The lights are on
After nineteen months, two console launches, and 45 million units shipped, the latest entry to Rockstar’s flagship franchise is finally coming to PC. When Grand Theft Auto V arrives on the largest platform April 14, it won’t be a half-baked port devoid of new features. Rockstar’s core team has spent the last several months making sure the game leverages the increased power and flexibility afforded by the ever-evolving platform. Here are five reasons why PC players should be excited for its arrival.
Best In Class GraphicsFor the privileged and the hardcore who have already built a power-sucking rig capable of displaying 4K images at a high framerate, GTA V is another destination game tailored to show off your luxury acquisition. Rockstar says the game supports 4K resolution “and beyond,” and the PC version is the only one that runs at 60 frames per second. This edition also has better draw distances than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offerings.
The high-end performance capabilities of the game haven’t hindered its ability to scale to older computers as well. The minimum system requirements should accommodate anyone with a modest 64-bit rig, and Rockstar says an average system should be able to achieve 1080p resolution.
Fully Functional GTA OnlineWhen players originally bought Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, they had to wait two weeks before Grand Theft Auto Online debuted. The wait was even longer for the promised online heists, which finally launched a few weeks back. PC players won’t have to endure the same piecemeal rollout.
On day one, PC players who log into GTA Online will already have access to all of the DLC Rockstar has pumped into the console versions. This includes the popular heists, which you can read about here. If you already were playing GTA V on your old or new console, you can transfer your character to the PC version if you wish. The game provides customization options for textures, shaders, water quality, grass, particles, tessellation, reflections, and city density so you can optimize your experience.
The Rockstar EditorA quick survey of YouTube gives you a good indication of how many people love to create videos in GTA V – an avalanche of them are uploaded each week. To help budding web directors, Rockstar is introducing the Rockstar Editor exclusively for PC.
This toolset allows players to capture gameplay sessions, edit the clips, and upload them directly to YouTube or the Social Club without the need of additional hardware or software. You can either continuously record or use the Action Replay functionality to capture a great moment after it happens, similar to the Xbox One “record that” feature. You can look at the footage with the game camera, via one of the pre-set camera angles, or with a free camera.
Players can alter their videos with several effect styles, including camera shake (great for explosions), saturation, contrast, and vignette. Options to speed up or slow down footage and adjust the volume level of sound effects and dialogue also exist.
Director ModeFor the truly ambitious virtual filmmakers, Grand Theft Auto V offers the Director mode. This suite of tools used alongside the Rockstar Editor allows players to set up their own scenes, placing characters, pedestrians, and animals wherever in the world they want. Once you have your scene outlined, you can tweak the mood by altering the weather, wanted status, time of day, and pedestrian/traffic density. After your scene is established, the mode gives you the option to trigger various gestures and character-specific dialogue clips to play out your ad hoc vignette.
Players can unlock various characters, heist crew members, special pedestrians, and animals to use in Director Mode as they play through the game’s storyline. These videos are easily uploaded to YouTube and the Social Club via the Rockstar Editor.
Custom SoundtracksIt may not be the Spotify integration we were hoping for, but Rockstar is letting players make their own radio station using music files on their computer. After putting copies of song selections into a specific folder, you can listen to them on the Self Radio station. An auto scan will identify new songs as you add them upon starting the game.
Players have a few different options for listening to these custom soundtracks. You can play them sequentially, shuffle the collection, or have Rockstar integrate them into a radio experience complete with commercial breaks, station IDs, bumpers, and banter between DJs Cliff Lee and Andee, who you may remember from Lips 106 in Liberty City Stories. In the pause menu you can choose whether you want to have the songs play in the order you have them in the folder or to let the game analyze the collection and build a playlist order.
If you don’t want to build your own station, you can enjoy some new tunes on the in-game stations courtesy of Rockstar. For the PC version, the developer added The Lab FM, hosted by Alchemst and Oh No, to the rotation. Artists featured on this eclectic new station include Earl Sweatshirt of OFWGKTA fame, Little Dragon, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio, Phantogram, Freddie Gibbs, Gangrene, Future Islands’ Samuel Herring, and more.
You can read our original review of Grand Theft Auto V here.
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