Grand Theft Auto 5 Expanded and Enhanced is rapidly nearing release - unless those rumors of yet another delay pan out - but it increasingly seems that Rockstar Games will be quite short on anything new to actually surprise us with by the time it drops. Even more leaks regarding the upcoming next-gen port's features have begun to make the rounds.
At this point we're convinced that the industry insiders and informants - who typically are always the usual suspects - have known all this and more for a while now, but are deliberately dropping the breadcrumbs bit by bit to stay in the headlines all the longer.
Joining the recent leaks regarding vehicle rebalancing and a racing overhaul are rumors that while E&E won't be expanding the main Los Santos and Blaine County map, Cayo Perico will get more content and more ground to cover.
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Fans have been clamoring for some kind of map expansion for years now, as the available playing space has remained much the same ever since launch even though the amount of content has skyrocketed - GTA Online might feel a mite cramped these days.
According to returning renowned leaker Tez2, the original plans for Cayo Perico were much grander than what we saw in the actual DLC involving the heist, however the developers deliberately kept back a lot of that content expressly for the E&E. Not only does this involve more things to do, but also more places to explore - this could mean additional islands and landmasses added to the archipelago.
While it is disappointing that the main map won't be expanded anytime soon, it's still a step in the right direction and will provide players with more space to sow chaos in. With Rockstar having hinted at The Contract's style of story oriented content being the go-to format for upcoming GTA Online updates, this may mean we'll have a new storyline for Cayo Perico in the near future.
Tez2 also noted data mined references to new collectibles to be found in Cayo Perico with Expanded and Enhanced, called Buried Stashes that players would have to look for using metal detectors. These would act as new "daily collectibles", reset over 24 hour cycles allowing you to look for them presumably ad infinitum. It also seems that updates and changes will grace the beach party area as well.
Speaking of data mining, it also seems that WildBrick, one of the premiere GTA 5 and Online data miners, has found references in the game files to a new selection of clothing items that will be among the incentives Rockstar plans to use to get existing players to buy into the upgrade.
Featuring exclusive clothing items for transferring characters to E&E.
This may be one of many bonuses Rockstar is planning for Returning Players.
— Tez2 (@TezFunz2) January 25, 2022
This clothing category, called Gen 9 Exclusive, will apparently include all new clothing items that are exclusive to the E&E, to which transferring players will be granted free access. This is the first time we've heard of character transfers within the context of the next-gen update.
It makes sense that the new release will have this feature to encourage current console players to buy the port and carry over all of their progress and items, being able to pick up right where they left off while still enjoying the new version's benefits. However, at the same time this also raises questions about how things will work on PC.
It is not yet clear at all whether the E&E improvements, features and content will arrive on PC, and in what form - most likely it would work as a paid update rather than being a whole new release, since E&E being a separate product rather than a crop of patches mostly serves console architecture.
Luckily, we needn't wait long until we find out - GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced will be launching in March if all goes well.