Guest Blog by Ronald K@MusicManiac1965
Before the Current Generation release of Grand Theft Auto V, I had the Xbox 360 version, and finished the story five times even before the Xbox One version came out. GTA online was a ton of fun too but there where no heists. I was eager to find out what a more tweaked and more detailed version could add to my gaming experience, as I knew, I love this game a lot!
The first thing I noticed was how much smoother the frame rate was. Billboards next to the freeway could be read far into the distance. In poor parts of the city, you see more worn out houses, bad paint jobs, tagging, and litter on the ground. All those small details give the city a more realistic look as no streets are as clean as they where on the Xbox 360 version. The sharper textures, more cars on the road, more pedestrians, and much thicker foliage in forest areas gives the game a finished and polished look. All that I can find that I don't like to much, is how close to the screen the shadow gets more detailed. This is mostly noticable on the freeways around the city, and it does not really ruin the look of the game, but it could have been a more smooth transition from a blurry shadow to a sharp one. I'd much rather have a less sharp edge closer to the car, than a shadow that has a hugely noticeable swap in detail, close to the car.
This goes for the in car radio stations and the music but also the voice acting, and sounds of the city. I noticed a better sound quality in the music, but also the voice actors sound a bit more clear on my 5.1 surround set. You can leave it up to Rockstar Games to give attention to detail in the sound and music department. The hustle and bustle of the streets, the conversations all around you and the story of the main three characters are of a high caliber. For me, this feels like I'm playing a action movie. The extra music in the next generation version is nice, and ads more variation to the radio stations. When I play the story, I leave the radio where the characters are listening to, but when I play online, I listen to Los Santos Rock Radio, and Non Stop Pop the most.
At first, when I came from GTA IV, I was not to fond of the way they changed the handling of the cars, but now after putting a lot of time on the 360 and One version, the car handling grew on me. I love it how you now can get faster around corners, and some cars can even be put on two wheels when you hit the curbs and proper direction of the front wheels. The smoother frame rate sure gives the handling a boost compared to playing it on the Xbox 360. I love the fact you can choose different aim assist, or even turn it off completely. When you play in first person mode (new to the next generation versions, this is not available on the Xbox 360), it's cool to turn off the aim assist if you want to challenge yourself a bit more. I finished the game twice in first person mode, and only the parts where you have to shoot while driving (think about the boat from Michael being stolen and you Chase it on the freeway), I switch back to the far view and then aim the crosshair on the target, but other than that, I love how this new mode gives the game a fresh feel. Also it's cool to see Rockstar Games put lots of time and effort in the extra animations, as it's not just a matter of slapping on a new point of view.
It's finally here. Grand Theft Auto V launched on next generation consoles November 18th. I own both the Playstation 3 version and now the Playstation 4 masterpiece. Did I say masterpiece? Let's back up slightly. I've heard some people state that they will not be grabbing themselves a copy of GTA V on next gen consoles. I find myself asking "Why? Have you seen the new features we are privy too?" So what are these new additions exactly and is it really worth the hype? I'm planning on doing a review for my Youtube channel this weekend but here's what's great so far.
Rockstar blew me away when I heard about the introduction of first person mode. We know that this covers in-vehicle and on-foot gameplay. The sensitivity of steering in first person was too much and when I turned it right down I still found vehicles difficult to manoeuvre. Despite this, I loved seeing the interior of the car, even down to the name of the song and artist on the radio display. It's little touches of finesse like that that made first person driving bearable. Other than that I chose to drive back in third person. On-foot is a different experience. Seeing Los Santos through the eyes of Franklin (or respective characters) felt absolutely stunning. Whether I was firing my pistol, throwing a punch or staring back at the neighbours cat, I felt completely amazed at the new GTA V experience. It doesn't end there. Note that I said 'cat'. Yes, I saw plenty of stray cats and dogs on my early travels around Los Santos which made for a more immersive experience. It truly is epic.
There are some seriously sexy graphics in the next gen port of Grand Theft Auto V. Running at a crisp 1080p 30fps on the Playstation 4, it made for some serious jaw dropping moments. Catch lights, shimmers, reflections, colour saturation and detail are vastly improved. Foliage, water and draw distance look, feel and function as I expected; it's unbelievable. The whole world feels alive and real. In addition, I've read that there are an additional 3000 animations too. For me, I absolutely love the full 3D phone as opposed to the on-screen interface along with quirky features such as a screen tint when wearing sunglasses (ahem one of my favourite little features).
Music has always been an integral part of Grand Theft Auto game and in the Playstation 4 and Xbox One port, there is no exception. We have a massive 162 extra songs to sing, bop and cringe to. There are absorbed across the 17 radio stations we had on last generation consoles. Pretty sweet. I found myself saying "is this a new song?" as it's way too difficult to actually know. Nonetheless, I liked that the game made me guess those details because it's all part of the new experience right?
What would Grand Theft Auto be without cars? Err... probably completely shit! New vehicles are a definite and welcome new feature to Grand Theft Auto V. Again, I found myself asking "this is new right?" This shows just how much we are dealing with in this new port. My persistent wondering of which vehicles are new compared to old left me dumbfounded...in a good way. It removed the monotony.
One final cool feature that blew me away in this beautiful port was the changing of the light bar on the Playstation 4 controller. Early in the game, I was being chased by the police and noticed the light flashing the same colours as the sirens! A smile erupted across my cheeks! The light bar also changes colour depending on which character is selected; green for Franklin, blue for Michael and orange when playing as Trevor. Pretty cool.
I'm certain that there are more features and easter eggs to find in Los Santos. So far, I'd say that GTA V next gen is definitely worth picking up. See you in Los Santos!
Make sure that you catch my review on my Youtube channel this weekend. Please subscribe. Let me know about your experiences of playing Grand Theft Auto in the comments below.
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