GTA V has always been praised to be one of the most graphically impressive games of its time. Even before the launch of the Xbox One and PS4, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game were lauded as the first “truly next-gen” game experiences in the industry.
The game got a visual boost with the next-gen enhanced editions and again with the PC version, which when maxed out still stands among the most visually impressive games on the market today. This comes at a cost though, as it also happens to be one of the most hardware intensive games too – the newest 1080 nVidia cards can’t run it on maximum settings at 4K with steady 60 FPS.
Using certain graphical mods, it is even possible to achieve near photo-realistic visuals. However, without mods, even at ultra, while GTA V is impressive, the differences between it and photos can be easily noticed.
Which makes it pretty embarrassing when a stock screenshot of Los Santos makes it up on a hotel’s website attempting to represent downtown Los Angeles. We get it, Los Santos is based on LA, but seriously, it isn’t a carbon copy and that image isn’t exactly easy to mistake for a photo.
However, things become more clear when it is noted that the hotel in question is the Hotel Figueroa, which advertised the game with massive billboards on its sides back before GTA V was initially launched.
This is probably just a little prank or joke that the site admin pulled for fun. If anything, it might be a publicity stunt, in which case it’s working. Several GTA V related online communities have shared this finding, probably causing a spike in the traffic of that website.
Props for inventive marketing. Do you ever plan to stay at the Figueroa, if only because you’re a GTA fan?
Time for those rumors about Liberty City being added to GTA 5 to start up again, it seems. The idea that down the line, Rockstar will add multiple cities to their newest flagship title has been floating around since before initial launch – and originated from Rockstar itself. Specifically, Leslie Benzies (who isn’t affiliated with Rockstar anymore – in fact, quite the opposite) stated that they have toyed around with the idea of eventually adding new cities as DLC, with every GTA city being present in one massive map in the future.
Of course, this is far from any kind of confirmation. All he said was that the company considered the plan – nothing about actually implementing it. Add to that Leslie’s departure and the simple fact that plans change over the course of years based on demand, the dream of GTA 5 containing every city from Los Santos through Vice City and Las Venturas all the way to Liberty City might never be more than a dream.
This didn’t stop the community from spreading rumors, though. Alleged leaks “confirming” Liberty City being added to the game along with Single Player DLC popped up every half-year or so. At one point Franklin’s voice actor, Shawn Fonteno trolled the community with a similar joke. However, all of these turned out to be fakes and over time the community became more and more skeptical whenever a similar claim surfaced.
However, with the recent announcements about Rockstar showing off some heavy hitters at this year’s E3 (Which is just two weeks away), the community has become a tad more receptive of rumors and speculation. More and more often has the idea of new cities being added to GTA Online been tossed up.
So it might seem like a bit more than a coincidence that one of the 3D artists working for Rockstar Games has recently updated their portfolio page with a screenshot of a graphically upgraded and slightly changed location in Liberty City from GTA IV.
Now, this can mean one of three things, one of which is extremely exciting, another less so, while the third pretty disappointing. Only time will tell which of the scenarios comes to pass, but let’s hope we get the answer as soon as E3. Rockstar has historically avoided E3 and other large gaming events, however Take-Two has stated that they will be present this time around.
Firstly, let’s let hope reign supreme and say that yes, that indeed means that Liberty City is coming to GTA 5. It could either be the highly sought-after Story DLC that the whole community has been waiting for practically since launch, or an expansion of GTA Online.
Since story DLC has been leaked, rumored, leaked again and debunked over and over again, it comes up as one of the most desired yet least likely candidates in this situation. Taking Franklin to LC would allow Rockstar to continue the story without forcing them to canonize any ending, while letting players re-unite with characters from previous games (such as Niko Bellic).
Then again, the option that this will be an Online only expansion seems more likely. GTA Online is a massive cash cow right now, with Shark Cards generating massive amounts of revenue for the company. Why would they spend large amounts of funds on developing a high-quality and solid piece of Story DLC on the scale of the main game that only a fraction of their player base will buy once, when they can spend those funds on a highly interactive new continent for Online where players will have more incentive to keep buying Shark Cards?
They could include old characters (Once again, Niko) as contacts who would provide players with missions. They could port a motherload of vehicles that appeared in GTA IV with little effort. They could fill up the map with various side-activities and make a handful of new jobs for each category. Throw in insanely expensive penthouse properties (knowing real estate prices in Manhattan, yachts would look like dinghys next to these apartments) to drive up Shark Card sales and voila.
The other, less exciting possibility is that Rockstar will release a remastered version of GTA IV for the current gen consoles. It would probably include the two DLC campaigns as well as powered-up visuals, alongside some of the features from 5 such as the Rockstar Editor, first person mode and Snapmatic. Seeing as the remaster trend is pretty popular in the AAA gaming scene, this is likely. It’s a low-risk investment with guaranteed profit.
We’ve explored the idea of Rockstar remastering some of the older, 3D era games with modern graphics, seeing as they have been re-released on mobile platforms recently featuring new control schemes and marginally better visuals.
The final possibility is that it’s merely a personal side-project for the artist, where he played around with that small section of Liberty City and upgraded the visuals just as a portfolio item. Seeing as the remake/remaster trend is big in gaming right now as we mentioned earlier, some employers might be looking for artists skilled in bringing existing assets up to date as well as in the creation of new assets.
However, some other factors are at play here as well. Adrian Page, the artist whose site the image originates from, still works at Rockstar. If he had shared an image of a WIP project that has yet to be announced, he’d be facing some repercussions. He was probably authorized to share that image on his portfolio, making the third option the most likely – despite being the least favorable.
In more recent news, GTA Online is getting its share of DLCs before E3 even comes around. Rockstar recently shared their plans for the next few months, including a large scale follow-up to Executives and Other Criminals as well as an overhaul to the Content Creator.
Further Adventures in Finance and Felony will launch on the 7th of June and will add a whole lot of content to Online, including new vehicles, new mission types as well as a few weapons and clothes. The missions will be focused on VIPs fighting their way to the top of Los Santos’ black market hierarchy.
A recent leak regarding that DLC has possibly revealed the other vehicles and some of the weapons that will be added alongside the Pegassi Reaper hypercar. These might include an Armored Oracle in terms of vehicles and a programmable AR for weapons.
The other DLC that Rockstar plans on releasing during the summer is Stunt Ready, which will add a host of new vehicles designed specifically for stunting, as well as adding countless new props and features to the Content Creator.
A recent decision by Rockstar to disable the option to stack props, or to even place them in close proximity to one another has riled the community up a tad. The explanation was that doing this could cause holes to appear in the map, however Rockstar is working on ways to fix the bug while enabling prop stacking. This is probably the main factor that will decide the release date of the Stunt Ready DLC.
Would you like to see Liberty City ported to GTA Online as an expansion, or would you prefer to see it appear as single player content?
This is hardly the first time GTA 5 has been used as a venue of artistic expression. Many creators have seen greater potential in the hyper-detailed world that Rockstar Games has crafted for their biggest and most popular video game ever. It has been used as a way of conveying ideas about identity in the modern age. It has been used to explore the fear and death that accompanies terrorism.
This game, which is characterized by a wanton disregard for life and decency, relies on crude satirical humor and has players shooting and stealing their way to success, has become a product with nigh inexhaustible artistic potential. Artists around the world saw possibilities lying under the top layers of what GTA 5 professes to be.
The most recent project which uses the virtual world of GTA 5 as its canvas is a photo essay by Irish artist Alan Butler. Alan dabbles in all kinds of artistic endeavors, such as sculpting, painting and even satirical fashion design. His works tend to err on the modern and wacky side of things – and he’s got quite the portfolio to back it all up.
The photo essay, titled Down and Out in Los Santos, is a compilation of images shot in-game of the depictions of the poor and homeless around Los Santos and Blaine County. Many PEDs and other NPCs (say, animals) clearly convey the message that they aren’t too well off. Rockstar has populated the streets of their virtual world with drifters and homeless people to achieve a higher measure of realism.
Works like these prove once again how alive the world of GTA 5 really is. It might even feel like a bit of a gut-punch to some players that yes, the world does move on without their input. In fact, this was the topic of a video wherein a player stood absolutely still in the middle of Los Santos, while another freed the camera from the distance limit and traveled around the map seeing what the world is like without player intervention.
Alan’s work is pretty evocative of reality. He manages to capture the world of GTA 5 when it is most active – and when it is most quiet. The photo essay has images ranging from action shots to still empty of any indication of motion. Some are colorful and alive, others cold and bleak.
Down and Out in Los Santos has gotten some media coverage, and Alan Butler spoke with The Creators Project, which also published a feature on the photo essay.
I usually have to wait for the ‘right moment’ and use depth-of-field to capture something with which the viewer can empathize, I want the image to capture moments as ‘real experiences.’ I guess I don’t see it differently from street photography methodologies in reality.
Seeing these images, viewers may forget that all of it is in a video game. Graphics notwithstanding, these shots have a kind of vibrancy and life to them which isn’t something you’d expect to see in a game, let alone in GTA 5.
In some shots, Alan deviates from the homelessness theme, however all images have a kind of gloomy overtone. Some photos are of the prison, often showing the aftermath of some kind of conflict. Others depict everyday happenings, where nothing is explicitly wrong, however one cannot shake the feeling that there is something amiss.
Alan’s photos are great at achieving that effect of alluding, without outright showing or telling the viewer anything about what they’re looking at. While pictures often say a thousand words, these convey countless emotions.
Using a simulation to explore this subject removes many ethical problems that can be attached to the act of photographing poverty, but I would like this project to begin to question the ownership of being itself within proprietary corporate virtual realities.
GTA 5 has been lauded by many for its immersive and detailed game-world. Rockstar has put a lot of effort into NPC AI programming, as well as covering all the facets of everyday life to make Los Santos feel like a real city, instead of just a virtual mass of buildings with a few static human models thrown in to make it look populated.
Alan Butler has set up a Twitch channel which is dedicated to this project. While so far there have only been “test broadcasts”, he presumably will be livestreaming himself in the act of hunting down these scenes which he then captures for the photo essay.
Alan’s comments also make it clear that he has a deeper goal with this project. Going around and taking pictures of homeless and poor people isn’t exactly socially acceptable in the real world. By doing so in a virtual environment, he wishes to challenge these boundaries society has set itself.
Have you ever just wandered around in GTA 5, observing its world without playing any missions or doing concrete activities?
The team working on GTA V’s biggest mod have been a tad quite ever since their November update, however now that Christmas is here, the LSPDFR site has been updated with a contest running from the 24th of December all the way till the 24th of January. It gives players with knowledge of the Rockstar Editor, skill with Snapmatic or modding-know-how, a chance to win some cool gifts, including some Steam gift cards.
Los Santos Police Department First Response is a total conversion mod of mind-boggling scale which seeks to rework GTA V into a cop simulator. While the mod is under development, the LSPDFR website also functions as a GTA V mod hosting site where the LSPDFR community can upload their own creations, making it logical that part of the competition is focused on creating your own, new Christmas themed textures for GTA V.
This is hardly the team’s first foray into the world of festive community competitions. Back in the days when the mod was still LCPDFR – Liberty City Police Department First Response – and when the GTA of choice on PC was IV, they organised a similar event.
The LSPDFR web team is also using this as a live-fire test of their new submission system and result viewer, which was developed in-house. If all goes well, the system will make things much more easier, for participants and voters alike.
As mentioned above, the competition is separated into three categories. You may display your prowess in the field of Christmas themed vehicle textures, festive screenshots (done with the in-game Snapmatic or otherwise) or a holiday film made using the Rockstar Editor. All competitors may enter each category once, meaning they can only submit a single creation to each, and the submissions may only come from GTA V.
What category of the LSPDFR Christmas competition will you enter?
GTA’s long lost brother, the mysterious game project called Agent, has been another potential smash-hit Rockstar franchise since 2009. This year however, some signs may point to a resurgence of the secretive property. First, a hush-hush appearance at a gaming conference. Then, a set of leaked screenshots, and a reference in the Social Club.
So what is going on with Agent?
Agent was announced way back in 2009 as a PS3 exclusive title to be developed by Rockstar Games. Recently, a former Rockstar artist added a few screenshots from the seemingly cancelled game to his online portfolio, which can be freely viewed online by anyone, and he also stated that his team was taken off the project at an undefined date to work on GTA V instead. Images from a work-in-progress game are never publicized in this manner, which would lead one to believe that Agent is dead and gone, however could be another explanation.
Earlier this year, back in summer, Europe’s largest video game conferenc, and one of the largest gaming events on the planet, was held in Köln, Germany. Gamescom is an event where several big-name publishers reveal new projects, or allow eager fans to try out demos of upcoming games for the first time. While it isn’t as big on announcements as, say, E3 or PAX, it is still an important show.
Rockstar was present in a limited manner this year. They only had a booth in the business area, which is already a restricted part of the show, and even then they only let select people in. Many people theorized that they were showing off the earliest build of a new take on Agent, rebooted as a PS4 exclusive. If the project was scrapped and restarted from the beginning, they would not use any old assets anyway, which is why the artist was allowed to use the above screenshots.
In the past 24 hours someone casually logged into the GTAForums and posted the screenshot you can see below. It’s taken from Grand Theft Auto V and has a resolution of 1080p… 1080p you say? That’s impossible – the maximum resolution of the current version of the game (on Xbox 360 and PS3) is only 720p… Well not if this screenshot is taken from the PC version.
We won’t go over the dozens of rumors concerning a PC version of GTA 5 right now. Instead you can browse all the stories yourself in our archives. And this latest “rumor”, or more appropriately “piece of evidence”, regarding the existence of a PC version would have been pretty strong, had it not been literally just debunked and proven false.
As user “Tuskin38” on the GTAForums discovered, the exact same user that uploaded this new image “KyleN” has also posted previous images that he “suggested” were from a PC version of GTA V and that were subsequently proven fake too. You can check those shots out here.
So while this latest piece of news might have generated a bit of hype for a short but exciting time (heck, we want GTA V on PC too!) it’s ultimately been proven just another piece of false information. In the meantime we can only wait and hope…
Unless you’ve got both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 then the decision about what platform to get GTA 5 on is an easy one. But what if you have both systems, what should you do then?
Thankfully someone one over at Reddit has taken the time to get some direct screenshot comparisons up for us, and as noted the Xbox 360 version of GTA V looks to have slightly smoother shadows and maybe just a little bit more detail in things like vegetation. It should be noted however that otherwise the two versions look and perform exactly the same, including in respect of framerate.
It’s nice to see that Rockstar was able to get both consoles looking this good and performing so closely.
What version of the game are you opting for? Just by the respective page views of our cheats pages for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, the Xbox 360 is currently ahead by roughly a 2:1 ratio.
Warning: this post is technically a spoiler, but we’ve decided to post it since the map is going to be EVERYWHERE you look in the next few hours anyway. If you don’t want to see the map of Los Santos and Blaine County, don’t read any further. Instead just look at the new screenshot we’ve embedded below and carry on…
Onto the map… The BradyGames Guide for GTA V has been shipped to stores and unlike physical disc copies of GTA 5, security for this product doesn’t seem that tight. There’s information from it being leaked absolutely everywhere. One of those things is the much-anticipated and talked about map of Los Santos and Blaine County. Now we finally get to try and estimate the true scale of the gaming world that Rockstar Games has created. You won’t be disappointed… Click for a full size version!
Have you heard of Gamer Z magazine? Up until today, neither we had we, probably because we don’t live in South Korea. Gamer Z has just published a brand new Grand Theft Auto V screenshot though and to us, that’s what matters.
The character riding the motorcycle is most likely Franklin (as opposed to Trevor or Michael) and has got us thinking how Rockstar will handle bikes in GTA 5. Will you come flying off them with the slightest bump from anything, or will it be a bit harder to get knocked off?
Coincidentally we’ve just passed through the “100 days to go” window for GTA V’s release on 17 September. Not long to go now!
A recent GTA V article from Polish magazine PSX Extreme has been scanned and posted on the web, and aside from the new image (great to see Rockstar paying homage to Easy Rider) there’s also quite a bit of new information. It’s true meaning may have been (somewhat) lost in translation, but nevertheless, read on…
When one of your other characters (ie one you are not controlling) is on the verge of death, you will hear warning signals (possibly vocal cues or music) alerting you to the fact they are in trouble (and presumably you need to switch to them to help out).
The military base will contain a massive selection of different military vehicles. You can reach it un-noticed and access the equipment if you are good enough.
There are three ways to transition between your characters: (1) automatic; (2) while viewing a movie; and (3) player initiated (clicking the appropriate HUD button).
After Chop (Franklin’s dog) plays his main role he can get lost and end up in the pound if Franklin neglects him (think horses in Red Dead Redemption).
Transitions between characters will not take more than 10 seconds maximum.
When you die the screen goes blurry.
The quality of in-game graphics is just as good as has been shown in the trailers (hooray!).
The Vinewood sign is visible from any corner of the city and if you climb the sign, you’ll get a one-star wanted level. Doing anything illegal like this will be enforced (like walking over a car bridge, climbing onto the roof of a train, etc).
Just about every big house in the map has a tennis court and they can all be played on.
You can get hit by lightning.
You need to obey road rules or else you will get a one-star wanted level.
There will be drunk drivers that you’ll need to look out for on the road.
There’s lots of car wrecks and other vehicle under the sea for you to explore – planes, boats, bodies, etc.
Driving a golf cart anywhere but on a golf course will earn you a fine.
As your wanted-level increases, the rhythm and intensity of the in-game music increases.