The Curbside Classics Of Grand Theft Auto Five, Part 1

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 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.