GTA V is still some months away, but Rockstar gave a select band of game journos some hands on time with a pre-release build. Judging by the new screenshots and previews, GTA V could be truly epic, but it needs some serious polish first.
Rockstar delayed the release of GTA V because it said the game just wasn't where it needed to be yet. While it's apparently incredibly ambitious -- the biggest step up since Rockstar went 3D with GTA III -- it's not quite together yet.
Kotaku's Stephen Totilo put it best, as far as I can see:
"Rockstar has about four months to go to polish this game and deliver something special. Several years ago, I saw Red Dead Redemption at just about the same level of completion. It was about where GTA V appears to be now, so I'm hopeful about how this game will come together."
"At worst, this could be an interesting stumble of unrealised potential, taking the biggest risks I've seen in a GTA since GTA III."
Whatever happens, it'll be big. Really freaking big. According to CVG's Tim Weaver it'll be "equal to the size of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption combined" and that is truly enormous. In fact, it's probably the biggest open world ever attempted:
"Even for GTA, a series hellbent on bigger, better, more, this is a game of unprecedented, borderline-insane ambition. But, like the hero in one of Michael's Vinewood action movies, Rockstar might just be crazy enough to pull it off."
So, either way, GTA V is going to be a game changer. Whether it actually works or not as a decent game, is another story. I hope Rockstar pulls it off, because the studio has a lot riding on this. It looks great in all the screenshots and videos, but if it's just a disjointed, frustrating experience, not even a decent story line will save it. Anyway, both previews are worth a good read so check them out: [Kotaku, CVG]