The next-gen version of GTA turns out to be one of the top games for the PS4 as well, thanks to a wide range of improvements that go beyond a simple paint job.
In last year’s review of the X360 version of GTA V, we praised its presentation and narrative storytelling. We also expressed our curiosity in terms of what Rockstar would be able to do on next gen – and we didn’t have to wait long for the answer. A few months later versions for the PS4, Xbox One and PC were announced, promising to be the definitive versions of the game. Now that the console versions are here (PC will follow later), we’ve taken the PS4 edition for a spin.
Since this is a game we’ve previously reviewed for X360, we’ll be focusing on the major differences instead of re-telling a familiar story. The most obvious difference is in terms of the game’s visuals, which have undergone significant upgrades. This isn’t just an “HD” version of the original, but a world that’s bigger and brighter than ever before. Texture resolutions have been increased, which results in visible details you just couldn’t see before. Improved anti-alias, lighting and lens flare effects also add to the experience, as do the beautiful weather and fire effects.
Additional content has also been added, with more vehicles at your disposal than before. And there are other subtle touches, like weapons and weapon variations as well as a heavily upgraded song list throughout all of the radio stations that are available to you. This upgraded edition of GTA V certainly is a labor of love and its developers definitely didn’t take the easy way out. Without all that extra polish this still would have been a great game, but those who own a new console will be happy that they decided to go the extra mile.
Content and graphics aren’t the only thing new in this game – a first person mode was also added and it’s a serious gameplay changer. It doesn’t work quite as well during the driving (or flying) missions, but pulling off a robbery from your own personal perspective definitely makes things far more immersive than ever before. Sure, the subject matter is often controversial and staring someone in the face before deciding to take him out is a much harder choice this way, but that’s what great (interactive) storytelling is all about.
We didn’t play around much with GTA Online (added to the original X360/PS3 versions a while after their release), but it’s worth pointing out that it comes included with the package as well. Which can only lead to the conclusion that this really is the definitive version of GTA V and a must-have for those who (for whatever reason) missed out on the original release. It’s a harder sell for those who’ve already played a ton of GTA V on their older system, but if you’re ready for another playthrough – why not do it in the best way possible, on next gen?