Grand Theft Auto 5 Next-Gen – 13 Things You Need To Know

Rockstar Games' massively successful open world title is coming to Xbox Series X/S and PS5 on March 15th. Here's what you need to know.

Posted By | On 25th, Feb. 2022

Grand Theft Auto 5 Next-Gen – 13 Things You Need To Know

One of the biggest games of the previous console generation – and the generation before that – is finally coming to this generation. Grand Theft Auto 5 and Grand Theft Auto Online are releasing on March 15th for Xbox Series X/S and PS5. For many, it may just be another series of ports for a 2013 game…and they would more or less be right in terms of the content offered. However, there are a good number of features that are exclusive to the current-generation of consoles. Let’s take a look at 13 things you should know before picking it up, starting with a quick refresher on…

Story and Setting

Before GTA Online became the live-service juggernaut that it currently is, Grand Theft Auto 5 was marketed purely on the basis of its Story Mode. The story focuses on three playable characters – Michael, a former bank robber who lives in Los Santos with his family after selling out his old crewmates; Franklin, a small-time criminal looking to make it big; and Trevor, a self-professed psychopath and Michael’s former partner. Their paths eventually intertwine, resulting in a number of heists and other activities across San Andreas, putting them at odds with the FIB, Merryweather and much more. Over the course of the story, players can switch between the three at almost any point.

The true appeal of GTA 5’s Story Mode is the world. Based on Southern California, players can venture through the city of Los Santos and meet all kinds of NPCs, taking on jobs for different rewards, stealing vehicles, or simply shopping for clothes. Venture out into Blaine County for some flying (and smuggling) or go hunting in the wild. There’s a lot to see and experience, and the sheer attention to detail still holds up after all these years.

Gameplay and Combat

Grand Theft Auto 5_GTA5

If you’ve never played a 3D or HD Grand Theft Auto title before, then GTA 5 is essentially an open world action adventure title. Along with exploring on foot, there are multiple vehicles to drive along with aircraft and seacraft. You can punch random civilians, engage in shootouts with the police, hijack vehicles and so on and so forth. There’s a large arsenal of weapons to choose from with options for both third person and first person combat. Cover is important but each character also has a special ability to give them an edge. Michael gets Area Kill, which slows down time during shootouts; Franklin has Driving Focus, which slows time while driving and allows for more maneuverability; and Trevor has Red Mist which provides immunity to death, damage resistance and increased damage output.

Grand Theft Auto Online

gta online

Of course, the other major component of Grand Theft Auto 5 is its introduction of Grand Theft Auto Online. The multiplayer mode allows players to create their own custom characters and play with up to 30 other people in a variety of modes ranging from races, team deathmatch and objective-based modes to events and Heists. Earn enough money and you can unlock new vehicles, clothes, weapons and much more. GTA Online has received tons of content through the years, like businesses, additional missions and Heists, and even story content like The Contract which focuses on Franklin after the events of the campaign.

Up to 4K Resolution and Up to 60 FPS Support

gta 5

With all of the above out of the way, it’s time to ask: How does Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 differ from previous versions? They support up to 4K resolution and up to 60 FPS support to start with, and while that may sound impressive, the wording is important. “Up to 4K”, for instance, could mean a dynamic 4K resolution. Alternatively, it could indicate different graphical modes with 4K only being possible in, say, Quality Mode and 60 FPS only possible in Performance Mode. Rockstar has yet to confirm this so we’ll need to wait for more details.

Ray Tracing and HDR

Support for ray tracing and high dynamic range lighting or HDR has been confirmed but once again, more information is needed. Will there only be ray traced reflections or ambient occlusion and shadows as well? How will it impact performance? Can we expect a separate graphical mode for the same? Regardless, HDR support should see Los Santos looking even better than ever. Hopefully.

Texture and Draw Distance Upgrades

Some of the graphical improvements that the current-gen versions will bring are upgrades to “textures and draw distance.” This is especially interesting since the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions already improved texture details and draw distance along with weather effects and traffic density. We could see even more additions to the wildlife and vegetation present along with finer details but once again, time will tell.

Faster Loading Times

Back in 2013, Grand Theft Auto 5 was absolute murder when it came to loading times. The PS4 and Xbox One versions felt better but it still took a good minute or two to get into the game. With the power of the SSD in the Xbox Series X/S and PS5, faster loading times have been promised. Since these versions are being specifically optimized, we’re hoping that they’ll load comparatively faster than running the Xbox One version of the game on Xbox Series X.

Skipping the Story Mode Prologue

grand theft auto 5 pc

Let’s say you’re picking up Grand Theft Auto 5 and want to hop into GTA Online as soon as possible. The current-gen versions provide the option to skip the Story Mode’s Prologue and dive right in. A new tutorial has also been added and should help to ease new players into online play.

Career Builder

If you are new to GTA Online, then good news – you can take advantage of the new Career Builder to gain immediate access to one of four businesses like Executive, Gunrunner and Biker to start generating in-game money immediately. This is in addition to receiving a hefty sum of money and a “high-end vehicle”, both which have yet to be revealed. Fortunately, returning players have the option to restart and also use the Career Builder to do things differently.

Story Mode Progress and Online Character Transfer

gta online the contract

Those keen on carrying over their progress from previous gen versions needn’t worry. Along with Story Mode progress transfer, you can also transfer GTA Online characters into the new console versions. The latter seems to only be a one-time deal once the current-gen version launches so stay tuned for more details on how it will actually work.

Vehicle Upgrades

One new feature that GTA Online players on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 can benefit from is vehicle upgrades. Five existing and five new vehicles can be upgraded at Hao’s Special Works, which will be accessible through the LS Car Meet. The full extent of the upgrades is unknown but “elite driving performance that takes full advantage of the upgraded power of new console hardware” has been promised by the developer.

Free for PS5 Players

grand theft auto 5 online dlc heists

Along with Grand Theft Auto 5 for current-gen consoles, March 15th also marks the standalone release of GTA Online. However, PS5 players will be able to download it for free within the first three months of its launch. Yes, you still need PlayStation Plus to actually play the game but it’s free for non-subscribers as well.

3D Audio and DualSense support

Other exclusive benefits for PS5 players include support for 3D Audio and the DualSense’s haptic feedback. Both of these should increase the level of immersion, whether you’re cruising through the city or in the middle of a gunfight. Again, how exactly Rockstar will be taking advantage of these features remains to be seen, especially when it comes to supporting the adaptive triggers.

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