Grand Theft Auto 5 begins with a bank robbery: Michael, Trevor and their buddy Brad make a long-planned burglary, but get into a firefight with the cops. Brad and Michael are shot, only Trevor escapes. Nine years later, Los Santos: In the sunny metropolis and film city of the fictional U.S. state of San Andreas, not really dead Michael lives in the witness protection program of the FIB (Federal Investigation Bureau), a luxurious life with his wife and children - but this is so messed up that he now sees his psychiatrist very often.


While Michael's biggest worries are the messed up family and the monotony of prosperity, the African-American ghetto gangster Franklin lives a worse life. For a shady car salesman he brings luxury cars of the unsuspecting fools back who paid overpriced rates, which they can't afford anymore - money gone, car gone! On one of his “take back adventures” Franklin meets Michael, and they begin to like each other.

As the ex-bank robber needs money, he contacts his old friend Lester, who is planning a burglary with him and Franklin. Because of the media response to the attack Trevor becomes also aware of his presumed dead friend: The Crystal-Meth-Dealer/gun dealer/smuggler gets in his half-broken car and drives to Los Santos. However, the reunion does not lead to happiness, but to a number of entanglements, robberies and a whole lot of dead bodies. To give you a feel for the three very different characters, you have to do longer passages with Franklin, Michael and Trevor. The people are introduced gradually, initially pursuing its own storyline before their paths cross with each other. When you are into Urban Culture, start off with Franklin, who has rather a soft spot for movie enthusiasts, and aging bank robbers with family problems, selects Michael. Well, and who is a bit sadistic and has a weakness for losers without shame, chooses Trevor.

To get the illusion of the living world right, Rockstar has integrated mini-cutscenes for the character change. So for example when you jump form Michael to Franklin, it may happen that he just comes from a hemp booth. When jump to Trevor, you might catch him while he throws some members of biker gang The Lost off a bridge.

Rockstar had repeatedly emphasized that the figures pursue their own life if you give away control, and that you can get into completely unpredictable situations when you switch . Well, these are obviously mini intros already stored on the disk , but they accomplish that it really feels like something happened to Michael, Franklin and Trevor while you were away.

Planning a heist

While each character has their own missions in which he, for example, steals certain vehicles, executes criminals with a sniper rifle, or burns down the drug labs in the competition, there are also types of missions in which they have to work together. These so-called “Heists” (raids) are basically divided into four phases: scouting, plan, procure equipment and finally do it.

To make some money, Michael turns to his old friend Lester. Together the two scout an expensive jewelry store in Los Santos. Michael walks in with camera glasses to deliver images of ventilation shafts, security cameras and alarm systems. Within a brief conversation with a saleswoman he finds out that the expensive things are exhibited in cash nearby. Then Michael takes a short trip to the roof where he takes a photo of the air conditioner. Now he goes back to his hideout. Lester has a plan, which he describes with a collection with photos and drawings.

We have two possibilities: either we shoot wildly around us, or we go in silently, we initiate anesthetic gas through the air conditioning. For both approaches, we definitely need a disguise. Lester recommends to move in as exterminators. Now we have to steal the vehicle in that fits our needs. When we want to anesthesize customers and staff we must also get some gas. Since Lesters eyes and ears are everywhere, he can help us in both cases and sends us (as Michael) in separate missions to get the needed things.

But first we have to select helpers: We need a driver and a gunner. Lester suggests several candidates. We can get an overview of how well they ride and shoot. Depending on your skill demand the guys want more or less money, we also have to give them some of our loot. In later raids we can hire them again by the way - if they survive..

Give me your fucking jewels!

Let's do this. We choose “goodnight” way. The squad drives off together with motorcycles and the exterminator van. Franklin workplace is on a scaffolding which brings him to the roof of the jeweler. Franklin climbs up the roof, reaches the air conditioning and tosses a gas grenade. Now it's Michael's job. We enter the store and break the glass showcases. Then we have two minutes before the police comes after us. To do it right we remember our chat with the saleswoman to get the really expensive jewelery too. W we want to leave the shop before the countdown ends and join our waiting squad outside to go back to our hideout. But a security guard stands in our way and we already hear the police sirens - really close! The guard is summarily defeated, and the assault squad moves in separate directions. We jump to Franklin, who flees along with the two hired temporary workers on the bike. The trip goes through narrow streets, wide main roads, we jump from highway bridges and even swish through the freshly dug tunnel of a new subway line - with cops behind us. As we have shaken off the cops and reached the hideout, we want to celebrate: We have finished our first big raid successfully! We don't get the money immediately, but after Lester has washed the it, we can look forward to almost a million in our account.

Most raids are like this in the game. We do smaller raids in a triple-team, and greater ones with accomplices which we get in the main storyline. The many components gather up, having to decide how to run the thing - these are refreshingly new components in the series, which, although it's constantly reinventing itself, came to a halt in recent years. It is extremely motivating to put together a team of accomplices to which you build trust. Moreover, the raids are damn exciting and imaginative.

To be continued

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