Grand Theft Auto V is coming PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and with it comes a new first person point of view. You can play the whole game from this perspective – whether you’re driving cars, flying planes, jumping out of them, or just causing havoc on the streets.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this will be great for a lot of people who can’t stand looking at the back of a character’s head, and I do think that some of the sights will be more impressive – particularly revisiting locations I’ve seen in the real-life LA – when viewed from a first person perspective, but overall I just don’t think that this first person mode is that much of a big deal.
On PC, people would inevitably mod this in anyway, as they have with previous games in the series, and I really doubt I would download that mod or play the game in it. Granted, this does look a whole lot better than such mods, thanks to the full development that Rockstar are able to give it, and requires a lot less work to get up and running, but it’s really not for me.
When I’m playing GTA, things are a bit different for me than they are in other games. In first person open-world games, such as Far Cry 3, I see myself as the character, but in GTA I’m watching the story of Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. I couldn’t possibly see myself as the quite insane Trevor, and when he’s shouting at the environment or talking to other characters, this would make some of the interactions a bit more strange.
It’s something that I immediately clocked when watching the trailer – the moment when Trevor’s trying to fly the plane and there’s a guy on the wing. I remember this being fine from the original perspective, but now you barely see what’s happening to the guy. Sure, some might find that a bit more exciting but I just don’t like missing out. Could you imagine this in other missions, such as the one where you’re flying the huge cargo plane? This is designed as a third person game, so inherently shows things of interest from that point of view.
Honestly, though, it’s the same reason I don’t use cockpit view when playing a racing game. Third person isn’t always the best when racing – although it does let you see all of the work put into the car models which are quite stunning in games such as Driveclub – but there’s bumper view, which lets you see your cars positioning without taking up about three quarters of the screen with a pointless amalgamation of appendages and panels.
And I feel like GTA, as the third person game it is and has always been, should be viewed in all its glory from this viewpoint, too. The reason it looks so good in the trailer isn’t because of this new perspective, but because they’ve really overhauled the visuals for the new consoles; you’ll be missing out on those animations which have undoubtedly been added to the characters themselves, and some of the action going on around you.
Admittedly, one part of the trailer – where Franklin is riding his bike through traffic – did pique my interest in the first person mode; it looks far speedier and more adrenaline-filled than I remember it being in third person, and perhaps police chases would benefit from this additional precision when winding through traffic.
Grand Theft Auto could yet convince me that its first person views works when I get my hands on the game, but I really don’t think that this is the way I want to play it. Of course, it’s just another option for you to turn on and off as you wish, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds when the game hits the new consoles later this month.