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So GTA V is now in the shops and on computers and consoles all over the world.

Yes it is a lot similar to the previous GTA titles but what did you expect ? I have the game on XBox360 and the graphics on the TV are sharp, colourful and total eye candy. It comes with 2 DVDs, one for the install and the second for continued installation and playing for the XBox and one Blu-Ray disc for the PS3. I have heard that publishing company Rockstar are recommending that  users do not install both the Install and Play discs, as it can cause performance issues. Just why running the game by disc is faster installing it on your HDD is meant to be better I don't know.  
The game is controlled  mainly by the thumb sticks and triggers
, right trigger to accelerate and left to reverse. I imagine there is a button for the brakes but I haven't found it yet as I have been too busy driving along sidewalks, the wrong side of the road, over grass humps and bumps (and people) as for me the left stick is so sensitive I only seem to move my thumb a fraction and I am doing side-spins. The right thumb stick gives you the camera view which can be a real mind-blowing confusing experience if you are driving and decide to look around as you travel.

The game revolves around you doing missions, such as stealing cars to order, and during the times you are working with a partner (an NPC) you often get to choose which of the target cars you want to crash - err I mean drive. If you are on a solo mission you may beable to take your time sight-seeing on occasion but generally you are against the clock and nearly always against the cops.
If you are with a partner and you each steal a car then you have to beat him to the destination (unlikely, at least while you are getting used to the map) or you have to stay close to him keeping him in sight; if you lose him you fail the mission.

Failing a Mission: If you do not complete the mission you can restart the game or the mission - generally the mission is best. However, after your third failed attempt (and all failures thereafter) you get another option - skip this part of the mission - or you can still retry it again.
The multiplayer game supposedly has around 500 missions but I have been too busy playing the story that I keep forgetting to try out the multi-player option. Maybe when I next get on the XBox (in about 20 minutes) I will have a try at multi-player .... on second thoughts I am still enjoying the solo game too much so m-p will have to wait.

These are the three main characters you will play in-game. You begin with the one in the centre of this trio, a little bit of archetype type-casting to have the black guy as the car thief but then it's about time we just got on with the game/film/life and accept that people are of different shades of skin and that sometimes the black guy really is the bad guy. There is a main background story that runs throughout the game, made up mostly of missions and side-events and then there are times when all three of the above work together and the comedy value, as well as the action (albeit rather violent - just what you expect from a GTA game) cracks along at an excellent pace - there is never a dull moment.

       

Just look at the amazing detail in these scenes. Who could have thought that the old XBox360 could be used in such a way as to produce such succinct and sharply detailed images. The designers have completely changed the way that action games will be viewed in the future. GTA V is the new hallmark by which they will be judged.

   

I have always managed to fall foul of the Law or the opposition gangs in every GTA game and this is no different. The thing is though that I don't get fed up trying again and again. There is something positively evil driving down the roads of where I live looking at the pathways and one-way streets and thinking I wish I was in GTA V right now.
Where ROCKSTAR go from here will be fabulous to discover. They will really have to pull out all the stops to even get close to replicating the brilliance that is GTA V.

Security, Fitness & Entertainment

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The Los Santos & Blaine County Visitors Travelogue has just been updated with special new sections highlighting why this west coast destination is a fitness buff's paradise, along with an overview on law enforcement and security for your peace of mind, and previews of the exciting music and television entertainment in store this fall...
Security & Peace of Mind

The Los Santos Police Department is famous for tackling crime in the most aggressive and unhinged way possible, while private security firms like Gruppe 6 and Merryweather Security have a financial interest in saving your assets.
Sponsored by Ammu-Nation – Protecting Your Rights.

Fitness & Relaxation

Vanity is at an all-time high and we're an athlete and fitness buff's paradise. Fancy a bit of tennis? We've got world class courts and stiff competition. Into cycling? Grab a bike for a lovely ride along the Los Santos beachfront or a punishing path through the mountains and hillsides of Blaine County. Or take part in a challenging triathlon of swimming, running and biking designed to pit egomaniacs against each other in a test of who exercises professionally the best. Sponsored by EGO CHASER Energy Bars - an energy bar that's all about you. Watch the commercial!

Exciting Music & Entertainment 

For those stuck in traffic, tune in to the Los Santos radio dial for a wide range of music styles to choose from - check out radio station previews of Radio Los Santos and Channel X plus Rebel Radio, East Los FM, West Coast Classics, Fly Lo FM and Vinewood Boulevard Radio. Stay tuned for more radio station previews to come.

In the Home Entertainment section, you can watch a special preview of CNT's Fall TV Line Up, with clips from The Underbelly of Paradise, Impotent Rage and Moorehead Rides Again as well as a sneak preview of Kung Fu Rainbow Lazer Force, the upper-middle class super hero team coming to Weazel TV’s family values entertainment programming this fall.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015