Those of you who have been around since the GTA 4 days, and were familiar with the modding scene, are bound to recognize the monicker "Killatomate". You'll also be doing somersaults since you know what his name means when it comes to a GTA mod.
Physics has always been something difficult to accurately recreate in video games. With all the experience, knowledge and money being pumped into AAA titles, developers still can't quite get it right. GTA 5 is a pretty good example of this, with driving physics being an accurate depiction of some odd parallel dimension as opposed to our own reality.
It's not like this issue is unique to GTA 5. Rare is the game indeed which doesn't mess up some aspect of physics. Even sticking to the franchise, we need not look further back than GTA 4 which also had but a passing relationship with reality in terms of physics. That said, players on PC had a way to get around this.
One modder took it upon himself to correct the physics of the game. Okay, well, a damn boatload of modders took it upon themselves to do this, but one of them stands out as being the most successful. And his name was made famous with an extremely well-crafted mod which tweaked the driving mechanics of the game, making it more realistic.
Killatomate's work is well known in the GTA community and so his project to slap GTA 5's driving into shape is welcome by many. Realistic Driving V, the mod he painstakingly crafted for the game, was actually first released back in 2015. However he released the 2.0 update, with a massive amount of improvements, just now.
Just to put things into perspective, it took Killatomate a good 20 months to develop this mod. The amount of effort and skill on display here is pretty damn impressive, and if you try the mod out yourself you'll see that he absolutely deserves all the praise he's getting from the players.
Playing GTA 5 will feel completely different after installing this mod as it completely reworks the driving mechanics of over 300 vehicles in the game. The author went and tailored the various parameters for every single vehicle individually so that they react in a way that fits their weight, size, and shape.
Not only that, but he also went and reworked the properties of the various surfaces you drive on. Off-road driving and various weather conditions will factor into driving, so rain won't merely be a visual effect anymore. With the massive wilderness area dominating GTA 5's northern half, off-road enthusiasts will surely enjoy hill climbing and realistic dirt tracks.
A ton of research went into this mod, as all vehicles perfectly reflect the performance of their real-life counterparts, down to specific details such as the acceleration curve, top speed, braking, grip, handling characteristics and wheelspin. Arbitrary speed limits have been lifted both on the tarmac and off-road to reflect the ability of some rides to go far beyond 200 and 130 KM/h, respectively.
Not only are stock variants improved, but each performance mod is individually taken into account. Each possible vehicle configuration, considering everything from engine mods to spoilers, will handle in a realistic way. This turns the game into a pseudo-simulator, pretty much.
Every stat, tweak and change in the mod was measured in-game for perfect accuracy. There are no estimates here, no guesswork to speak of. This is hard science we're seeing here, and it's glorious. The feel of each vehicle is now distinct and memorable, giving them a greater measure of character.
Realistic Driving V is a treat from a technical standpoint as well. The mod is tiny, simply taking up a few megabytes of space on your hard drive. It's also presented in an easy to parse and understand (provided you know your coding) XML format. Clearly when we're dealing with someone as reputable as Killatomate, there is no need to be afraid of viruses or the like, but it wouldn't be possible to hide one in here anyway.
The main improvement in version 2.0 over the original release is the addition of 189 new vehicle profiles, giving DLC rides the realism treatment up to and including everything added to GTA 5 with the Import/Export update.
The content-rich mod also makes other miscellaneous changes across the board. Motorcycles are greatly improved, arguably benefiting the most from the custom physics profiles. Ramming law enforcement vehicles is now a thing you can do, which was a glaring omission from the base game.
The brilliance of this mod isn't being overlooked by the community either. With over 30,000 downloads and a solid rating of 4.75 out of 5, it's clear that the fans are eating this stuff right up. While the driving mechanics of GTA 5 are more than satisfactory for the average player, being better than in many other open-world games (*cough* Saint's Row *cough*), car enthusiasts would be hard-pressed to enjoy it without this mod.
Keep in mind that, for obvious reasons, this mod only works with stock vehicles already present in GTA 5 and Online. Since the vehicle profiles are hand-crafted for each ride as opposed to being calculated by an automated program, they would remain active no matter what kind of custom car mod you install alongside Realistic Driving V. Mixing the two can lead to all kinds of mishaps, especially if the car mod has its own handling profile, as it may conflict.
Will you be downloading Realistic Driving V for GTA 5?