Entering the digital GTAge
In a world where game manuals are slowly becoming extinct, I was extremely happy upon opening my copy of GTA 5 to be greeted by not only an instruction manual, but also a full map. Thus, in some ways, it is odd that Grand Theft Auto V: The Manual app even exists. Which is not to say that it isn’t welcome, choice is always good, but it does seem a little unnecessary.
All the options
Starting the app you get a choice to select the desired language and the platform you own the game on.
Once this is done, the app offers little over its paper counterpart. Rather than flipping between pages, you can select the sections menu, which is brought up by tapping the icon at the top right of the screen. This is handy for finding out how to execute specific tasks, but not so useful if you just want to browse through the settings.
A new view
Bringing up the control page, you are able to handily pick between default options (such as driving or on foot) from a drop down menu, but other than that it makes no use of its digital format. You can’t press a virtual digital button and bring up all possible commands tied to it, or search for a specific task and have its inputs presented. It’s a half step that is made redundant by the existence of the physical manual.
The one interesting and useful element of the GTA V: The Manual is in the map. Here you can switch between three different views - atlas, satellite, and road - to give you a clear view of the world. You can also filter activities and points of interest. It may not be necessary, but it is the one element of the app that really feels like it adds something.
Grand Theft Auto V: The Manual makes a lot of sense for those who bought the game digitally, as it saves them exiting it to access the digital manual. Really though, thanks to a good tutorial and a well laid out interface in the game, this app feels a little superfluous.