Rollercoaster.

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One thing I’ve always liked to do in GTA is slow down my driving or my walking and take everything in. I love to obey traffic laws, role play a trip to the shops, make sure I park properly. After the first year it’s largely all I did in IV. In the new game however, I seem to be in a mad rush. I haven’t really walked slowly taking in the storefronts or slowly along the beach. Everything has just been a 100 mph laugh riot of excess.

Even halfway through the story I can’t seem to slow down and mellow out. I can’t put my finger on why, either. It could well be the amount of interesting areas on the map and I also think wanting to take snapmatics of all the sights could be the culprit. As much as I’m enjoying ploughing through it, I’m beginning to want to slow it down and take it all in. Less work, more play.

Mission Possible

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One of the key features I enjoyed in GTA IV was the cover system for gunfights. I’m not the best gamer when it comes to combat – I’ve only just started to get to grips with FPS for example. IV had a system where you could pretty much wait and pick enemies off without it getting too frenzied and you felt powerful. Thankfully this has been retained in V, with a little modification.

The beauty of this system is it allows you to see the deeper parts of the storyline without you becoming frustrated. Granted, it makes it easier for hardened action gamers, but the net result is more people get to see what the writers have thought up and get to the ending. This inclusive nature means very few must come away from GTA feeling cheated, which is to be applauded.

The East Coast.

Sorry for the lack of updates this weekend, any spare hours I got went into playing GTA, which is still wowing me every time I load it up. Today’s topic is about the eastern side of the map. I can safely say I initially saw very little to tempt me back after a quick glance at the map and a brief walk around. There was just more life and interesting sights on the west and north coasts.

I’d been wooed by the dilapidated cool of Sandy Shores and vertical fun of Chilliad too often. Looking at the map last night, I got a bit frustrated with the gaps on the map, indicating parts I’d yet to uncover. Starting with some of the fun, off-road trails of Chilliad, I moved over to the eastern coast and walked the narrow path of Mount Gordo. I liked the hikers and odd mountain bikers dotted around and then appreciated the lighthouse from above.

By the time I got to the peak and looked out over the radio tower – making sure to nail the cougar intent on eating me – I could finally see why this part of the map was built this way. With no distractions, you can freely walk and take in the draw distance of Los Santos and feel removed from the hustle and bustle of society. I’d once wished they’d used this part of the map to add another small town, but now I’ve understood its appeal, I’d not want to change it at all.

A Love Story

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Just a man and his truck and the other mother road. I’m into hot rods and their style, so when I saw people’s customised Rat Loaders, I knew I had to get one for myself. Loading up YouTube, I watched a video which showed Sandy Shores to be its natural habitat. Driving to the same spot several times, the RL never materialised.

I decided to comb the region and eventually saw one, behind a fence. Jumping over, I only triggered a side mission with Cletus and by the time the cut scene kicked in, it had gone. Having killed some tyres and satellite dishes, I drove around again, this time finding the latest bounty. Knackered and ugly, here was the canvas, ready to become my new trophy wife.

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It was never going to win a beauty contest looking like Tow Mater, so I headed straight for Los Santos Customs on Route 68. Once it was prepared to my liking, I drove it back to Trevor’s trailer. In the moment of arranging the two car garage, the Rat Loader disappeared. Gutted by this, I drove around the block, hopeful it was just a cruel trick of the game code.

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Thankfully, I thought of the impound and after a mad rush to Los Santos by quad bike, there she was; Delilah. Losing her like that forged a bond and now she had a name. Together we drove around the two counties, taking memories to share with y’all. Thank you for reading.

Trevor.

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Trevor, You’re Bizarre.

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From his wardrobe to his demeanour, I’m absolutely captivated by Trevor and his wayward personality. Franklin was ok, maybe a little obvious, whilst Michael was falling back into crime just like many protagonists in popular culture. Trevor on the other hand, he’s a pantomime freak, full of spite and malice. Watching him crack skulls and kick holes in bikers is always captivating. He’s even got a great taste in clothing.

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His default wardrobe is typical rural slacks and dirty tees, but you take him to the clothing stores and he gets the best treatment of all three characters. Taking hipster values and working them as only he can, we have a sharp dressed madman on our hands. Ill-fitting suits in pastel colours, quirky shoes and lovely wayfairer glasses are just one part of his style.

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He also has a snazzy line of bowling shirts, ironic snap back caps and colourful tees. Basically, Trevor is how I’d love to dress and I’m vicariously living through him and his wardrobe. Hopefully there fashions will cross over into the online game. Would seem to be a waste if they don’t.

Vinewood Sights

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Snapmatic has been working much more consistently today, so I’ve been able to finally do a themed shoot. I hope to do many more of these, based on different themes and today’s is on the view from the Vinewood Sign area. Los Santos looks stunning in good weather.

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Landscape photography is my favourite genre when I use my own cameras, so to be able to partake in one of my hobbies within the beautiful GTA world is a dream come true. It gets bandied about all too often, but I genuinely think this a masterpiece.

The ‘Moment’

Each GTA game has its standout, hallmark moment. Where the event taking place and the song playing combine to make what I like to call the ‘Moment’. It’s just happened to me in GTA V and I’ve only unlocked Trevor this morning. Riding a Sanchez along the shoreline of the Alamo Sea and listening to Hank Thompson’s “Love Doesn’t Hurt Anymore.” Priceless.

Shot.

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I finally got Snapmatic working consistently this morning, so fired off quite a few shots. The landscape was looking tasty in the fading light, can’t wait to be able to get shots uploaded consistently. Missed so many moments already due to the server load issues.

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Mr Mischief

As a contrast to last night’s intrepid explorer, tonight I was a naughty troublemaker. What was intended to be a leisurely cruise along Vespucci Beach turned into a fist fight and then hiding from the police. After I lost my heat, I promptly stole a Vapid Dominator muscle car. I took it up the coast road I drove on last night, but the experience couldn’t be any more different.

Once I got to a convenience store, I staged my first armed robbery. Short of cash from my failed attempt to play the stockmarket, I did what any up and coming criminal would do and poke a gun in a clerk’s face and make off with a few hundred. Once again, I hid from the law and moved onto another soft target, this time in Sandy Shores. I repeated the same routine and made off with more money.

I still had the car from the beach hijack, so I treated it to a new paint job and put it in my lock up. The spoils of being naughty. What’s so good about GTA is that I’ve done nothing constructive towards the storyline this evening, but still made hours of fun for myself. I could probably spend weeks like this, just putting together ideas and playing them out. I can’t get enough of this fantastic game.

Taking the High Road

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Starting from this little cove on the edge of the Alamo Sea, I managed to scale the heights of Mount Chilliad in this rusty old BF Injection. Getting up there was no easy task, as the path is narrow and treacherous near the summit. The off road bug made it though, and I even got Snapmatic to work long enough to get some shots!

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Of course, getting down was also part of the fun and the aerial tramway wasn’t as fun as launching the car down the mountainside. Bounding from rock to rock until I reached the grassy foothills, the car took quite a pounding, but make it, she did.

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It even got me back to Los Santos!