And so the boys are again on the town. Michael, Trevor and Franklin, the sociopathic trio that lit up the gaming scene 9 years in the past, have been revamped for the 2020s with this crisp new remodeling of Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X. The sport’s violent narrative of shifting loyalties and doomed machismo felt wild and edgy again in 2013, so how does it fare within the fashionable period?
The excellent news is, the overhauled visuals positively give the sport new zest and freshness. You possibly can play in both 4K at 30 frames-per-second or in a efficiency mode that lowers the decision however bumps up the body charge to 60, giving fantastic fluidity to automobile chases, swooping helicopter rides and mass shootouts. The DualSense controller options on PlayStation 5 are superb too: improved driving suggestions by way of the analogue triggers makes the sport’s cumbersome dealing with just a little simpler to, properly, deal with. It’s been fairly a pleasure to rediscover this alternate-reality California; to see the solar drop behind the downtown skyscrapers, or to hit Senora as daybreak splashes orange-yellow mild throughout the burning desert.
What the huge upshift in decision can’t disguise is the truth that GTA V is a sport initially designed for consoles that are actually two generations outdated. The character fashions and facial particulars look positively archaic in contrast with, say, Horizon Forbidden West, and the constructing structure too appears nearly quaint in its stylised blockiness. Examine it with 2018’s Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 and you’ll see simply how far Rockstar has are available its constructing of intricate next-gen worlds.
In some ways, nevertheless, the design of the world itself has not been been bettered within the decade because it arrived. The scale of San Andreas, the sheer number of landscapes and the range of actions and actions continues to be unimaginable – Cyberpunk 2077 could look higher, however it doesn’t allow you to play golf or tennis, or go on day journeys on a motorbike, or arrange extremely advanced automobile or helicopter stunts. Los Santos is an unlimited playground, a gangster Fortnite – an element underlined by the large group that also gathers in GTA On-line (which is the place we discover this new model’s solely completely new content material – Hao’s Particular Works, which helps you to unlock sooner vehicles and new duties).
Much less showy, however no much less vital is the truth that every little thing runs sooner. The interminable load instances of the unique sport have been significantly lowered and GTA On-line is now accessible from the beginning, with a significantly better opening few hours that train you as you go.
So is it value shopping for? In the event you’ve by no means owned GTA V earlier than (maybe unlikely, given its insane gross sales figures) then sure, positively – the sport is a loopy, irresponsible, messed-up expertise with superior set-piece moments alongside its bloodstained sacks of problematic content material. Weirdly, the subtle-as-a-Trident-missile satire on up to date tradition, that includes conspiracy-laden rightwing information channels and dudebro billionaires, nonetheless feels related, even when it was made within the pre-Trump, pre-TikTok, pre-crypto period.
In the event you performed it again within the day, however wish to check your new console’s technical capabilities or attempt all of the stuff that’s been added to GTA On-line, then it’s definitely value a glance. Sadly, you’ll be able to’t play cross-platform or cross-generation (though you can import your saves from earlier editions), so that you’re going to should depend on buddies additionally forking out for the brand new model if you wish to get collectively for just a few heists (that are, as ever, a blast).
In 2022, GTA V is one thing of an ageing prize fighter: modern and brutal, however with aches and wrinkles that simply can’t be ignored. Regardless of the case, it stays a landmark sport – directly flawed, repulsive, unimaginable and hilarious. To be cruising these streets once more, the radio blasting, the neon shimmering, is to be reminded of how this sequence shook up the entire concept of what it means to exist inside a sport. It’s nonetheless king, even when the crown is now weighing heavy.