The Grand Theft Auto series has grown so much from its humble beginnings on the PS1. The latest installment in this franchise brought on three cast members and a wealth of side activities. It’s no wonder that the new, remastered guide for the new generation of consoles from BradyGames is so big. There is just a lot to do in this game.
The Grand Theft Auto V Remastered strategy guide starts with the basics of the game. This is a good place to do some reading as it does breakdown how the three protagonists differ from one another. This is also where there is a hefty amount of text on how things like wanted levels work, how to get around the city, and all the achievements in the game. Be prepared with a bookmark as this is also where the all-important map of the island is found.
Following the basics is a listing of every vehicle in the game. Anyone that wants to know how a particular garbage truck compares to that random semi, this is that section. Each vehicle, boat, and plane has a small bar chart detailing the speed, braking, acceleration, and traction. Boats and planes have their cost attached to them, and various car mods are listed for each car that is capable of being tuned.
With the basics out of the way, it is onto the meat of the game. The main story missions are broken into their own section. Following this is the Strangers and Freaks missions, and then all the hobbies and pastimes get their own section. I lumped these three sections together as they all follow the same basic formula. Missions are broken down into a step-by-step process. Maps display pertinent information, and there are a few screenshots to help players make sure they are on the right path as they work towards the end of the game.
Random events are a bit less detailed than missions. Each event has location, what characters can participate in the event, rewards, and any additional nuances clearly displayed in a banner. There is then a small blurb about how the event plays out and what happens should one choice be made over another. It is recommended to read about the event before tackling it, as things in this game can escalate rather quickly.
Hobbies and events is pretty much a blending of missions and random events. What makes this section fairly useful are the maps. Races are much easier thanks to the route being clearly displayed. The various challenges, such as guns, have blurbs on how they work and how to make the challenge a bit easier. For anyone that wants to live the life of a taxi driver, this is your roadmap to making millions. Well, maybe not millions, but a few bucks at least.
The miscellaneous section is where completionists will spend a hefty amount of time. This is where all the hidden packages, monkeys, submarine pieces, and other collectables are found. Each set of collectables comes with a map with locations clearly marked, and there are screenshots to further aid in finding those pesky monkey statues. This is probably one of the more useful sections of the guide.
The strategy guide wraps up with GTA: Online. This is a good starting point for what new players can expect from the online game. This is also where the creator mode gets some attention. Anyone looking to design their own races or deathmatch arenas, this is the section to study. Anyone that is porting their character from the PS3/360 version of GTA: Online will probably find little need to even browse this chapter.
While this strategy guide is thick and contains a lot of info, it is plagued with issues. Navigation is a royal pain. I was constantly flipping around the guide trying to find that one mission or info on that one car. I had so many bookmarks scattered about just so I could find my way around. Things such as placing a breakdown of weapons randomly into the middle of player basics just breaks the flow of the guide. These things are better left at the end of the section, opposed to shoving it between how stealth and wanted levels work.
The issues continue into all the missions and activities. I found there is barely enough info given to get players through any particular task. However, there is never an explanation of why a player might want Trevor over Franklin for a task. The little tips that are highlighted are often useless nuggets such as you build strength by playing sports or punching people. There were plenty of times I was left wanting more information, and had to turn to the Internet for that guidance I was seeking.
Outside of some basics of how GTA: Online works, and the creator mode, there is no meat here either. Some breakdown of the basic races and jobs would have been killer here. I understand that things will change as patches come along, but not including these basics just feels so lazy. Getting that online character situated into a living space and acquiring a car is but a fraction of what happens in this game mode.
The Grand Theft Auto V Remastered strategy guide is a hard guide to judge. On one hand, there is a healthy amount of information in here. It does its job and got me through the game and crazy amount of side content. On the other hand, navigating this guide was almost as challenging as the game. The lackluster GTA: Online section could have been so much better and useful. The fact that what content that is included is so bland is also a turn off. By the time I finished it, I was left wanting more substance and less filler. The best thing you can do before snagging this is to find it in a store, flip through it, and decide from there if it is worth your investment.
SGR Rating 3/5
Authors: Tim Bogenn, Rick Barba
Editions Available: Paperback
Acquired via Publisher