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Watch: Hulkbuster Iron Man In Grand Theft Auto V

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Check out video below of a Hulkbuster Iron Man mod for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V.

JulioNB created the mod noting you need to make sure you install scripthookV, scripthookVDotNet and the required windows packages for scripthookVDotNet to use the mod and play as Hulkbuster Iron Man, who was recently featured in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Review: Grand Theft Auto 5

Great, But Not Perfect

A video game review of: Grand Theft Auto 5

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

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Let’s face facts. GTA5 is the frontrunner for 2013’s Game of the Year, and why not? First, it’s GTA, and its release means a cultural event far greater than the annual installment of CoD yielding plenty of media coverage showing kids craving ultra-violent entertainment, clueless parents acting shocked over “youthful corruption,” and plenty of knuckleheads out there acting out real world violence in the name of the game. Second, despite a number of excellent games in rotation right now like BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us, the hype for GTA5 has made many a gamer instantly set everything else aside to give this game its due. Third, we must recognize the sales, as in over $1 Billion dollars in three days, which cannot be ignored for any reason. Fourth, the game is, simply put, very good and very entertaining. Yes, GTA5 meets much of the hype by providing some of the most adult centric and intellectually stimulating content that Rockstar has delivered via this game series yet. No, this game will not make you a board member of Mensa, but the husky layers of social commentary regarding the state of the Western World are pretty thought provoking should the gamer take a brief hiatus from digital homicide and hooker beatings to read between the lines.

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Presentation: Exquisite

This is easily the prettiest looking installment of GTA to date. Colors are vibrant, nightscapes are sleek, vehicles are exquisite and character models (specifically facial animation) are super smooth. The world of Los Santos is more alive than it’s ever been. I’ve not seen more detail in such an extensive sandbox game that one could literally donate hours of gameplay to simply walking around and taking in the views. The only thing that doesn’t look incredibly awesome in this game is the NPC population, which is totally justifiable seeing how you will be pulling them out of their cars, running them over, busting a cap in their *ss and subjecting them to various other nefarious activities that giving them all the same level of detail as the three protagonists (Franklin, Michael and Trevor) would be counter-productive. The whole environment is beautiful whether you’re hanging out in the countryside, driving around the city, parachuting from planes or deep sea diving.

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Gameplay: Mixed Bag

Rockstar made a big deal about talking about how every control element of GTA5 would be a vast improvement over its much maligned predecessor. If such a thing existed, I certainly did not notice it. The fact of the matter is that the player’s avatar still moves like a tank while walking and running with virtually no lateral movement or ability to change course without throwing the camera angle for a loop. Snapping your character in and out of cover can be very frustrating if you aren’t ducking behind a flat surface. You’ll think you’ve pressed the button to get into cover, but the avatar does nothing because you aren’t close enough to an “appropriate” surface. I noticed a slight improvement in the targeting, but using the aim assist option can sometimes make your character target something your own eyes weren’t tracking at the time; true veterans will go to work without it. Driving also seems more forgiving as taking bumps from traffic and the environment at modest speeds will no longer send your vehicle into a somersault, but that does not apply to pushing super cars to their max speeds and trying to handle corners without a healthy application of the hand and regular brakes in tandem. Flying helicopters is much more user friendly, albeit an acquired skill to engage in smoother flights, but even errant waggles on the analog sticks will not send the vehicle careening into the closest skyscraper instantly. Flying planes is very fun (especially the fighter jet!), but landing them is a whole different story: practice makes perfect and take it VERY slow.

I loved and I mean LOVED the heist (or significant job) planning mechanic and mission based execution. Unfortunately, this isn’t used nearly as much as what the advertising for this game made it appear to be, and it pays out for your characters even less. The first moment for the player to experience this occurs fairly early in the game via the diamond heist, and it’s a bit of a red herring because it is extremely fun to set it up and execute, but the player will see this perfect balance of missions and rewards rarely before the story ends. I thought we were a crew of professionals taking scores like in Michael Mann’s Heat. Shouldn’t we be pulling more jobs than random BS chores from “strangers and freaks” that pay out precisely zilch?

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Functionality: Needs Patching

This is one of the biggest games, data-wise, that this counsel generation has been asked to digest, and as we enter only the second week of this game’s release, the gaming community is noticing a lot of issues. GTA5 is apparently making Xbox 360’s made prior to 2008 work too hard, forcing the game to crash fairly often. Players are noticing that vehicles stored in safe house garages and aircraft hangers will be erased spontaneously while progressing to story missions that instantly transport characters to a specific vehicle. I’ve personally run into several instances of the environment needing a few seconds to render back to normal fidelity upon exiting “skipped” taxi rides, which always makes me think the game is ready to crash before I get a chance to save my progress. Side missions seem to have an in-game shelf life as I’ve purposely put off doing some due to my increased interest in the story’s progression only to find side mission icons in the map to disappear permanently. That’s not to say all of the programming quirks are all bad. The very popular infinite money glitch involving sea exploration and swapping between two characters to reload money bags is a great way to acquire millions in the early game when money is fairly scarce.

I fully appreciate Rockstar’s desire to cram so much data into machines that almost need to over perform to get the job done, but giving them a complete pass on some of these significant issues is a mistake. I’m sure they will fix these issues in due time. My bet is a massive patch will come when we all download the GTA Online expansion next week.

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Story: Immersive journey with a lackluster ending

If anyone had any apprehension about splitting this GTA narrative into the trials and tribulations of three characters coming from completely different backgrounds, I will have you know that this presentation is fresh, gives the player a greater feeling of control, and made me feel like I was actually forming an in-game GTA crew on par with any other faction in the game. A one man army against a world of opposition can only work for so long, and seeing how GTA5 is trending towards slightly more realism than a series like Saints Row is concerned with, being successful at taking scores requires being a member of a capable crew. The story doesn’t hang around any one character for too long as each one is fully fleshed out as an individual, but their balance and interplay as a group allows the player empathize with them all on a different level. My personal favorite is Franklin, despite Michael’s experience and Trevor’s crazy shenanigans.

Unfortunately, the ending of such an involved journey that GTA5 delivers is anti-climactic at best. There is a direct element of player choice that will determine three very different outcomes to the narrative, but in my opinion, there’s really only one option and I’ll leave that to the reader. The final sequence of missions is varied, interesting and filled with action, but the story leaves you (figuratively AND literally) at the side of a cliff left wondering, “That’s it?” Other games this year have delivered much more drama, but no one has been able to knock the ending out of the park.

Conclusion: Must-buy for adults. Parents beware. Peaks and valleys, despite the beauty. Budgets for many games seem to be spiraling out of control as every developer and publisher is going for AAA, Game of the Year money without having the staff, facilities and vision to produce such a product. This doesn’t apply to Take-Two and Rockstar as they have created another gem of a video game, but considering the time and money that went into this game’s development, anything less than what GTA5 is, would not be acceptable. I say this without factoring in any aspect of the online segment of this game as it’s yet to be released. Running around with an actual crew of your own buddies, online in the world of GTA has been a dream for many gamers and what seems to await us all on October 1 experience. But we don’t know quite yet what will be involved beyond the availability of “hundreds” of missions and micro transactions paving the way.

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GTA5 really pushes the limit of the M-rating for video games as the excessive violence, pervasive nudity and relentless vulgarity are upstaged by the sheer adult content of the story and being able to understand why these characters are driven to the behavior they choose to engage in. Kids that are getting their mothers and grandmothers to buy this game for them should not be playing this because it’s much more involved than Call of Duty shooting. I say this because parents need to get smarter than their kids in regards to these kinds of games and because I don’t want these brats fouling up my online gameplay. Just kidding, but seriously, I don’t believe that video games turn kids into sociopaths, but immature people exposed to this kind of game without guidance might have their world outlook altered in unhealthy ways. Kids will find a way to play GTA5. It’s a fact. Parents need to be there for their kids to talk about it.

GTA5 is an excellent game that’s actually worthy of the $59.99 price point for a brand new copy, but by no means is it a “perfect” game. If I had to sum up its number one weakness (beyond the technical) it would be the restrictive controls and “feel” of the game, which is vintage Rockstar. Sure, the main characters are the furthest thing from trained ninjas, but I would have appreciated more precision to the overall control scheme. I also would have liked bank heists or high end robberies to be a larger presence throughout the game. I don’t think Rockstar would be concerned with stepping on the toes of a game like Payday 2, but as the player’s trio of protagonists attracts more heat, they aren’t exactly seeing the high reward for their high risk which results in fewer dollars to spend on stocks, property, vehicles and weapons to have even more fun with. Despite it all, GTA5 is just too much fun to pass on and the potential of GTA Online is as high as the sky, so my only recommendation to appropriate audiences is to pick this game up ASAP. Please, game responsibly.

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GTA 5 Excitement and Next-Gen Considerations

GTA 5 Excitement and Next Gen Considerations

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

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We are mere days away from the release of what everybody, their mothers, grandmothers and so on and so forth have dubbed as the biggest, best and de facto “Game of the Year” of 2013 in the form of Grand Theft Auto 5. Few video games these days have that legitimate, widespread and cultural excitement factor attached to its release, but then not every franchise is as impactful as the crown jewel of Rockstar’s library. GTA 5 was meant to have been released earlier than the tail end of this generation’s counsel cycle, but as it stands between Xbox 360 and PS3, the end has been loaded with so many software goodies that it begs the question whether we really “need” the Xbox One or PS4 this November. I certainly thought so since it’s been almost ten years since the HD generation launched with the 360 back in 2005. Thus, as soon as the rumors of the next gen started becoming more tangible, I began to consolidate my collection, played out the games I really wanted to revisit in my back log and traded in just about everything else once pre-orders commenced at GameStop. Yet here we are talking about one of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry extending the current generation’s life cycle well into the next as nothing has been officially announced regarding this game on newer machines . . . yet.

“You ain’t gotta like it ‘cause the hood gone love it.”
GTA 5 is currently the most expensive game created in video game history with a budget around $265 million dollars employing over 300 designers, artists and programmers to bring us the next evolution of GTA. If anyone had any doubts regarding “Triple A” game production mirroring Hollywood, just consider the immensity of that starting dollar amount. With such a huge investment on the front end, I found it incredibly curious how Rockstar had zero plans (publicly) to have this incredible game release with the next generation counsels. One would think it a no-brainer considering it would be an automatic attached software sale linked to every hardware unit sold. Other major franchises such as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are completely on board with this initiative and releasing their software on as many platforms as possible maximizes their profitability. Yes, Activision and Ubisoft are fans of money, but that doesn’t mean Rockstar isn’t. Pre-orders for GTA 5 on Xbox 360 and PS3 alone seem to have units sold; outpacing even the annual Call of Duty juggernaut. Clearly, the people want their GTA now!

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“All you hear is radio ga-ga.”
For me, the only thing more exciting than the release of a marquee game is the release of a brand new and more powerful platform. When it was announced that GTA 5 would not launch with the next generation I was disappointed; so much so that I was fully prepared to overlook GTA 5 this year because I knew (as everyone else seems to know) that this game will eventually exist for Xbox One and PS4 (and PC) at some point and probably sooner than later in 2014. This is a foregone conclusion what with Rockstar’s history of “Game of the Year” re-releases for several titles in their library. Money seems to get tighter and tighter, and so I chose the next generation plus Watch Dogs as my primary entertainment later this year, but then I had an epiphany. I was honestly banking on two things to hold me over between now and November: BioShock Infinite DLC and The Last of Us multiplayer. Unfortunately, the release timing for BioShock’s DLC has been sluggish and TLoU multiplayer, though satisfying at first, has become bland and frustrating recently. I found myself with a two month dead zone that nothing else in my back log would fulfill, and then details regarding GTA Online (the multiplayer extension of GTA 5) started to cycle about the internet and I was sold on getting on board ASAP! GTA Online, though not quite an MMO evolution of the franchise, offers the potential immersion, customization and variety of a multiplayer experience that GTA 4 failed to fully realize and few could have predicted as possible on the current generation. Rockstar’s well conceived advertising and information control campaign regarding this game was very compelling and with various online media entities broadcasting so much potential, I simply could not miss out.

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“I don’t think Hank done it this way.”
As anticipated as GTA 5 is, the timing of its release is curiously atypical for a “Triple A” title of its caliber. A game this big usually drops somewhere in the middle of a generation where developers have had plenty of experience with the hardware and the consumer base is already established and continues to grow. Software releases at the end of a generation are populated with more titles that exist on both generations than exclusives on one or the other to accommodate consumers who jump in feet first as well as those that hold back on the next generation. However, it is inevitable that developers will eventually cease all production on old technology. So far, Rockstar is banking on the current gen, but the dawn of a new generation means the virtual countdown for the current one has begun. We will see GTA 5 on next gen machines, but that game has been in development for a number of years and sometimes making a “port” of a finished product to run on beefier machines that can deliver better graphics and functionality isn’t as simple and cost-effective as one would think. Rockstar wants some return on its investment now before going further into the hole.

If Rockstar was determined to release this game this year, why do it so close to the launch date of the next generation for which you won’t even be participating in initially? First, you cannot argue with the allure of a Fall release and the enhanced sales every software title receives thanks to its proximity to the holidays. Historically, for games to take full advantage of retail promotions directly linked to Christmas, they tend to release in October. The genius of releasing in September gives GTA a full month of sales unopposed by any other major title which won’t appear until the likes of Lego: Marvel Super Heroes, Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin’s Creed 4 and Battlefield 4 release in late October. By then, GTA Online will have hit its stride allowing GTA 5 to continue to compete with the rest of the major titles for the remainder of the Fall. This also leaves the window wide open for Rockstar to re-release GTA 5 with any and all DLC and enhanced features for the next generation as a “new” game based on a completed product sometime in the future.

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Will the next generation release in November break this game’s momentum? I actually don’t think so, and the main reason for this will be consumer prudence regarding the new machines. Yes, it’s true that this upcoming generation has the best pre-order numbers of any previous generation, but the bulk of a counsel’s sales success is not solely determined by the launch window. Not every game enthusiast has $4-500 dollars to get in on the ground floor, and the shear existence of new machines means that the old ones will continue to get marked down, making the current generation much more lucrative especially when games like GTA 5 exist for machines that continue to get less expensive. Both Microsoft and Sony are talking about the healthy legs left on their current machines despite the excitement surrounding their new ones and this can only mean good things for GTA and Rockstar.

Hardcore gamers are the ones that are fueling the hype for the Xbox One and PS4, and given the choice between playing GTA 5 on current or next gen counsels, most would prefer a more powerful machine. It remains to be seen how “upset” consumers who invest in the new technology right away might be once GTA 5 releases for the next generation, but much of that will be determined when that actually happens. If GTA 5 comes out for XB1 and PS4 in January of 2014, for instance, we might be witness to some severe responses on the internet. It would be interesting to see if Rockstar would spearhead an upgrade campaign similar to what GameStop is doing in regards to consumers who want a certain game now, would also want it for next gen counsels, but don’t want to pay $59.99 twice for the same game. Such an incentive would be a show of good faith to everyone who bought into GTA 5 immediately, regardless of the release date of its evolved iteration, and I would like to think Rockstar has some kind of plan addressing the next gen conundrum that doesn’t involve purely sticking it to the consumer.

Grand Theft Auto V: The Official Trailer:

Grand Theft Auto V: The Official Gameplay Video:

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