In this review, I will specifically be talking about the improvements Rockstar Games have made to the presentation of the game on current gen systems, the PS4 and Xbox One.
To see the single player review, click here
The framerate when you are travelling at a slowed speed or standing still is a solid 30fps. On the PS4 version, the framerate seems to drop a number of frames when driving a car at high speed. Especially in a densely packed area. It’s still a lot better than the framerates on last gen systems though. Cutscenes are pretty much locked to 30fps. Don’t get me wrong, it just would have been nicer to be a rock solid 30fps and would have been even more fantastic if it were 60fps.
Pop in is still a noticeable problem. Shadows will pop in with more detail as you approach buildings closer. Fixing to one area and not gallivanting around won’t encourage pop in, only when travelling to somewhere new at speed.
Anti Aliasing has most definitely been improved. Objects are no where near as jagged as before which makes the game all the more pleasing to look at without you constantly scrutinising the rough edges. You can still see slight jagged edges on thin objects such as telephone wires or when the view is at a certain angle though it is a vast improvement once more.
New lighting has been introduced which looks very realistic at times and brightens up dark corners. A police search light on a helicopter shining down at you looks particularly wonderful.
The odd texture can still look very last gen. Repeated and blurred textures in the countryside but often covered up by the new foliage. Although a lot better to look at, the foliage doesn’t behave very next gen. Bringing a helicopter close to the ground will not blow the foliage around. It does however move a little bit when you walk through it but it’s nothing incredible.
Character models, car models and textures have been improved. You can even see a tattoo of a scorpion on Trevor’s hand in first person. This new level of detail was needed to pull off first person mode. Most sights look good in first person and it gives a new dimension to the gameplay and an all new experience for Grand Theft Auto fans which will initially feel quite strange but you will get used to it quite quickly.
Some things don’t look quite right in first person such as looking over at people talk in the car who were previously not seen in this view. The mouth movements look hand animated and not up to the same level as the motion captured cutscenes. It works but it does look quite cheap.
It still makes you think how on earth Rockstar managed to get the game running on last gen systems with far less ram. Rockstar is still all about the details. From the lights that flash on in a cars interior and the fact that Trevor’s phone has a smashed screen in first person.
The phone will ring, conversations and police radio chatter will play out through the Dualshock 4’s speaker. This brings a new level of immersion but can be switched off if it isn’t to your liking.
The radio now has a more extensive playlist of songs(thank God!) It would have been nice to maybe have a new oldies station so we could cruise down Vespucci Beach to Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, but the new songs are there to populate the already existing stations. That means more pop music to listen to with Cara Delevingne. Promises, Promises by Naked Eyes a particular favourite of mine from the new tracks on play.
New animals also scour the world. New breeds of dogs, cats, sharks. Dogs can be seen running alongside their owners in parks.
There’s also a few new surprises in this version which I won’t go into in case it spoils to fun but they’re certainly an excellent addition and a joy to try out.
All in all, this is fundamentally the same game with a higher resolution. If you’d love to play the story missions again then you shouldn’t have any trouble jumping back in. Los Santos and Blaine County are as detailed as ever and still feels extremely enticing to play. If you’re looking at this remaster thinking it’s going to be completely different, it’s not. If you haven’t already played GTAV you should certainly pick it up but it’s up to you whether you want to pay pretty much full price for the same game repackaged for current gen consoles.
For now, this is the definitive version of Grand Theft Auto V you will find but the PC release is sure to take that award as soon as it is released in January.
Version played: PS4