see them inside the car. In doing that, you will see your characters conversing with their hands and moving their lips in sync to each line perfectly, while turning their heads towards each other, and explaining something or possibly telling a story. The dynamic feels so real, that you feel that these characters are alive and can actually see each other. At times, you feel like just a couple of real guys you control via your controller. Regardless of what your opinion is on the franchise, no one can question this game’s technical merit. It’s the same open world game element we’ve all come to know and love, just extremely more polished and improved to a much higher standard of excellence.

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Sound: 4/5

Keeping with positives first, GTA V’s soundtrack is an extremely diverse and well pieced together soundtrack. There’s a large selection of choices for any music fan. With over 15 radio stations, two of which are talk radio, and 240 licensed tracks, it’s definitely Rockstar’s biggest venture yet. You have something for everyone, whether it’s techno heads, hip-hop fans, country listeners or some pop, Spanish, and my favorite being some old school tracks dating back to the 60’s. If music isn’t attractive, you have hundreds of hours of hilarious and well-scripted talk radio programs. The downside for me was that the number of songs I actually liked was far less than I originally had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong, many people might feel I am being ridiculous due to the sheer number of titles offered, but in my 18+ hour play through, I can’t list more than 20 songs I really liked. For a game with 240 songs, that was kind of a low point for me. Then again, GTA IV’s soundtrack wasn’t stellar for me either. Vice City and Vice City Stories will always have the best soundtrack in my opinion, with San Andreas in third.

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I will say that GTA V’s orchestral themes are its strengths acoustically. Rockstar has finally incorporated some orchestral background pieces into a GTA, and that really made the entire experience fell like a well-crafted cinema fit for the golden age of Hollywood. Sometimes I would often find myself turning off the radio and enjoying the background theme playing, which varied depending on what was going on at that exact time. For this, Rockstar brought in three well known composers to work solely on the orchestral music. One of these composers had previously worked on Red Dead Redemption’s theme, as well as L.A. Noire’s theme, which was hauntingly amazing.

The dialogue is the sharpest (and wittiest) that it has ever been for the series. It’s well delivered in the thousand plus lines from the three main characters alone. Part of what made Liberty City feel so alive was the background noise of people going about their lives in the city, and reacting to your chaos. Even more so, in Los Santos the background noise is deeper and more realistic. Conversations you hear on the street are so enjoyable, that I found myself on many occasions just being nosey and stopping to listen to people having deep conversations that sometimes lasted for minutes on end. For Rockstar to invest so many lines of realistic dialogue in some background NPC’s that you might or might not ever stop to hear is fantastically mind boggling. There are literally thousands of conversations going on all over the state, which if you stop and listen to, will either have you on the floor laughing, or deeply concerned for their values and beliefs. Bumping into random citizens will give you some amusing responses as well. Cars sound more realistic than ever before. Getting out of a car and turning the engine off will make a slight ticking noise just as in real life when turning a vehicle off. Sometimes cars will stall, and you will hear the engine trying to power up, but fail. Sound effects including car engines, gunfire, explosions and ambient sounds are all top-notch. I will say that while the soundtrack is diverse and large as I stated before, it does fail to contain a solid list of hits. However, the orchestral themes, plus the profound amount of dialogue combined with realistic audio effects of ocean waves, seagulls, gunfire, and much more all keep the audio beautiful, but not perfect.

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Overall Score: 19/20 = 9.5 out of 10

There is a natural problem with reviewing a game as vast and deep as Grand Theft Auto V. No matter how much I try, I will never be able to cover all that the game has to offer. It is a title that represents the peak of the blockbuster AAA standard. GTA V realizes its own grand desire without the visible compromise you’d come to expect from consoles on their last full year of life. If you’re reading this review now, it is likely that you have already beaten the single-player story or at least started it. For the past week, I have wrestled with a proper score for a game so enormous and well-crafted that has become a cultural event mentioned daily in mainstream media and news. GTA V may not be remembered for reinventing the wheel as they did with Grand Theft Auto 3 nearly twelve years ago, but it’s enough to keep that wheel spinning rapidly.

GTA V represented the peak of Rockstar’s creativity and design. All gamers that at least play some of this game will walk away feeling richer in an enjoyment sense of the word. Grand Theft Auto V is a plethora of modern day pop culture commentary on the best and worst of our society. Whether it’s politics, media, reality TV, or violent video games, Rockstar has something to say about it. In the only way they know how, they aren’t afraid to to go after the right, left, rich, poor, white, black, gay, straight and everything else. It’s thought-provoking and hysterical, while always secretly pushing the bar to make their point. Just reviewing the single-player experience alone, I can easily say that this was an astounding experience. GTA V goes beyond the image and feel of a game…it feels like an epic movie that you are blessed to have been apart of. It will likely be considered as one of the greatest games of this generation with the words “stunning” and “essential” always following it.

PROS:

+ Gorgeous visuals

+ Did not even discuss the enormous online multiplayer

+ Three intertwined story lines that flow seamlessly

+ Hundreds of side missions and activities

+ Heists add a new dimension to a game built around crime

+ Choices, Choices, Choices

+ Massive, engaging and gorgeous world

CONS:

Radio selection is missing the solid addicting hits

A special thank you to Rockstar Games for providing us a review copy for Grand Theft Auto V! Review copy tested on Xbox 360.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

Curious to how our review system works? Check out the About section.

First Ever GTA V Gameplay Trailer

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Just released is the first ever gameplay footage of Rockstar’s GTA V, take a look and sound off below!

Rockstar Says GTA V Gameplay Video “Coming Soon”

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Moments ago, Rockstar released another press statement regarding their upcoming blockbuster, GTA V. In the statement, they promised fans that a new video displaying actual gameplay for Grand Theft Auto 5 will be released very soon. This will not be a cinematic trailer, but rather our first glimpses on the actual nuts and bolts of the game.

“The first Official Gameplay Video is on its way,” the studio said in a Q&A posted to their website. Additionally, they promised that more information regarding the game’s multiplayer mode called Grand Theft Auto Online will be coming “soon” as well. “We’re very excited to unveil it to you sometime this summer,” a spokesperson stated.

In the last 14 months, we have seen multiple trailers of the game with seconds of gameplay at best. Now it seems we will finally be seeing how this game runs, just months before its release. The footage is promised sometime this summer, however all signs are pointing within the next 2 weeks. Stay tuned for more on all things GTA.

[Via: GameZone]

GTA V Special and Collector’s Editions Revealed

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Those of you waiting eagerly for GTA V have even more to be excited for, especially if you’re a real GTA fan and are willing to shell out the big bucks for the complete package.

Rockstar have just announced the Special and Collector’s editions of GTA V and what their contents are – and in this case, they actually throw the kitchen sink in.

The Special Edition will retail for $79.99 and comes with the following:

  • Full retail game
  • Collectible steel art book with exclusive artwork
  • Blueprint map of Los Santos and Blaine County, with cryptic symbols and clues for in-game bonuses
  • Player character’s special bar will fill 25% faster
  • Stunt Plane Trials access
  • Bonus outfits and tattoos
  • Additional weapons

For the die-hard fan, the Collector’s Edition will retail for a whopping $149.99 and comes with everything in the Special Edition, as well as the following:

  • Security deposit bag with laser-cut logo key
  • GTA V New Era cap
  • Access to classic characters in Grand Theft Auto Online
  • Garage access and unique vehicle unlocks, including a 1930’s style Hotknife hotrod and CarbonRS sports bike.

Finally, all GTA V pre-orders grant access to the Atomic Blimp, giving you another transport method around Los Santos.

For more information, check out Rockstar’s promotional imagery below.

What GTA V Means To The Wii U, Nintendo And The Entire Gaming Industry

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Reports have been flying that suggest Take-Two could announce a major statement regarding Grand Theft Auto V next month. The announcement is aimed on discussing what additional formats GTA V will be coming out for besides the already confirmed PS3 and Xbox 360. On May 16th, Take-Two will most certainly confirm GTA V for the PS4 and Xbox 720, but there is also a high chance for the Wii U as well. In fact, a number of sites within the last 24 hours have all but decided based on leaked information, that the Wii U version is “highly probable”.

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Last year, I, as well as staff members and friends, decided that once again we were going to purchase a console on its launch day. That console was Nintendo’s Wii U. Fast forward six months and I absolutely do not regret my purchase in the slightest. Just as I have done before, when adopting a new piece of technology, one must endure the kinks and slow momentum of a console’s build up. It is now almost May of 2013 and my hopes for the Wii U couldn’t be more optimistic. With a system firmware releasing soon that will dramatically improve the system’s OS, as well as a confirmed list of triple A titles releasing on the console within the coming three months, I am pleased. It clearly seems Nintendo is thoroughly committed to making the Wii U a success. To the outside or even early Wii U adopter, it may seem as if the system was an unworthy purchase because of the lackluster line in the previous months. All of this is about to change drastically.

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For the past month, I have been engaged in promoting my hopes for Nintendo, via the Miiverse community on the Wii U. In promoting these hopes, one thing has remained constant throughout: The hope that Take-Two and Rockstar would bring Grand Theft Auto V to the Wii U. Being a fan of GTA since the early days isn’t my reasoning for wanting this either, as I can simply buy GTA V on my Xbox 360 or PS3. My motivation is that Nintendo needs this opportunity to shine in a different light, a brighter one that is. Grand Theft Auto represents the pinnacle of adult-rated gameplay and a revolutionary franchise. It is also being created by one of the biggest and most respected third-party developers in the industry. If on May 16th, Take-Two indeed states GTA V is coming to the Wii U, I believe Nintendo, and the Wii U specifically, will set sail into a brave new land of endless possibilities and success. GTA V coming to the Wii U will send a shockwave through the industry. A tiny ripple of hope that Nintendo needs. It is my belief that if third party core developers get to witness Rockstar’s behemoth game run on the Wii U, there will then be a flood gate of third-party developers pouring into the Wii U filled with eager, creative minds. These past months of naive statements from developers who are passing on the Wii U to develop for Microsoft and Sony platforms will reevaluate their business decisions. This will put tremendous pressure on companies like EA, SEGA, Epic Games, and etc. to start developing their upcoming triple A’s for Nintendo. Industry analysts (who will remain silent for fear of giving them more credit than they already don’t deserve) will have to eat their own miscalculated statements regarding the Wii U.

In closing, I leave you off with this. Nintendo has always been a company that takes the lead, while the other two guys scramble, mimic and follow them. After all, Nintendo has been in the game for longer than anybody else. They know what they’re doing “most of the time” that is. If Take-Two has Rockstar create GTA V for the Wii U, the industry will change. This move will signify Nintendo entering a new era of expanding their audience. Yes, Nintendo has had violent third-party games in the past, but this is different. GTA V is expected to technologically and economically change the gaming industry just as GTA 3 had done 12 years ago. Just the idea of a GTA running on and coming to a Nintendo home console will sell in vast amounts, both for the game and the console. Developers from every walk of life will be closely observing just how powerful the system is and what its strengths are. They will then monitor the sales of the Wii U version. If both prove successful, all of the third party doors will finally unlock, and the Wii U will have truly entered the next generation fight. The only difference being that Nintendo will have a strong shot to take the lead by September due to the already ten month install base, and now enormous title coming to their machine. As of now, it seems May 16th will be an important date for Nintendo and the industry.

GTA V Delayed, For Good Reason; September 17th Release Date Official

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The long awaited date for GTA V’s release has now been released. Rockstar stated today that the latest entry of the Grand Theft Auto series will be coming to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17th of this year. Originally, the game had been slated for a “Spring 2013”, with rumors pointing to a March release. However, Rockstar has apologized in today’s statement for pushing the game back by six months. The announcement read:

“We know this is about four months later than originally planned and we know that this short delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but, trust us, it will be worth the extra time. GTA V is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require.”

It is refreshing to see a developer concerned with making their project perfectly crafted before releasing it on shelves to the consumer. Rockstar is known as a company that stands on its quality, as well as quantity, and I have no doubt that GTA V will be their boldest title yet. There is still no word on either a PC or Wii U version at this time, but rest assured, Gamers Xtreme will follow closely. For more news on GTA V, stay tuned to Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

GTA V’s “Trailer #2” 13+ Minute Analysis Video

Yesterday, Rockstar Games released the highly anticipated second trailer to their latest title, Grand Theft Auto V. In the video attached below is my in-depth analysis at various sequences showcased during the trailer and what you can expect to see in the latest title. Check it out!


In case you missed the trailer, here it is:


For more news on this or any other topic stay tuned to Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Max Payne 3 Review (PS3/360)

After almost nine years, alcoholic and depressed ex-cop Max Payne returns with nothing to lose and a proclivity for dangerous habits in Rockstar Games’ Max Payne 3. It has been nearly a decade since anyone has seen Max in action. Thankfully, this long wait is now over and Max is at the forefront of the third-person action genre by delivering a bullet-indulgent, genre-defining, shooter experience to rival this generation’s finest, and the outcome is Max Payne 3.

Story: 5/5

Max self-narrates the story in his own distinctive, pessimistic and grim language. However, now it’s emphasized with a method that projects choice words and expressions into the scene and turns video into still images that are used to pull off the comic book panel effect. This crafty balance of old and new are reflected in the game’s story as well. The storyline jumps between flashback and present-day, displaying the agonizing story of how Max was dragged out of his scotch-soaked depression by former cop (now turned bodyguard), Raul Passos. Max is thrown feet first into the lion’s den, where violent gangs and corruption-fueled madness of the Brazilian criminal underworld come barreling towards him. This is directly due to who Max’s new client is, the prosperous and affluent Branco family. Max is now in charge of personally protecting the Branco family, which consists of three wealthy brothers, as well as the wild and erratic wife of one of them.

The story itself has more twists than an episode of Fox’s critically acclaimed show, “24”. The scope of the story is equally remarkable, taking you from the snow filled streets of Hoboken, New Jersey and New York City, to the back alleys and tenements of Sao Paulo, Brazil. When Max’s client, Fabiana Branco, is kidnapped by a vicious gang called Comando Sombra, Max finds himself pit in the most dangerous and darkest place he has ever been.

Gameplay: 4/5

Starting first with the core details of gameplay, there are three difficulties to choose from off-the-bat, before unlocking two additional choices. Basically, if you are not an experienced shooter, the game has plenty of freedom to make it much easier and enjoyable. However, for the hardcore third-person shooter player, I must say the latter difficulty settings are quite challenging (and I have yet to play the hardest option). This time around, Max can carry up to three weapons at a time. He can carry two single-handed weapons such as revolvers or pistols, which can be dual wielded as well. In addition, he can carry one large weapon such as a shotgun or rifle. Max’s trademark “Bullet Time” (slow-motion) effects are out in full, bloody bloom. Bullet Time is built up quickly and easily during combat, allowing you to alter the speed of time in your favor and give yourself the chance of scoring a headshot with every round of your six-shooter. The mechanic is absolutely essential to the design, ensuring your survival in the most intense sequences.

Max Payne 3 is about looking good as much as it is about essentially ‘playing good’, so don’t pass over the chance to be flashy. Associated with Bullet Time is Shoot Dodge, which slows down time as Max leaps himself into the air. Throw yourself in slow-motion backwards down a stairwell, jump sideways off buildings and blow up a gas canister on the way, take out incoming rockets from ten feet off the ground, run straight towards a wall of guys before catapulting yourself towards them and ending each of their existences before you land are just a few examples. All that and more is possible with Shoot Dodge. Despite all that, it’s not an easy game by any means. Due to the nature that you’re encouraged to tackle situations with elegance rather than realism, you will take a lot of damage. Unlike the majority of its third-person peers, Max Payne 3 foregoes the regenerative health system and makes the player search for painkillers, which most fans will know as Max’s med-kits.

Another cool feature is if you’re killed while in possession of some painkillers, you spontaneously enter ‘Last Man Standing mode’ and are provided with a slow-motion chance to kill the enemy that last shot you. If you cannot kill him for whatever reason, whether it be poor aim or no ammo, then you will die. Kill him however and you live at the cost of one painkiller. This comes in handy because during all the action exploding around you, keeping an eye on your health is not always high on the priority list.

Unfortunately, there is a gripe that must be stated in the gameplay and that is the controls and glitches I’ve experienced. The first issue are the controls, which I felt were too cumbersome and I’ll explain. For my first playthrough on the Xbox 360, I felt a little overwhelmed with the amount of buttons I had to remember and utilize. On my second playthrough on the PS3, I encountered the same issues of trying to utilize and press every button in an intense game that requires more attention on the screen than in your hands. It is just a minor gripe but one that seems to stand out more than usual because the rest of the game is extremely polished. Lastly, are the awkward instances that occasionally pop up when you are in cover and try to fire at enemies. Occasionally, Max refuses to aim forward and rather, aims the gun into the air and shoots up into the sky. The first few times it seemed humorous but as the game progressed and the intensity increased, it clearly became a tad frustrating.

Along with the single player, Rockstar has packed in some very welcome additions, such as New York Minute (a classic mode from the original Max Payne) and Score Attack. These are two single-player Arcade modes that test players to beat their own top scores, as well as friends and strangers, in the middle of all the wild gun battles; all of which is tied into the Rockstar Social Club. Creatively, if you get a high score in the Arcade modes, you will unlock exclusive rewards in multiplayer such as avatars and XP benefits. Each level has the prospective to unlock its own exclusive avatar available to you within a multiplayer Deathmatch. If you’ve earned platinum rankings in Score Attack and New York Minute runs, you will not only earn a huge load of XP, but also unlock coveted character avatars for multiplayer like Max Payne, Branco, Passos and more.

Multiplayer is incredibly satisfying, too. Thankfully, Rockstar has managed to find a way of incorporating Bullet Time that doesn’t break the experience; meaning many of the skills you’ve learned in single player are exchangeable. All the usual bells and whistles of customizable loadouts, avatars, unlockables, ranking up and individual awards are included. A number of interesting perks that provide increased fire rates, the ability to confuse the opposition by removing the ability to tell one team from another and, of course, the trademark Bullet Time itself are also incorporated here. The primary mode, Gang Wars, takes place over several team-based rounds and includes a loosely woven narrative that links each encounter. Once you get to the final match, the team that has performed best starts up with a point’s advantage, meaning it’s possible to play the hero card and recover from a series of heavy defeats.

Graphics: 5/5

Max Payne 3 is an extremely polished game and was obviously developed with years of careful production and planning. Rockstar is now on their fifth major title for this generation of consoles and it is safe to say that they’ve mastered and utilized every bit of power on the two consoles. Each locale provides a distinctive color pallet, packed with an astounding amount of detail. Visualize all of the effort Rockstar puts into conveying their open worlds to life. Now, picture all of that energy focused down to specific, linear set pieces and no sand-box open world maps. Now you’ll start to develop a sense of how astonishing the whole package really is. Everything is gritty, hyper-detailed, and gorgeously animated. Papers fly from desks as you shoot your way through an office building, kids are playing soccer in alleyways as you navigate the favela slums, and the city skyline looks stunning from the rooftops of São Paulo and Hoboken. Character and weapon animations are astonishing, as are the fantastic environments you will explore, making Max Payne 3 one of the finest looking games this generation.

Sound: 5/5

The music is a fresh blend of originality mixed with the previous Max Payne tracks, making a terrific sound to an already gripping game. A riveting story is one thing, but you need realistic voice actors to truly immerse the gamer into this world. James McCaffrey returns to his beloved role as the king of one-liners, bringing a new side to Max we’ve never seen before. The supporting cast does a fantastic job of adding to their own personalities as well. Both the main and supporting cast create a wide-ranging spectacle, providing for some very interesting narrative. Lastly, the sound effects for the weapons and explosions are perfect in every way imaginable. Each gun has a distinctive sound to them, creating a realistic touch that most games today fail to accomplish. Playing with the Turtle Beach headsets, I can say that the sound of bullets ripping through enemies, walls and cement columns really sounded chilling and powerful.

Overall Score: 19/20 = 9.5 out of 10

Max Payne 3 signifies an extraordinary return for the series. The plot wraps the noir storytelling around a bright and exotic locale, filled with action and corruption. The previous games were certainly dark tales. The stories of addiction, double and triple crosses, as well as some grim surprises are ripped straight from urban legends. It maintains the workings that made the prior games great, while modernizing them to excellent effect. Between the Story, Arcade Mode and Multiplayer, there’s enough substantive content to keep you captivated for some time. While there are some mechanically wonky moments, they’re too minuscule to detract from a stellar sequel that was well worth the wait. Between its pacing, presentation and excellent gunplay, Max Payne 3 has raised the bar for many genres.

PROs:

+ Unrivaled combat fluidity

+ Beautiful cinematic presentation that properly pays tribute to Film Directors, Michael Mann and Tony Scott

+ Brutal and intense gameplay

+ Multiplayer and Arcade mode add longevity

+ Physics, animations and gunplay are grounded in authenticity and feel extensive

CONs:

– Occasional aiming glitches while shooting

– Controls seem a tad cumbersome, especially for those that aren’t used to Rockstar’s controls (alas GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption)

A special thank you to Rockstar Games for providing us a review copy of the game!

“Max Payne 3” Launch Trailer

Rockstar has just released the launch trailer for their biggest title yet, Max Payne 3. Check it out for all the Bullet Time action!


What do you guys think? Are you getting Max Payne 3 next Tuesday? Sound off in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out R17’s hands-on article from NYCC 2011 when we saw the first ever gameplay footage.