A Look at the BradyGames Grand Theft Auto V Signature Series Guide

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If you have read DarkZero’s review for Grand Theft Auto V, then you’ll know that I thought the game was absolutely brilliant. I have no doubt that the game will be a contender for our site’s 2013 Game of the Year award. It’s a title full of content, packing a massive, feature-rich world crammed with secrets and challenges that will take players hours upon hours to hunt down and beat. Due to the scope of the game, a strategy guide seems to be ideal for a player who wants to have the information laid down in front of them with easy access as they look for the last few UFO pieces or are wondering where that final random event is. This is a look at the BradyGames guide for Grand Theft Auto V to see if it makes a worthwhile tour guide to exploring the city of Los Santos and its surroundings.

Flicking through the pages, you’re met with lots of pictures and text, giving off a great first impression that this guide is showing you all the details by using screenshots to supplement the text description. This BradyGames guide is fat, weighing in at 438 pages, and covers everything you need to know for the offline portion of Grand Theft Auto V. I have no idea where BradyGames stands with the online portion of Grand Theft Auto V, especially when it was announced that it will have over 500 missions, but I would say it’s safe to assume that they won’t be releasing a strategy guide for Grand Theft Auto Online.

Guide1

The guide does an excellent job at introducing the game’s features before you even get onto the main story walkthrough. It talks through the three main characters, their stats and their special abilities, along with how to improve them. Weapons get a couple of pages, also showcasing their stats, similar to the Call of Duty guides, except  not going as deep, since it doesn’t show graph accuracy against a target, but in a game like GTA V, it’s not something that exactly needs to be known. A weapon map is included that displays all the locations (with pictures) of every weapons that can be found freely around Los Santos and its outskirts. This is handy if you’re lost in the mountains, far away from a gun shop, and are looking for additional ammo. The last part of the basic section covers all the vehicles in GTA V, including pictures, specifications and how to unlock them if they can’t be stolen.

Covering quite a chunk of the guide is the main story walkthrough, which is split into each of the game’s 69 story missions. These are clearly labelled with screenshots and black bars to alert the reader what mission they’re gazing at. Under each mission description are the main objectives and which character is involved. Maps with key locations stamped with numbers are used to link to the descriptions to the side of the page, normally relating to part of a mission objective. At the end of every mission guide is the 100% target requirements for the gold medal award. I found this to be placed in the wrong area, as I would have personally preferred to see what I would need to do in order to be rewarded the gold medal before I began the mission. Apart from that minor niggle, everything else in that category is presented well and spaced out accordingly so that you don’t get lost while following its step by step walkthrough. Obviously, been a guide, expect zero resistance with spoilers, this guide goes deep with the explanations, so nothing is kept secret.

Guide2

One of the great things about the Grand Theft Auto series is that there is always other stuff to do, and Grand Theft Auto V was no different in that regard. The other meat of the guide is all the side quests and small activities that fill the world of GTA V. These follow the same layout as the story guide, with a contents page before the section that labels the side quests with page numbers for quick access. This is certainly the best way to handle such a huge part of the game, as having them congested with the main story walkthrough would be a convoluted mess, and not everyone wants to do the side quests straight away.

Finishing off the guide is the miscellaneous section. While GTA V doesn’t throw 200 pigeons out into the city for you to collect, there are a variety of hidden items that don’t belong to the 100% completion rate. These include packages, submarine parts, UFO parts, papers, waste collection and letter scraps, but the guide also alerts you to all the smaller activities, such as taking part in stunt jumps, aerial challenges and shop robberies. It follows the same principle as the other sections, making it really easy to use the maps and pictures to find all the secrets. The only thing you need to remember is if you have already found them or not; sadly, the book cannot tell you that.

Guide3

The Grand Theft Auto V BradyGames guide is a complete and informative book that includes everything you need to get yourself through the biggest release of the year with that perfect completion stat. It’s fairly safe to assume that there won’t substantial upgrades to the actual main story of Grand Theft Auto V, so the guide should stay relevant throughout history, which is something that a lot of strategy guides can’t always promise.

If you want to discover everything that Grand Theft Auto V has to offer without moving away from your TV set, the BradyGames signature series guide is just right for a person who doesn’t want to shift through pages of the internet to find what they are looking for. I do feel like additions could be added, such as game art – there isn’t much of that here, which is a bummer. I would also like them to involve the creators of the game, as it would be great to hear from the developers why they made this mission as it is or explain a situation or Easter egg in the game and why it was included. There’s nothing wrong with the walkthrough, but these extras would sure make it a nice collection for any fan of Grand Theft Auto. The strategy book, overall, is solid enough to warrant a purchase. You can find the guide for £7 at Amazon.

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