About GTAIV... well, in a way, as I already said, this is not a sequel and continuation of San Andreas ideas, it more like "reboot". This why it called IV - a new generation of GTA games, a fresh start, same as III was. So while technologies are revolutionary to the series, gameplay, missons and all stuff around in a way are more like "GTAIII's realistic version". Hovever I was dissapointed for example that there only city and only on small islands like gta3-VC was, I expected not much, but at least a little bit of near countryside, maybe a couple of small towns around. For example - first island in game is kind of real life equivalen of long island of real life. They can extend it a bit beyond airport, add some small forest, 2 small towns and some sort of old XVIII century fort - it is not that hard for Rockstar.
And yea, game kind of easy in many ways. For example there like 5 missions to "chase car and kill person", but they all same - you don't need to kill person while you chasing him, they all just crash somewhere and whill waiting you on foot which is kind of boring. There no ultra crazy tasks for time or things like "jump from helicopted and land on plane, capture it and destroy military base" - you know, kind of stuff that normal for GTA. 90% of missions just shooting, and as I said, shooting there cover based and easy as fuck.
Also, I playing trought GTAV now too, and as metioned, enjoyed it more than before. Trought, there a lot things that done meh and could be much better. First thing that I remember triggered me since first trailers - why GTA5? It kind of same style and same things as IV just advanced. You know, VC, SA, VCS, LCS - they all was not "4", they was addons to 3, and number should mean that something really changes - like universe changed again, but in 5 there nothing like that. They can just call it "GTA Los Santos" or something like this, but not 5. Second - map is big, detailed, but feels not as interesting as GTA SA did. SA map obviously smaller, but there was hell lot of things everywhere - a lot of detail, many different regions and cities with really different amosphere. There - Los Santos and around and it feels kind of less interesting honestely. Feels like something not there, not enough of cool stuff. Always think that they can make San Diego for example, lol. From gameplay part - there was dramatic changes in all mechanics, and while some are fun, some not so much. Like new gunfights are more active. You can sit in cover but it not so safe and mission always forcing you to change your position. Enemies much more weak so gameplay style of moving around and kill enemies quickly is more effective, which add dynamic to shooting missions that GTAIV lacked. However things like car control and car physics feels more arcady again. Yeah in GTA4 it was probably too much, but there even with driving skill system it feels like... eeh.
Characters and plot are really a thing that I have mixed opinion - Idea of having three characters kind of reduce your connection to your hero. We will not touch Claude since he has no any personality, but despied other characters had background, you kind of associated yourself with them, you have that touch, that feeling of avatarhood. Even when character is kind of wierd like Tommi Vercetti, which was in prison 17 years, have problems with Rage, can kill easely and have psyhology of real mafiosi killer and criminal, and same time have manners and overall not a "simple guy", you have appeal to him and his actions too. You can imagine yourself in his shirt. Who does that guy think he is? Now I gotta dress like a chump as well as hang out with them? I like this shirt..
But for characters of "stories" games and for "episodes" I don't say same - however they are spinoffs and it is all right, it is kind of their idea to be additional stories that expand stories of already existing characters. But GTA5 is main game in series, and it have 3 characters same time and I have no direct appealing to any of them. Maybe if you really really liked one of them you are lucky but I not managed to build such connection to anyone of them. And game not concreticly put finger who from them are main one. Michael - nice guy, but his family is aanoying and he is too dumb to build even simple dialogues with his bydlo relatives. Trevor is just psycho with memes who kind of fan, but you can not feel that you want be him and he plays kind of additional role. Franklin - he kind of pretend to be main guy, but he waaaay behind CJ who already have famous role of ghetto-guy, and sometimes feels that he have not mcuh attention. All of this guys looks like awesome side-characters that always around you, but I sadly not feel any of them as main character. And fact that they all three same time damage this feeling even more.
Another gameplay stuff - I don't like switch characters menu and switch them during mission. This game also have problem of old GTAs of explaining controls very briedfly right in time you already need did it perfect for mission - swimming and YOGA was annoying to get. Police kind of lame and easy, at least in low-mid stars seach, it very easy to loose them. I don't know why they not keeped system at least from GTA4, also on streets cops are really rare, it much harder to get a star out of mission than in previous games. Weapon selector sucks too. First person mode are useless and added just for fun. There too much stuff and most of it connected to GTA Online. All this weapons skins, all this phone modes, SMS, mail, too much of this shit - yes it has no this annoying meeting system from GTA4, but there always everything around, always everything that game wants something from you, you don't feel that level of freedom you had in San Andreas, while in San Andreas there a lot of stuff to do too. And finaly what makes this game lacks personality - sseting. LA. Modern times. 3 was wierd by itself, VC is 80s miami, SA is early 90s california - this games not only just some sort of territory, but they re-created certain historical period. In gta5.. well it become so only when there 15 years passed since release and what in game become "historic" by itself.
But overall, just plaing, doing shit, doing fun in GTA5 more interesting than GTA4. And missions technically much more fun too, however again, this is not San Andreas level. But anyway, I wonder, what they will do in next GTA. I also was dissapointed of lack of new Single player addons and stuff, exept cars and clothes that appearing in-game from multiplayer. And sad that not all MP stuff avalible at SP. I not fan of merging SP with MP like that.