Why I Won’t Be Playing Grand Theft Auto V In First Person

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.



  1. Personally, I think this will be great. I’ve always disliked the 3rd person shooting in GTA games and hope this makes aiming slightly better. Also, as mentioned by Youles, my helicopter skills seem to improve in most games with first person. Driving cars will always be in 3rd person though, as I need to see the back sliding in order to correct it.

  2. Do any of you use your brain?
    It’s not for the main story that 1st person mode is made (even if available in it). It’s for GTA Online!
    Now, what do you said about “when I play 1st person it’s cause I want to imagine myself as the character”? Right. GTA Online is made to make YOU the main character of the game. So 1st person seems quite logical.
    Blair, you thought more before writing an article, some months ago…

    • Now what would be exceptionally funny is if first person is not actually an option for online.

    • Out of interest, has anyone confirmed the 1st person mode is available in multiplayer? I wouldn’t see why not really but I genuinely haven’t seen one person mention if it is definitely there.

      And as for your statement of “Blair, you thought more before writing an article, some months ago”, you do realise this is an opinion piece. He’s merely stating why he doesn’t like the idea. He also at no point says he is intending to play the game online, so if he doesn’t then 1st person doesn’t seem quite as logical as you may think.

      • CVG mention online FP races (as an example) and The Guardian mention online too. I think we’re fine. Phew. :-)

    • If that’s true then why does the trailer show moments from the story -mode in 1st person. It’s personal preference which view for both online & story.

    • There are ways to express yourself without sounding like a douche. That was not one of them.

  3. I don’t like FPS games so won’t be using the view in GTA V while on foot, but after watching the video I will give it go when driving and especially flying.

  4. I agree, one of my issues with this is that I don’t want to feel like I am one of these terrible people.

    Then there’s all the lost ragdoll action.

    And many of the action scenes seem so designed for third-person that I think you’ll lose out on a lot of it.

    And what about the smooth transitions between cutscenes and gameplay?

  5. Definitely FPS. Maybe I’ll stick to 3rd person when driving and flying. But the opportunity is unbelievable.
    Skyrim with guns and hookers and cops. Mind-blown!

  6. Nice article Blair, I think by writing it you’ve fallen into Rockstars clever trap, but that’s only if I’m right which is unlikely :)
    I think they’ve added first person for a bit of novelty, to add curiosity factor to a rerelease and mainly to get the game talked about some more, and it’s working a treat!

  7. The fact you can customise how you play is what really interests me.
    I’ll probably play a lot in first person purely because I’ve already played it right through in third.
    If I was coming to the game anew I don’t know how much I’d do in first person. I certainly agree with the point that you are watching these characters rather than inhabiting them, and also that you’d miss a lot of what’s going on around you.

    • I think it’s going to be great, fella. They’ve mentioned that you can dive into the Settings and set it up how you fancy (to a certain degree). I think, all driving will be 3rd person for me. The idea that I can’t see the back of my car for that split-second moment when I need to swerve out of the way of the cop car about to nudge my rear quarter to spin me out would have me screaming! Sod that. Full visibility please. :-)

  8. Don’t like first person, often makes me feel bad as well as somehow seeming far more unwieldy.

    Will be giving this new view a wide berth

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