Rockstar recently revealed that the next-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto 5 - which we're calling Expanded & Enhanced, or 'E&E' now - will be launching on the 11th of November this year. While most fans are more hyped for GTA 6, the immediate future of the series has garnered plenty of attention, and if recent leaks hold any truth, the re-release is much more than just a port.
Many fans' expectations for the game's native release on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 - current versions of GTA 5 are playable via backwards compatibility - are undoubtedly colored by what the Xbox One and PS4 Enhanced Edition offered over the launch version. However, it seems we're in for much more if you are willing to believe leakers.
This latest info drop comes from 4Chan, a frequent platform for video game leaks to be posted. Though fake leaks are rife, the site has also historically been the source of many high profile leaks that turned out to be true. We'll have to wait and see whether this is the real deal or just a board user belly dancing for internet fame, but the implications could be major.
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According to these unverified claims, the E&E edition is less of a remaster and more of a remake, with much of the original content redeveloped from the ground up on an upgraded version of the RAGE engine. Instead of old assets being polished and prettied up for the new gen, they have been rebuilt entirely to take maximum advantage of the new technology.
Many of the leaked enhancements are technically focused and, to be honest, entirely possible to just guess based on how generic and vague they are. You don't need insider knowledge to assume that a buffed up version of GTA 5 will have "better vehicle physics" and "improved AI". The juicy bits of this leak are the ones we wouldn't have expected.
Allegedly, Rockstar went back and tweaked many of the original gameplay mechanics and the story mode missions to be better suited for VR, which E&E will support. GTA 5 has some VR mods created by fans, but official VR compatibility would be a gamechanger.
There's also allegedly entirely new content being added to the story mode as well - brand new Stranger Missions which will be exclusive to E&E, alongside the groundbreaking addition of all the previously Online-only DLC cars, weapons, clothes and other items. You shouldn't expect the gameplay elements, like businesses and stunt races and motorcycle clubs and such to be making the jump, but the base items will be made available for Trevor, Michael and Franklin.
If this is true - and that is a massive 'if' - then we wonder if there will be some sort of selection going on, or if all vehicles will be dumped over. GTA 5's story mode was always more grounded in reality than the arcade insanity going on in Online with flying cars, submarine cars, jetpacks, sci-fi tanks, TRON lightcycles, laser guns and homing-missile launching flying motorcycles.
Allegedly E&E will also feature over 100 new licensed songs, but the real whopper in this particular leak is related to GTA Online - we already know that it will be going standalone when the ports launch. It is suggested in this leak that Rockstar plans to reveal GTA 6 via an in-game event hosted in Online.
While not included in this particular leak, the general assumption by fans is that the Cayo Perico map will also be available in story mode in the E&E, with the map expansion being part of the whole "Expanded" portion of that title.
Rockstar Games generally tends to skip major gaming events like E3, but there's a chance we might get some more news about GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced during the virtual showcase hosted by Take-Two. Meanwhile, check out everything we know about GTA 6.