Xbox Xbox Series X

Grand Theft Auto 5 "Finally Releases" On Consoles

Courtesy of Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto 5 (Next Gen Version)

Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Available as: Digital and Physical

A New Grand Theft Auto? Finally!

Rockstar's long-awaited newest entry in their iconic Grand Theft Auto series is finally here, with Grand Theft Auto 5 releasing on modern consoles. It has been almost fourteen years since Grand Theft Auto 4 was released. Within that gap, there hasn't been a new title in the GTA franchise since. This is the very first time we've seen Michael, Trevor, and Franklin committing heists, dealing with family issues, trust issues, and schizophrenia. There also isn't a sprawling MMO open-world sandbox called Grand Theft Auto Online that's its own game separate from GTA 5 as well.

Wait, the original came out in 2013? It'll be almost a decade since GTA 5 was originally released? This is the third generation to see GTA 5? No way.


Back For The Third Time

Sarcasm overload aside, yes, we are here once again. A new console generation means a new way to play Grand Theft Auto 5, Rockstar's cash cow, in an "innovative" way. As if the remastered version for the PS4 and Xbox One weren't enough, GTA 5 gets even more technical in the next generation. 4K resolutions, 60 fps, and HDR modes are all advertised and are all welcome, but this doesn't re-invent the wheel.

Anyone who knows Rockstar and how Grand Theft Auto 5 has been handled already knows this is just another drop in the piggy bank. So, how is GTA 5 for the third time? Do the enhancements give the game a new lease on life? Or is it really nothing more than Rockstar Games stretching the game thinner?


The Boys Never Left The Town

I am aware that there are those who have played the game and already know the story, but as a refresher here's the synopsis. Grand Theft Auto 5 begins with Michael and his partner Trevor performing a heist in North Yankton. The heist goes wrong as the police get involved, ultimately ending in the execution of their partner. Michael fakes his death and takes a plea deal, living under witness protection and trying to live a "peaceful" life as a civilian. Around the same time, Franklin is introduced as the bottom of the totem pole in Los Santos. Franklin and Michael cross paths through a chance encounter involving a sleazy car salesman and a partnership is born.

At the time of this writing, I had yet to even boot the Series X version of Grand Theft Auto 5. This was all from muscle memory from what I remember over the multiple times I've played this title. The main story hasn't changed at all over the years and it has the same effect as watching a modern classic movie. You know how it begins, you know the funny jokes, the dramatic bits, and its climax. It's still a good watch to come back to every now and again only this time it's now the "HD 4K Ultra IMAX" remastered version. That's the best way to explain the next-gen versions of GTA 5.


Like Catching Up With An Old Friend You Just Saw Last Week

I've played Grand Theft Auto 5 up until the mission where Michael, with the help of Franklin, saves his son Jimmy who tries to sell his yacht. In total that's five missions, including the prologue, which was enough to soak in the technical marvels the next-gen versions boasted. As promised, the "Performance" mode sets the game in 60fps mode while "Fidelity" locks it at 30. The "higher fidelity" is best experienced in sunny areas such as the beaches of Los Santos or in daylight. At night, it's not as noticeable but the brake light trails from the cars are more promenant.

There's a third graphic mode known as "Performance RT" which combines both "Fidelity" and "Performance" mode. The trade-off is a lower resolution but I didn't notice any changes. Graphic-wise I'd compare "Fidelity" to running Grand Theft Auto 5 on max settings on the PC. The PC version was able to attain the same quality as the next-gen ports over time, yet it had done so for years now. From a console perspective however, GTA 5 never looked better than this. Considering the game is nine years old, it was ahead of its time back then for it to look as good as it does now.


Grand Theft Auto 5 On The Next Gen Is Only For The Stragglers

Despite the game closing in on a decade, there are a sizable chunk of players who have yet to play GTA 5. I speak for myself as I hadn't played it until 2020, yet it's a case of "better late than never." If Rockstar Games' party is still going strong, are the late comers ever going to miss out?

Considering the dumpster fire that was the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: "Definitive Edition", I suppose re-releasing GTA 5 for the twentieth time wouldn't be the most offensive thing Rockstar did. It'd be the safest bet that would net them a gain over a loss. For first time buyers, it's always a treat to play Grand Theft Auto 5. Sometimes I wish I could experience the title for the first time again so things can feel fresh, but alas.


Grand Theft Auto 5 (Next Gen Version) is now available on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

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