More than a pretty face
Just over a year ago developer Rockstar’s latest Grand Theft Auto (GTA) was released to enormous critical and commercial success. Grand Theft Auto 5 won countless awards and garnered multiple perfect scores from outlets across the world. We thoroughly believed GTA 5 was the whole package, a robust city filled with individuals, fantastically written satirical characters, a myriad of side missions and action set-pieces and a world filled with more driving, boating and flying around than ever. So, when it was announced GTA 5 was going to be brought to the PS4 and Xbox One many (including myself) thought we were going to get a prettier version of the same game released a year ago, luckily we were wrong.
A New Way to See
The biggest addition to Grand Theft Auto 5 is the first-person mode. With the touch of one button the entire game effortlessly is switched from third-person to first-person point of view. Everything from seeing the characters hands while climbing ladders, flipping the bird while driving and looking uncontrollably around when thrown to the ground help submerse players in this world. Playing in this new perspective feels more intimate and puts you right in the action. Shooting, driving, flying and casual walks feel personal while giving players a new way to explore the beautiful Los Santos. As per usual, Rockstar’s addiction to detail puts the icing on this cake. When playing in first-person players are treated to the all new field of depth engine. By rendering what’s close with incredible detail while applying a blur to far away landscapes, first-person makes you feel like you’re looking through a window into this seemingly real world.
Quite the Looker
It would have been easy to use the more powerful machines to simply apply some new textures and call it a day. But Rockstar cares too much about their games and how they feel to do that, the key word being feel. San Andreas and Blaine County have been crammed with more people, animals and scenic details. The city truly feels alive, streets will be crowded at peak hours of the day while more vacant at night. The desert also received some new inhabitants, small critters and bugs giving the wilderness a vibe of natural realism. This would all be for naught if it weren’t for the greater draw distance. A greater draw distance allows the game to render more details off in the distant creating a vibrant scenery. Of course the game looks stunning on the new platforms, the world breathes intricacy. Puddles form on the road when it rains while the drops bounce up off the pavement, while the grass folds when walked on or driven across to name a few.
A Finished Project
Grand Theft Auto 5 for PS4 and Xbox One is what happens when a talented developer is given time. Every little detail makes Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4 and Xbox One feel like a living breathing city, one you would hear about in the news. To say GTA for the new consoles is simply a prettier version of the same title released a year ago would be a farce, this is the complete package.