To be fair, it’s not just any manual, but a full 100-page brochure for one of the biggest videogame releases of all time: Grand Theft Auto V.
See, Grand Theft Auto V follows the recent videogame trend of shipping with an incredibly brief paper-based manual, simply detailing the controls, and including a link to the full manual online.
I’m not sure when exactly this particular trend started, but hey, it’s saving a sh*t-ton of paper. Er, sidestepping the fact that Grand Theft Auto V also comes packaged with a giant foldout map…
Actually, to be fair, the Grand Theft Auto V manual weighs in with more than 100 colour pages, so it would’ve been nigh on impossible to squeeze into the box.
The other benefit of having the Grand Theft Auto V manual hosted online and in app form (in addition to saving several rainforests) is interactivity – particularly when it comes to the map.
You can zoom in to view Los Santos & Blaine County in massive detail, and indeed the satellite mapping comes in handy for Trevor’s Red Dead Redemption-style bounty missions.
Furthermore, you can have the map split into neighbourhoods, each coming with its own description and a list of local attractions. Great Chaparal, for example, is described as “A no man’s land between the Vinewood hills and the Grand Senora Desert, you won’t find much other than scrubland and the occasional dead body.”
Other neat features include the full Grand Theft Auto V track listing (that’s all the tracks you’ll hear on the radio stations as you drive around causing havoc), and the cast.
All in all, it’s an interesting – and occasionally helpful – read, and ideal if you can’t stand to be away from Grand Theft Auto V when nature calls.
Oh, on a final note: Android owners should stay away from the Grand Theft Auto V: The Manual app on Google Play. It's a fake, but an official version will follow in due course.
- 100+ pages
- The interactive map
- Simple navigation
- Environmentally friendly
- Uhm, it’s… just a manual?
Summary: Grand Theft Auto V: The Manual is big, bright, colourful, and does its bit for the environment, and might help keep withdrawal symptoms at bay if you’re away from your Xbox or PS3.
Developer: Rockstar Games
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.