The New First Person Mode in ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Fundamentally Changes the Game

By November 4, 2014

Grand Theft Auto V is coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One on November 18th, with a PC version following shortly after in January of next year. Playstation released a new trailer for the game highlighting something that will only be available on the newest version of the game: a first-person mode. Watch the trailer below:

I’m not quite sure how to feel about this. One one hand, I remember playing the original incarnations of Grand Theft Auto, which gave players a 2D, bird’s-eye-view experience that is very different than how gamers know the franchise today. I was stoked to play Grand Theft Auto III when it debuted on the PS2 in 2001, and even though the third game was light-years away from what the second game was, I embraced the new game and enjoyed the hell out of it. So maybe I should be open-minded when it comes to new versions of familiar games, considering these games are constantly evolving and moving forward as time goes on. Grand Theft Auto V is utterly massive, and having logged countless hours playing it, it’s tough to imagine a more sprawling, detailed, playable landscape could ever be engineered (but of course one will be – it’s only a matter of time)

GTA V bike

But on the other hand, while some of the moments detailed in this new trailer look kind of cool, this new development doesn’t actually move anything forward as far as technology goes. The jump from GTA II to III was like ramping over the Grand Canyon; going from the regular GTA V to this first-person version looks more like stepping over a crack in the sidewalk. The first-person thing has obviously been done hundreds of times before (the Far Cry series immediately comes to mind for me personally, since I logged a ton of hours playing Far Cry 2 back in the day), and is still continuing to succeed with the Call of Duty franchise and tons more leading the charge. This just looks like that. There’s nothing that particularly screams “Grand Theft Auto” about a first-person experience; the games have evolved into something else now, and I don’t really think a first-person view really captures what they’re trying to accomplish.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this could be the next phase in GTA evolution, and I’ll one day look back and remember our current third-person versions of these games as “the old GTA.” What do you think?

For more GTA V talk, check out my piece on The Best Game of 2013 here.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.