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Hands On: Is GTA 5 On PS5 Worth It?

Oh my, here we go, all over again! Over 160 million copies of Grand Theft Auto 5 have been sold in the roughly ten years following the game’s first release, making it one of the most successful video games of all time. The game made its debut on the PlayStation 3 in 2013 and has been a consistent fixture on the software sales rankings for the whole of the PS4 generation. It has now been published on the PlayStation 5. Those of you who play Grand Theft Auto Online on Sony’s next-generation system will be able to download it for free, while the single-player campaign will bear an introductory price of only $8.75/$9.99 until June 14th, 2022. This offer is good until 14 years from now. But would it be beneficial to upgrade?

Hands On: Is GTA 5 On PS5 Worth It?

Since its release on PS4 in 2014, Rockstar has seldom altered the game’s setting of Los Santos. That means that the console version of the game has been stuck at 30 frames per second in 1080p resolution for the past eight years, regardless of whether you purchased a PS4 Pro or have been using the backwards compatibility feature of the PS5. This limitation has been in place regardless of whether you have been playing the game on a PS4 or a PS5. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that it is mind-blowing to see the release presented at 60 frames per second in greater quality. However, when compared to the standards of current open worlds, it is not really all that spectacular. The developer has also included support for native HDR, and although some of the locations appear a touch too colourful for our tastes, the sandbox’s sun is so realistically rendered that you can practically feel its warmth on the back of your neck.

There are three different graphic alternatives to choose from: Fidelity has the best image quality and appears to resolve a native 4K at a smooth 30 frames-per-second. Performance drops the resolution slightly, but it’s still way above the PS4 version’s 1080p, and it presents an equally smooth 60 frames-per-second. Fidelity has the advantage in terms of image quality. Although the framerate remained stable despite our attempts to generate explosions, the results may vary depending on the level of stress you put it under. The third choice is Performance RT, which combines raytracing with refresh rates of 60 frames per second. However, in all honesty, we couldn’t tell much of a difference between the two variations of Performance, so you may want to wait for someone with a microscope to explain exactly what’s going on here.

Our eyes tell us that all three settings look fantastic; but, taking into account how ponderous and clunky GTA 5’s controls may seem at the best of times, the possibilities to play at 60 frames per second are figuratively and literally a game changer. The feeling of driving around Los Santos with the latest GTA Online tuning changes — more on those later – is very similar to that of playing WipEout, and the aiming response time has been greatly reduced. There are some textures in the game that are obviously very old, and the character models, particularly their faces, aren’t up to par with those of more recent games like Horizon: Forbidden West or even The Last of Us 2 in terms of quality. Despite this, the game is still enjoyable to play, despite the fact that it does show signs of its age. Nevertheless, the game we’re discussing about was released in 2013.

Additionally, loading speeds have seen considerable improvements. Once you have launched the game for the first time, it has a nifty feature that, after that, it will skip all of the obnoxious logos and copyright information, which will save you a minimum of thirty seconds each time. From that point on, we were able to enter the single-player campaign in 11 seconds after leaving the main menu, and switching characters took only six seconds. The initial startup of GTA Online will still take about 44 seconds, but the flow of the multiplayer mode has been significantly sped up overall. This will allow you to load in and out of important locations, such as the Diamond & Casino Resort, much more quickly than you could in the previous version of the game.

Main Menu to Single Player11 seconds50 seconds
Single Player Character Switching6 seconds17 seconds
Main Menu to GTA Online Freeroam44 seconds95 seconds

As was pointed to before, the only significant difference in the content of Grand Theft Auto 5 between the PS5 and PS4 versions is the inclusion of Hao’s Special Works in GTA Online. This feature enables players to modify certain cars with tuning improvements to make them move faster. And these speed advantages are considerable; when combined with the performance of sixty frames per second, you will be able to move quite quickly. Even when not travelling at these scorching new rates, there is still quite an amount of pop-in, but we guess that even the lightning fast SSD in the PS5 won’t be able to prevent that from happening.

Sadly, Rockstar has not made many changes to enhance the fluidity of the multiplayer experience. Even though there is a new main menu screen that enables you to go right to highlighted content, novices may still find Los Santos to be difficult to navigate. If this is your first time playing GTA Online, we recommend consulting our beginner’s guide. The overall experience is a bit of a jumble as a result of years and years of tacking material onto a game that was not initially meant for it. You will still have to wait ridiculous amounts of time for lobbies to fill, and some of the menus genuinely beggar belief. Although development on Grand Theft Auto 6 has begun, the game may not be available for many years.

The single-player adventure, although being outmoded in some sections, nevertheless has moments that will make you laugh out loud, and it has some genuinely unforgettable moments. After completing a few of our favourite missions, especially the sequence with the Life Invader, we can confidently say that there is nothing else quite like this. The open world is also maybe unmatched; even the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 does not have a setting that is as vibrant and realistic as the one in this game. Ultimately, the fact that a release from 2013 still has this much character is a genuine tribute to the initial vision that Rockstar had for the game.

Is it really necessary to make the upgrade? Well, do you enjoy GTA 5? We didn’t even mention the DualSense support, which is brilliantly implemented, and even captures minute details like rain. This is by far the best version of Los Santos that can be found on console, and it is second only to the PC release in terms of quality. Loading times are quick, the graphics are crisp, and the framerate is silky smooth, all of which help eliminate some of the gameplay issues that were present in the original. Even if you’ve already purchased this item at its regular price, taking advantage of this introductory deal will save you a significant amount of money. But if you’ve already completed these objectives and have no desire to participate in GTA Online, it’s going to be a lot harder to convince you to buy the expansion, we’re guessing. The issue is that we don’t believe you’ll be able to satisfy your need for Grand Theft Auto 6 for quite some time.

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