Grand Theft Auto 5 steps into a new era on the 15th of March with the release of Expanded & Enhanced, a new re-launch on the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. We've known about the port's existence for a while now, and it even suffered a delay once.
But now Rockstar Games is finally opening up about some of the features.
While E&E is more than just a visual overhaul, its new graphical capabilities are definitely in focus. The re-release will support native and upscaled 4K resolution, improved textures, HDR, ray tracing, 60 FPS and more, taking advantage of the improved hardware of the new consoles it launches on.
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Three - or two, on Xbox Series S - graphics modes will let players choose between what they want to prioritize: visuals or performance. Fidelity Mode turns on all the fancy new graphical settings while aiming for a target FPS of 30, utilizing native 4K on the stronger consoles and upscaled 4K on the Series S.
Performance mode turns off ray tracing and HDR, while switching to upscaled 4K on the stronger machines and 1080p on the Series S, in order to hit a target FPS of 60. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X also has a third option, Performance RT, which is the same as Performance mode but with ray tracing turned on as a sort of middle road option.
Regardless of platform or mode, E&E will feature improvements like shorted loading times, increased density of vegetation and NPCs, better lighting effects that also affect shadows and reflections, and improved particle effects which appear in things like fire or weather conditions. Haptic feedback and immersive sound systems of your chose platform will also be used to their fullest.
Big changes are coming to Online as well. Going standalone for the first time, changes to the early Online experience were implemented to make that separation smooth. Starting GTA Online is no longer tied to completion of the story mode's prologue, and the tutorial has been completely changed as well.
A new Career Builder has been added to make starting out easier for new players, as over the course of its eight year life span GTA Online kept adding more and more content, and recently the grinding path to get from zero to the contemporary content became almost insurmountable. Career Builder will start you off with a business and some vehicles and properties needed to get a foothold, as well as an initial fund of GTA$ 4,000,000.
The influx of new content won't be slowing down and Rockstar has revealed more info about the first post-E&E DLC. Hao's Special Works will be an expansion for the LS Car Meet location, bringing in a new store for specialized vehicle upgrades. The content will also include new races, time trials and additional Prize Ride Challenges every week.
E&E is less than two weeks away, and players who intend to make the upgrade can already begin to prepare. Story mode transfers are available, allowing Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to upload their current save games to the Social Club, from where they will be able to transfer it to the new game on the 15th. Online transfers will be available from launch.
Grand Theft Auto 5 Expanded & Enhanced launches March 15.