Grand Theft Auto VOverview -
'Grand Theft Auto V' was first released in September of 2013 for the 360 and PS3. It was the first brand new GTA since 2008 (not including handheld spin-off 'Chinatown Wars') and the first game in the series to be set in Los Santos since 'San Andreas' nine years earlier. It sold a billion dollars' worth of copies in a couple of days and is one of the highest-rated titles of the last generation. It has now been released on eighth generation consoles with a slew of promised goodies, such as a first-person mode, new guns, critters, and other sundries, enhanced visuals, and more.
Rockstar took the opportunity to revamp 'GTA V' with stronger visuals. The differences are significant; more than a simple repainting. The low-hanging fruit is the resolution - it now runs on 1080p at 30fps, with only slight stutters during huge explosions and the like. Beyond that, textures have been reworked and additional layers added to the environments. Vegetation has been completely redone. Particle and lighting effects go hand-in-hand to produce realistic weather conditions. Color has been broadened and reinvigorated, and reflections and shadows are sharper and clearer. The depth of field effect is dramatic, but almost too much, especially in first-person mode where fuzz at the edge of the camera can be a liability. Despite this, Los Santos looks crisper and more beautiful than ever.
In the audio department, what was already a good soundtrack, with hundreds of songs spread across more than a dozen radio stations, has been improved with the addition of at least 100 new tracks. The distribution of the music across stations is more or less even, and many feature new commentary as well. The voice acting and sound effects are top notch, as is the dynamic score, even if the latter is overshadowed by the licensed music.
The next-gen variety of 'Grand Theft Auto V' is unequivocally a rerelease, increasingly common for the gaming industry. However, a notable amount of work and care has been put into its development, specifically with the first-person mode, and this makes for an even better 'GTA V.' As much as I appreciate the first-person mode, enhanced graphics, and other little things, this version is best for those gamers who missed last year’s release. It’s still one of the best games to be found on the Xbox One.
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