Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC Preview

Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Preview

A lack of backwards compatibility with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 resulted in fans lashing out against Microsoft and Sony, respectively. While it’s perfectly acceptable to leave the high-tech confines of next generation gaming and return to those two workhorses, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, plenty of gamers want to run everything through one box instead of two (or three or four). They’ll often trade older machines to stores in order to fund their addiction, and besides, an HDTV stand can only hold so many devices.

Thankfully, a handful of publishers responded by porting games to Xbox One and PS4. Case in point, the outstanding combo pack Metro Redux, which features enhanced ports of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. We also have Halo: The Master Chief Collection arriving in November, complete with Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 on a single disc.

The biggest game on most people’s wish lists, however, is Grand Theft Auto 5. Rockstar’s phenomenal effort debuted right before the new systems launched, leaving plenty of gamers with an important decision. Do they hang onto this outstanding title and see it through on current gen machines, or sell it early in the hope that it comes out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC with a wealth of improvements? Not an easy choice, considering this is arguably the best game of 2013.

Here’s the great news. Rockstar will in fact bring GTA 5 to those aforementioned three platforms, and while the release date hangs in limbo, thus far it appears to be the definitive edition of the critically acclaimed open world adventure.

Los Santos and Blaine County receive a makeover

Based on the all-too-brief footage from a few months ago, GTA 5 next-gen looks incredible. Both the urban sprawl of Los Santos and the rustic Blaine County will benefit from increased draw distances that allow players to see even further, a major enhancement that’ll no doubt prove vital when running from the law or enjoying a scenic ride in an airplane.

In addition, Rockstar plans to add more wildlife to the experience, though we’ve yet to see the full list of critters. The roads, on the other hand, will see a huge boost in traffic. Clearly, Rockstar wants to perfectly capture the U.S. state of California’s cluttered freeways while making it even tougher to outrun the cops. Finally, character models received a welcome resolution boost, but don’t expect madman Trevor to look any crazier.

Had Rockstar forced Xbox 360 and PS3 users to start over with the port, we wouldn’t complain, but the company did one better by allowing those system owners to transfer their GTA Online progress to Xbox One and PS4. On the PC side, meanwhile, gamers will be able to check out an editing tool that lets them create and presumably upload replays. Considering the wealth of GTA videos already on YouTube, we can’t wait to see what the PC community dreams up.

Enjoy your new virtual getaway, where almost anything goes

Of course, there’s so much more to this game than graphical enhancements. There are numerous hours of content in GTA 5, beginning with a riveting story mode that follows three unlikely characters Franklin, Michael and Trevor (all of which come from vastly different backgrounds) coming together to pull of complicated Heists that’ll take precision planning and expert skills. Even the initial crime job, stealing precious stones from a jewellery store, will involve multiple characters all playing vital roles. Then we have side missions that further progress the plot, one of the most memorable challenges you to recap-ture Michael’s son and boat, both of which wind up on the highway.

From there, pick up scuba equipment and explore the ocean depths, hop aboard a jet ski and ride the waves, then partake in a wealth of other activities, from tennis and yoga to hunting and parachuting. In fact, if you crave an even tougher challenge, set off through the game world to track down a variety of collectibles, including hard-to-find UFO parts, among others.

If multiplayer interests you, there’s GTA Online. Once inside this crime-ridden mode, you can gun down or run over other players, challenge them to races, stock a garage filled with expensive rides and even own a piece of property to use as a safe zone; or party spot, your choice.

Finally, we expect all of the cheats from the Xbox 360 and PS3 GTA 5 to work with this one. With that, feel free to summon a Buzzard Attack Helicopter, pack an even bigger punch with explosive ammo or instantly spawn a high speed car to make a quick getaway. Need to bail a damaged plane? Jump out and call upon a Give Parachute.

GTA 5 is a must have for any system

Throw in most if not all downloadable content released to this point, and Grand Theft Auto 5 will shine on the newer platforms. If you played through the previous iteration, we highly suggest giving it another go just to see the visual improvements. Conversely, if you held out (with fingers tightly crossed) waiting for Rockstar to bring GTA 5 into the next generation, it’s an essential purchase and money well spent.

GTA V on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Preview

Published: 11/09/2014

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