Grand Theft Auto game is back with 'staggering' GTA5
This satire on western society is technically brilliant and ridiculous fun - even if it cost £170m to build
What you need to know The latest installment of the legendary action-adventure video game, Grand Theft Auto, is released in the UK today. GTA5 is reported to have cost design studio Rockstar £170 million to build, making it the most expensive video game ever created.
It is set in the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles, and in the surrounding countryside of southern California. The central story focuses on three player-controlled characters - Michael, Trevor and Franklin - who plan to make their fortune by carrying out a series of heists.
The "open world" game allows players to explore their environment, and engage in activities as varied as car racing, deer hunting, holding up stores and legalising marijuana. An online multiplayer mode will allow up to 16 players to engage in both co-operative and competitive gameplay.
What the critics like "It's brilliant, of course," says Tom Hoggins in the Daily Telegraph. Grand Theft Auto V is the pinnacle of open-world video game design, an extraordinary technical achievement and a fabulous piece of entertainment.
GTA5 is "a freewheeling, nihilistic satire on western society" including reality TV, celebrity culture, social media, plastic surgery and pop psychology, says Keith Stuart in The Guardian. The genius of this misanthropic masterpiece is in the sheer seductive force of its vision - it's also ridiculous fun.
GTA5 is even better than the hype, says David Jenkins in Metro. It's a staggering technical achievement, with impossibly good visuals, and excellent and varied missions, making it "not only one of the best GTA games ever, but the most fun to play".
What they don't like The torture scene is likely to become Grand Theft Auto's most controversial moment, says Dan Silver in the Daily Mirror. It's ultimately an attempt to parody torture porn but the satire in this supremely unsettling sequence is too subtle and it's "a rare tonal mis-step in what is otherwise an exemplary experience". ·