Tag Archives: gta

Are GTA Remasters A Possibility?

All the buzz in GTA news lately is around the recent announcement by Take-Two Interactive that Rockstar Games is working on “new, exciting projects”. Of course, the bulk of the speculation is directed at what their next major game might turn out to be, however the word “projects” suggests that the developer is spinning multiple plates at the same time.

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Of course, the main guesses are GTA 6 and a third Red Dead game (everyone seems to forget that Red Dead Revolver was a thing), however some fans are still holding out hope for another Manhunt, or possibly a follow-up to L.A. Noire. The chances of another Midnight Club or Max Payne game are thin, but the possibility is there.

However, looking at AAA game release trends nowadays, a seldom mentioned option has also been added to the mix – GTA remasters. With the exclusion of V and maybe IV (debatable), all Grand Theft Auto games are pretty dated in terms of visuals.

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It was V that really defined the franchise as a kind of visual benchmark, as none of the older games were particularly extraordinary in terms of graphics when they launched. GTA IV especially was often criticized for its graphics when it first launched.

However, the fact that there is still a sizable market for the 3D era masterpieces of GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas on mobile platforms and even the current-gen consoles proves that these games are still sought after.

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While the mobile versions already have marginally improved visuals, they’re still nowhere near the quality of AAA console games, even older ones. Here’s the thing though – the fact that the fairly recent mobile versions exist proves that Rockstar still has every single asset from those games on hand, making a remaster relatively simple.

Clearly, if they wanted to turn GTA III into something that resembles V from a visual standpoint, they would need to re-build the graphical assets from the ground up in many cases, but having the originals as a starting point is a great help. If they would keep everything else – gameplay, missions, soundtrack, story, mechanics – the same, only updating the graphics and keeping the price relatively low, it would sell extremely well.

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While jumping into new projects is risky, this is the kind of thing that would turn a guaranteed profit with little investment required. It would give newer fans who just can’t get over the blocky graphics a chance to experience the past of the franchise. Older fans would be able to experience these classics “like they remember them” once more.

While GTA IV is more recent, it too could use a face-lift. It being a newer release would make a remaster even easier, since the models and textures are already pretty high quality and would only need some polish and re-touching (while they’re at it, Rockstar might add some color to the game too) to be on-par with V at max settings on PC, for example.

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The remaster/remake trend has been on the rise for the past few years, with “Definitive Editions” also becoming popular as low-effort versions. Fondly remembered classics and even popular games only a few years old are frequently getting visual upgrades thanks to the lack of backwards-compatibility (on launch, at least) on the current-gen consoles.

Examples of this trend include Halo: The Masterchief Collection, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, God of War III Remastered and most recently, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered (which, unfortunately, won’t be available as standalone…).

Would you buy remastered versions of 3D era GTA games and IV, or would you stick to the good old original versions?

GTA Mobile Sale Ending Soon

Rockstar knows that with the extremely wide popularity of the GTA franchise, especially outside of the hardcore gaming  community, they have plenty of chances to cater to their fans with new content. Considering that in the past few years, the mobile gaming industry has far outperformed the regular gaming industry in terms of revenue, it would have been unsound from a business point of view for Rockstar not to jump in.

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Over the span of a few years, Rockstar has gradually remastered various 3D era GTA games and released them on mobile devices with updated graphics (who would have thought that phones are more powerful than consoles, even old ones?), new controls and in some cases some new content as well.

The first game to get the mobile treatment was GTA III, celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Every year since, Rockstar has released the games of the 3D era in consecutive order. Liberty City Stories was the latest release. It made its way to iOS, Android and Kindle devices with a staggered release.

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Chinatown Wars, which by virtue of its release date technically is part of the HD era despite being a top-down game with graphics evocative of the cartoon style seen in cover-art and promotional media typical of GTA has also seen a mobile release. Rockstar even experimented with their other franchises. They have breathed new life into Max Payne and releasing the first game of the shooter franchise on mobiles as well.

Rockstar is holding a sale on these mobile games which will be ending on the 18th of May, Wednesday. GTA III, Vice City, Liberty City Stories and Chinatown Wars are available for merely $2.99, San Andreas for $3.99 and Max Payne Mobile for just $1.99.

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All of these games are complete and uncut ports of the originals. Considering how much content was crammed into each GTA game with all the easter eggs, side missions, customization, mini-games, exploration and on and on, these prices are a steal. San Andreas is understandably the most expensive, as it has the largest map with three major cities and four continents included instead of the standard of one – and a lengthy story to match.

Chances are that Rockstar will continue this trend of re-releasing GTA games on mobile, meaning that Vice City Stories is next in line. Of course, we’ll probably also see Max Payne 2 on mobile soon as well, possibly accompanied by Bully.

Will you guys be picking up any GTA games on mobile?

GTA Online Hackers Can Now Steal Your Cash

In the past few weeks GTA Online’s hacker issues have seemed to quiet down a bit. Granted, the modders and cheaters still didn’t disappear entirely, however their numbers seemingly began to thin out. Some players took this as a sign that they could finally breathe easy without having to fear hackers pouncing upon them.

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Rockstar has been waging a quasi-war on hackers pretty much ever since GTA Online went live. They tried all kinds of approaches, including hidden stat tracking, disabling all mods entirely and clogging up the game files with dead code to try and slow them down.

When that last method backfired, the dev team decided to go back and rework the hidden stat tracking system – and by “rework” we mean “pump full of the programming equivalent of steroids”. The new system initially seemed like overkill, however looked to have done the job and plugged most of the holes.

The new stats system tracked where you are, where others are in relation to you, what you are doing, how much cash you have, what you spend that cash on, what missions you did, how you interacted with other players, etc. – the list just keeps on going and going. It also saves all this data for future reference, so that it can track your movements and spending to sniff out any foul play. Sounds good right?

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Hackers have been up to all kinds of trouble for years now, ranging from the mildly inconvenient to the absolutely game-breaking. Either they pull pranks like spawning a massive satellite dish inside your garage, or they saddle you with a piggy-backing clone of yourself with the side effect of spawning other clones which are hostile – oh, and all damage you deal hurts you.

A while back when Rockstar began to clean things up, hackers started using PC mods which implicated others, allowing them to get off with no issue. They used others to spawn in cash, or fooled the anti-cheating mechanics to ban others even if the modder was the one with invincibility.

The most recent thing hackers have started pulling is the worst one yet. Taking the fun out of GTA Online was one thing, but stealing something you quite possibly paid actual money for? That’s serious.

Albeit indirectly, hackers can now “steal” your in game cash. They can now perform so called “insurance frauds”. These frauds involve the destruction of the hacker’s own personal vehicle, except it is billed to the account of another player in the lobby. And for the avoidance of doubt, yes, as far as we know this only affects the PC version of the game.

Unlike money spawning, which doesn’t technically hurt anyone directly, this takes money directly away from the other players. They have to cover the insurance with their own cash.

By kicking players from lobbies during jobs, instantly killing everyone during deathmatches or spawn-winning races, hacker cause potential-losses for other players. This means that they simply lose the possibility of making money. However with this new insurance fraud, they take cash which actually belongs to the victims. They could have gotten that GTA $ from Shark Cards, which are purchased with real money.

This was only an issue of fair play and fun factor until now. Adding in the question of actual money loss makes the hacker issue more severe by magnitudes.

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Another negative side effect the victims suffer, though significantly less infuriating as losing money, is that they receive bad sport points for destroying another player’s personal vehicle.  Being bumped into GTA Online’s bad sport lobby isn’t nearly as big an issue as financial loss.

So far this new method of hacking is isolated and limited to the PC platform only. If you find yourself a victim of GTA Online insurance fraud, you can and should contact Rockstar support for a reimbursement.

However, if this becomes widespread and out of hand, Rockstar will have no choice but to crack down on GTA Online hackers like never before. What implications this may have for the game, we can’t speculate.

What are your thoughts on the developing issue regarding hackers in GTA Online?

GTA Online Cars Come To Single Player Without Mod

You better get on to this GTA Online glitch before it’s patched right up.

GTA Online has been getting an endless stream of free content updates over the years, expanding the list of available vehicles extensively. The single player mode, however, was stuck with the same number of rides as it had on launch, which stuck out as odd for quite a few players.

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On PC, the modding community swiftly began porting Online only DLC vehicles over to story mode with some success, however the console players were still out of luck.

Until now. The GTA V community is on a never-ending search for glitches which may be exploited to the player’s advantage. These aren’t mods, cheats or hacks, these are bugs or mechanical loopholes which players can use to circumvent the game’s own rules.

A particular glitch which allows players to warp Online vehicles into single player has recently been found and it works on consoles as well. You’ll need to have unlocked Trevor in single player and have access to his garage in Sandy Shores, preferably empty.

This is as easy as glitches get. Load into a private or invite-only lobby in GTA Online, drive your vehicle of choice into the Sandy Shores garage, switch to single player picking Trevor and voila, the ride is there.

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Initially, it will be locked. Just cause some minor damage to the car, leave the are and go back. Not only will the car be repaired, it will also be unlocked.

This glitch has been confirmed on PC, Xbox One and PS4 by various users. Players on Xbox 360 have yet to succeed and there is no word on testing result from the PS3, meaning that is might not work on last-gen.

Which GTA Online vehicle will you be glitching over into single player?

GTA V Meets The Suicide Squad

2016 is shaping up to be quite the year for superhero movies, meaning it’s going to be quite the year for GTA V trailer recreations using the Rockstar Editor. Deadpool broke records just recently and a number of highly anticipated films are heading to cinemas soon. Dawn of Justice is DC’s heavy hitter this year competing with Marvel’s universe-wide grand slam in the face of Captain America: Civil War.

Batman vs Superman isn’t DC’s only racehorse however as the super-villain team-up film Suicide Squad is also dropping this year. As far as publicity goes, it may have even stolen the spotlight from Dawn of Justice.

Despite being worlds apart on first glance, GTA V and Suicide Squad are pretty similar when we get down to it. A group of horrible people team up against even worse people, forcing the audience into identifying and empathizing with murderous insane psychopaths. Did we get that right?

While this is hardly the only GTA V recreation of the Suicide Squad trailer, it is among the best of them. As things usually go with these the recreation is faithful to the original scene for scene. The outfits are pretty authentic, as are the set pieces – all done without mods as far as we can tell. That’s quite the seal of quality there since most Rockstar Editor recreations rely on custom assets to authentically recreate characters, vehicles or other props.

The recreation make full use of the cinematic opportunities of the Rockstar Editor. The team working on this recreation didn’t only pay attention to staying true to the source material, they also made sure their recreation looked good even on its own merit. The action shots might feel more game-y, but the more passive ones have a distinct cinematic and professional feel to them.

What other upcoming big-budget superhero flick would you like to see get the GTA V treatment?

GTA V Meets Captain America: Civil War

It seems that the new direction Merfish has taken his humorous GTA V fan videos is working well for him. Until now Merfish, eldritch abomination and lord of darkness, has specialized in using the Rockstar Editor and various mods to recreate the opening sequences for popular children’s shows – and defiling them in the process. The trademarks of Merfish are violence, turds and dildos, so you can more or less imagine the kinds of mind-numbing horrors he has brought upon this world. Most recently he’s taken a liking to the trailers of AAA superhero blockbusters.

While not an actual Avengers title, the next installment in Captain America’s personal series is bringing the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe on board, not to mention adding some never before seen characters too. Iron Man’s fight with Cap might be the biggest focus but the large scale hoe-down between the best known faces of Marvel is plenty to be excited about.

With the SuperBowl, that marketing fair masquerading as some sort of sport event, not far behind us the new trailers are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Merfish took his chance and remade the first Civil War trailer in GTA V.

All the typical Merfish-isms are present here. Captain America’s shield is made up of turds, Falcon’s wings are made of dildos and everyone is constantly wanking. Considering the original trailer is full of punching, shooting, exploding and more punching, citing violence doesn’t do much here – which is why Merfish focused on his other assets.

GTA V’s Michael makes a surprisingly good Tony Stark but that’s where the genuine similarities end. All the rest of the characters are complete misfits. Cap is Trevor, a Canadian, Black Widow is an elderly lady and Franklin really doesn’t fit Falcon’s strong facial features. Granted, this is Merfish so these are entirely on purpose.

Which superhero movie would you want to see Merfish recreate in GTA V next?

Control GTA V With Your Eyes (Mod)

As far as niche GTA V hardware-reliant mods go this one might be the first one that’s actually useful and not just a fun novelty. In the past, a few particularly industrious modders and GTA fans went the extra mile and hooked up special Arduino creations to the game and other devices. One allowed you to control the in-game smartphone from an actual real-life smartphone. Another had a small LCD display and a few LEDs working like the in-game HUD, except in physical form. Both of these were undeniably cool – but rather useless.

Gaming technology has been advancing rapidly in recent years. With graphical advancements slowing down to a crawl, the industry has turned back to hardware. While visually the difference between games from 10 and 5 years ago is gargantuan, games didn’t look all too different five years ago from how they look now.

Blurring the line between game and reality is the new fad, with Virtual and Augmented reality being the craze. One direction being explored is partially using your eyes to control a game and appropriate hardware has already been developed.

So what happens when a GTA V fan and modder gets his hand on such hardware? The GTA V Eye Tracking Mod is what. If you happen to have the surprisingly affordable Tobii EyeX Controller (or the $3000 MSi gaming laptop that has it integrated…), this mod will allow you to make use of it in GTA V.

With this installed and configured correctly you can use your eyes to aim and move the camera while in-game, allowing for swifter response, better accuracy and better immersion. Specialized hardware like this is still rather niche but in a year or two all standard webcams will have this technology. This may be a cool little mod today, but it will be gaming industry standard tomorrow.

Do you guys use any special hardware while playing GTA V?

Running GTA V On Lower End Rigs

GTA V’s PC version is lauded as the game’s definitive edition. While the popular and versatile Rockstar Editor has since made its debut on current-gen consoles, the PC version still enjoys the advantage of the superior visuals, modding and tweakability. Those superior visuals come at a pretty high price however.

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While GTA V has been optimized well enough that it technically can run on extremely low-end machines, you’d need to twist the settings all the way down and even then the game would only just chug along. Not all of us run several thousand dollar rigs with a couple of Titans in SLi.

If you’re a gamer on a budget, you’ve probably already become quite familiar with the methods of squeezing the best performance out of your hardware. Tweaking the options of the game to find the best possible performance while upping whatever settings aren’t too taxing is just the first step. From tweaking system settings, overclocking hardware and configuring your display, you can do a dozen different things to get a better FPS.

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Not everyone is all that tech savvy though and might need help with optimization. 60 FPS purists avert your eyes – this will probably cause a seizure.

These numbers are based on a particular PC build, so they will be different for you and might need a bit of fiddling to get right for your situation, but the method is what is important. Depending on your display, either with the settings or with third party software, you can alter the refresh rate.

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One user with pretty low settings took his refresh rate down to 50Hz, freeing up GPU capacity to push his FPS up to 50. The human eye cannot differentiate between 50 and 60 FPS, however the performance increase was significant. This allowed other settings to be turned up, improving overall experience.

What tips do you have for GTA V fans playing on a budget?

Yet Another GTA V Easter Egg Uncovered

Even three years after its initial release date GTA V continues to surprise its fans.

The GTA franchise is legendary in terms of easter eggs, with many being discovered years after launch. GTA easter eggs usually fill up top ten lists, like the beating heart of the Statue of Liberty or the “no easter eggs here” sign at the top of the de-facto Golden Gate bridge in San Andreas. GTA V has its share of easter eggs strewn about with a whole subculture trying to solve their mysteries.

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One of the most recent easter eggs to be found was related to cell phone cheats. Black Cellphones has yet to be explained, though it has been documented extensively. Even though that discovery proved that there is much more to the phone than we thought, this most recent easter egg isn’t related to the phones.

Near the Alamo Sea there is a small industrial waste area filled with graffiti and abandoned equipment. Here, there is a rather inconspicuous sign with 78 and 10 on it and train tracks nearby.

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This goes a tad beyond a Back to the Future reference regarding 88 mph, as some graffiti nearby depicts a small image of legendary video game icon Pac-Man, with the word “bubble” under it with stylized B’s in the shape of 88.

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If we do a bit of math (or plug the numbers into a chart generator), it will tell us that 78+10 is indeed 88. Groundbreaking!

The interesting part is that we’ll get a pie-chart identical to the ratio of Pac-Man’s body-to-mouth ratio in the original designs, as well as the graffiti seen at the site. Sure, this is all circumstantial and not particularly fascinating, but we all know how Rockstar gets when hiding easter eggs. It’s nice of them to pay homage to one of the pillars of gaming history with a bit of detective work thrown in.

What other inconsequential yet charming easter eggs do you think you’ve found in GTA V?

GTA Online’s New Roosevelt Versus The Old

Valentine’s Day may be behind us but the celebrations in GTA Online continue full swing. The weekend event won’t be over until Thursday so you’ll have plenty of time to cash in on the double RP and $GTA promo going for the new Adversary Mode. Most importantly however, for the first time in the history of thematic DLCs the special items are here to stay. You don’t need to buy up all the special Be My Valentine DLC content before some arbitrary deadline after which they’re gone until next February.

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Among these special items, the first of the DLC’s content to be leaked, is the all new Albany Roosevelt Valor. The old-timer evokes the feeling of the retro beauties people used to ride around in around the 50’s. If you’ve gotten yourself a Gusenberg Sweeper and a matching tux, this ride is essential to complete your retro gangster look.

Some of you may remember the Roosevelt from last year’s Valentine’s Day DLC, albeit in a slightly different form. Rockstar had given the ride a bit of a facelift, owing to the previous version being last-gen. The new Roosevelt Valor has a more detailed model and more visual polish all around.

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It’s also more expensive by GTA$ 220K. Rockstar has also made the old Roosevelt available for purchase once again, and the price difference stood out quite a bit. Are a few visual changes worth that much cash?

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Technically, the Valor does have a minute performance advantage. The Valor hits top speed 2 seconds sooner and has an optional spare tire that can be added which acts as a spoiler, improving traction. The wider range of visual customization options may also account for the increased price point. Unfortunately, it seems that the fan theory regarding the Valor making its way to Benny’s fell through.

Have you guys picked up a new Valor, or are you riding around GTA Online with your older Roosevelt from last year?