2013 was an immensely important year for video games. The next generation of consoles were finally released to much fanfare, and several titles that surpassed what everyone thought was possible with the medium arrived in living rooms across the globe. Take Two’s Grand Theft Auto V stands above the rest, largely because of its innovative method of storytelling and the expansive environment the developers have created for players to interact with.
The highest revenue generating entertainment product of all time has some pretty cool CC’s as well.
The in-game universe of GTA V is set in the fictional city of Los Santos, a not-so-subtle riff on Los Angeles. As such, it highlights the worst features of that city – namely, the rampant narcissism and shallowness that trickles out of California and into the American cultural zeitgeist. The consumer products we us on a daily basis are parodied as well. As we shall see, some of the curbside classics border on copyright infringement while others are clever alternate world mash-ups of what could have been.
Say hello to the Albany Emperor, a dead wringer for the Cadillac Brougham, of course. This game really has everything a regular reader of this site would enjoy…except for a Taurus clone. Should I start a Change.org petition? Anyway, this car drives as well as you would expect it to; slow, but in that land-yacht type of lethargy. Personal experience has determined that the Emperor becomes useless after trying to land on a highway after jumping off a mountain. Overall its a pretty disappointing piece of virtual transportation.
The Albany Primo, most likely the newer, likely front wheel drive brother to the Emperor looks quite similar to the early nineties Buick Regal. But it isn’t exactly a copy paste affair, as my eyes see some Lincoln Continental of similar vintage thrown in there as well. My in-game experience of this car is pretty good – it has decent power and handles pretty well when taking turns.
Next up we have a Bollokan Prairie. Does this car originate from a former Warsaw Pact nation in this game? I have no idea, but this car is unmistakably a Hyundai Tiburon with a different shirt and pants. Off the line acceleration in the Prairie is quite good, while everything else is an absolute crapshoot. This coupe does not pass the “drivable after smashing into a building” test the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will no doubt require on cars one day.
Now the case of the Bravado Buffalo is an interesting one in that it is the only instance of GTA V featuring two generations of a vehicle. The white sedan above is actually a picture of the only one available – it’s the personal car of a prominent character. I guess the developers must be fans of the Dodge Charger. As you can see, the Buffalo, like its real world counterpart, enters the Large Grille Era of which we currently find ourselves. How does the car perform? Very, very well. So good in fact, that I own one in the online iteration of the game.
And thus concludes part one of a several part series. I just realized how strange it is to review cars that I’ve driven on a television screen, but such is the life of a 21st century citizen. Anyway, the song above is featured on one of the in-game radio stations, and its enjoyable when driving around the streets of Los Santos committing illegal acts that would put you in the slammer for life in the real world. It’s also a pretty meta song for playing a video game as well.
Looking at the Albany Primo, you don’t see Cadillac Seville? Regal? Nay.
As both a car and GTA V nerd, I’m with you. Some cars are some really bizarre mash ups of real life cars, but the Primo is primarily a Seville, except for the C-pillar window treatment, and slightly Buick-y taillights.
But great choice on a write-up! I’m finished with the main storyline of the game, but I still drive around stealing and customizing cars for fun, it never gets old!
Taillights look like they’re from an Allante to me.
Have you played online? It’s quite fun, you should check it out.
I’ve played it a few times and it’s pretty fun but I’ve never been a huge multiplayer fan. Big reason I was attracted to the GTA series in the first place was that it was that I could have just as much fun single player.
I haven’t bought this game, but I was disappointed that “V” got rid of the Faction (G-body Regal) and the didn’t bring back the Cabbie (Checker Marathon).
Looks like a Plymouth Acclaim or Lincoln Continental with an Allante nose to me….Pretty interesting how closely some of these come to being dead-on, blatant rip-offs of real cars.
There’s a nice wiki on the cars of the GTA universe. You can follow the evolution of the cars and nameplates from the earliest versions of the game to the latest. If you have a couple of hours to spare….
As to the Buffalo being the only 2nd gen available, don’t forget the Cavalcade (Escalade). GTA V has both the current style new to GTA V, and the 2002-2006 Escalade styled version carried over from GTA IV.
Yeah? I’ll have to keep an eye out (and steal both of them, obviously).
There are two generations of the BMW 7-Series as well.
The Albany Primo reminds me of a large model Audi. The 200 or S8.
When i first got GTA and saw the Albany Emperor i wondered how thy got away with not getting licensing from GM, because that is a 77-79 cadillac deville/fleetwood. They’ve done this before, i can’t remember their names but Vice City had a near exact replica of the Cutlass and corvette C4.
Sabre(and Sabre turbo) and Banshee. They only seemed to fudge the amount of taillights.
The Coquette is like this too, basically a 2014 Corvette by another name.
I’m sure they are just different enough that they pass trademark muster. I’d also imagine that as a parody work they could make a reasonable case that they are protected like Cracked or Mad Magazine.
The Coquette is not the only car where they just changed the name. The Vapid Dominator is a Mustang, Truffdale Adder is a Bugatti Veyron, and the Coil Voltic is the Tesla roadster.
There is a good representation of the automotive ecosystem, with everything from Classic Cars, Forklifts, to Hosteling Tractors (Docktug) to Semi-Trucks to Suicycle and Custom Choppers.
I was upset they 86’d the Uranus from GTA IV. It was the front wheel drive fox body Mustang, no matter how asinine that sounds.
I was disappointed there was no Fortune (the MN12 Thunderbird) in V, especially since I could have modded it! Ugh! But I can’t complain, this game is awesome. Easily the best in the series to me and I’m not just saying that because it’s the newest thing(I felt and still feel GTA IV paled in comparison to Vice City and San Andreas when I got it). And yes I’m a huge fan of the series if you couldn’t tell lol
I’m surprised you didn’t pick out the ultimate CC worthy version of the Emperor, you go out to Sandy Shores(Sultan Sea) and you’ll find all sorts of them riddled with patina(as well as several other cars in similar shape)
That’s why part of me wants to get a new computer and buy the PC version when it comes out, because the modders will create any car you want and stick it into the game.
I’m thinking of a yellow ’66 Ford pickup as a custom in-game car. Its name? The Niedermeyer Deluxe!
It just needs an online mission where you go to the rental yard and load 6000lbs over gross then try and make it across town.
There should also be a house-building mission 🙂
I’m always driving a “albany Emperor” aka Cadillac Brougham /DeVille (pre 85) at the GTA game. But sometimes I’ll need a faster car though.
Me too. I just wish you could change the interior colors too. I want white leather on my Emperor Brougham. Or triple yellow.
The Buffalo almost looks like it actually has better sight-lines than the real thing… 😛
As an enormous (figuratively, not literally) Queen and Freddie Mercury fan, I feel duty-bound to mention that Freddie and Billy Squier collaborated on three songs, Emotions In Motion, Love Is The Hero, and Lady With A Tenor Sax. Love Is The Hero is superb, but one of the best lines is in Lady With A Tenor Sax: “Cool lady, drives a mean Cadillac”.
Anyway, back to the article, I don’t know much about gaming, but that Albany Primo positively screams Y31 1987-91 Nissan Cedric/Gloria hardtop to me!
I’m really dissapointed the Declasse Rhapsody (essentially an AMC Pacer with a Gen 1 VW Rabbit front end) wasnt in GTA V. I absolutely loved it, and would steal one literally every chance i got because it was just that cool
In fairness, the Rhapsody was a DLC for The Lost and Damned only, it didn’t appear in the followup in The Ballad of Gay Tony either.
I just fired up the game recently and to my surprise there’s now a Rhapsody available in my garage after an online update, which can even be customized to full mirthmobile spec!
Edward! Great idea for an article! I’m not a big gamer but I have always been a huge GTA fan, mostly for the sandbox-style (I love exploring) and for the cars.
GTA V disappointed me. I didn’t feel it was a big enough leap forward from GTA IV, and while I love the desert and countryside, I preferred GTA: San Andreas’ map (with the red rock deserts and the separate landmasses)
What disappointed me most, though, was the proliferation of modern sports and luxury cars at the expense of all the older, more generic stuff. GTA IV was FULL of run-of-the-mill sedans, and while GTA V added a good roster of SUVs and crossovers, it still struck me as unrealistic (although I love the Cheval Fugitive, a 2014 Chevrolet SS clone).
Gone were the Faction, the Sabre, the Presidente… Ugh, it’s made me play GTA IV again.
My favorite GTA cars over the years have been 3/Vice City’s Idaho (dead-ringer for a 74-76 Riviera), Albany Presidente (Cadillac CTS), IV’s Willard (Buick LeSabre/Skyhawk), Dinka Hakumai (mid-80’s Honda Accord), the original Perennial (60s Chevy II wagon). My favorite car though, tied with the Albany Primo, was San Andreas’ Sunrise, this lowered, first-gen Chevy Lumina-esque sedan that had an engine note similar to Chevy V6s of the early 1990s.
I love GTA! Next game though needs to ditch the island set-up and add some nice, “boring” cars.
I agree, there was more automotive variety in GTA IV. I’m thinking they’ll release more cars in upcoming Dlc’s though.
It seemed to me they did this to mock the LA auto-scape. I was there only once, briefly, but it struck me the same way GTA V did. They can’t put every car in the game, but they put the important ones that give off the LA vibe.
The Cheval Fugitive is one of the most under-appreciated cars in the game. Especially it’s sound!! They’ve made it deceptively quiet from the normal driving camera distance, but pull the camera close into the bumper, or drive through a tunnel, and it sounds like an old big block V8. If you take it to Los Santos Customs and really tune it, it’s a beast!
I think a lot of the problem is the spawn characteristics. It seems like whenever I’m driving around Los Santos, no matter if it’s a wealthy area or ghetto area, the same batches of high end cars like the Felon are everywhere. There’s still a ton of old and regular cars but they’re infrequent and rare.
It seemed worse when I first got the game(midnight release) so maybe the subsequent patches have fixed it somewhat. A DLC would definitely be nice though.
If the DLCs for IV are any guide we can expect 15-20 new and/or reworked vehicles with each one.
I’m partial to the AE86 clone, the “Futo.” Drift monster. Cool mods too, some classic Japanese wheel styles, even Bosozoku style exhaust.
How about a “Rockford” Phoenix? 😀