When I reviewed Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V for game consoles nearly two years ago, I gave the game full marks for its vast open game world, myriad of playable activities, pulsating gameplay and endless replayability.
Its massively popular online mode, which lets gamers play with or against other players online, has enhanced its longevity. In this mode, gamers can complete jobs, take part in heists, race cars and aeroplanes, or simply play tennis or golf.
Rockstar Games, GTA V's developer, estimated that more than 30 million gamers have tried their hand at GTA Online. So, it is not surprising that Rockstar has decided against a single-player story expansion in the new PC release.
This is disappointing, especially because you cannot transfer the single-player game saves from other platforms to the PC. An expansion would have given gamers more incentive to replay the single player campaign.
However, you can transfer your GTA Online characters and game progression to the PC from any current platform, as long as it is logged on to the same Rockstar Games Social Club account.
The PC version's major draw is probably the PC-specific Rockstar Editor, a suite of creative tools that lets you easily capture, edit and share game footage. The Rockstar Editor's Director mode lets you create video clips using characters, pedestrians and, even, animals.
You can then use the Rockstar Editor to edit, manipulate, add effects and music to these video clips, and string them together to create your very own GTA movie. I find that you do need to plan the scenes properly, as it is like shooting a real movie.
This idea of creating your own GTA machinima is quite clever. I think many gamers would like to boast about their amazing feats, such as over-the-top bank robberies or crashing their planes into gas stations. The Rockstar Editor provides a great outlet for them to show other gamers what they are capable of. I will bet that there will be plenty of fan-made GTA movies in time to come.
In addition, you can explore the massive world of Los Santos and Blaine County again in higher resolutions, such as 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, or at 60 frames per second (fps), which are not found on other game platforms.
Using my gaming rig, which has a modest Nvidia GTX 660 graphics card, I managed to get the game running at between 40 and 55fps at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with graphics settings predominantly set to Very High. That is pretty good to me.
There are also options, such as a population density slider to control car and pedestrian traffic, dual and triple monitor support. And, of course, you can play the game in first-person mode, rather than from the usual third-person perspective.
I particularly like the fact that you can use both mouse/keyboard combination and an Xbox controller at the same time. When you are playing in first-person perspective, having the mouse/keyboard combination works great during shooting battles.
For exploring or interacting with items, a controller does a better job. So, the ability to switch quickly between mouse/keyboard and controller is a good reason for getting the GTA V PC version.
If you have not played Grand Theft Auto V, the PC version is the platform to use. Even if you have played the game, the PC-only features are well worth revisiting Los Santos again.
This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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