Game Reviews Xbox

Grand Theft Auto V Online Next-Gen Review – The Open World G.O.A.T

It’s hard to believe that Grand Theft Auto V was released back in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Here we are 2 console generations later and still talking about this title but for good reason. Rockstar by far has over-delivered with GTA Online.

I’m pretty sure they had no idea that the GTA V Online experience would have taken off and sustained this level of longevity, especially considering the rocky launch. To Rockstar’s credit, GTA Online is not the same game from 2013. We received countless expansions, in the form of new vehicles, locations to own, and some over-the-top story-based missions that the series is known for.

Now I did notice some confusion in regards to what exactly is GTA V Online other than a next-gen upgrade. The confusion appears to be in the title, specifically the word “Online”. This confusion is understandable since Sony is currently offering GTA V Online mode as a free download for PlayStation Plus members starting March 15, 2022, until June 14, 2022. This is only the online mode.

This full GTA V Online next-gen edition also includes the full original campaign for Franklin, Michael, and Trevor. You can migrate over your save game as long as you are signed in to your Rockstar Social Club account and your console is linked to your account. Once you’ve confirmed the console & account are linked, boot up your current version of GTA V and do the following:

1 – While in the game pause to bring up the crossbar menu

2 – Select game

3 – Select upload save game

You will see a full list of your saves. Choose the one you wish to continue using and upload the file.

Now close the game and boot up the new GTA V Online edition

1 – Once in the game, press pause

2 – Select game

3 – Select download save game

A screen will appear showing your uploaded save and ask if you want to download it. Please note, you are only allowed to do this save transfer once and it’s only allowed for the same platform the previous version of GTA V was played on. I completed the game on PS4 and Steam, I uploaded saved games from both but once I booted up GTA V Online on my Xbox Series X, it only saw the one save game file from my Xbox One version.

This is disappointing considering other games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla allow cross-platform progression with no limitations. As you would expect, all of your weapons, purchased properties, and vehicles will transfer over and you are good to go.

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume anyone reading this review has already played GTA V, especially considering it has sold over 160 million copies and currently stands as the 2nd best-selling video game of all time with the number one spot being held by Minecraft. On the flip side, I’m sure a large majority have only ventured into the Online mode due to the social aspect. Running amok in the streets of Los Santos is undoubtedly more fun with friends.

However, I personally have a fondness for the campaign which I have completed multiple times on various platforms. With that said, I spent the majority of my time with GTA V Online playing the campaign and checking out the key feature of this version which is the 3 graphical performance modes that we can choose from.

Fidelity – This is your new default upon booting up GTA V Online. It offers 4K resolution and Ray Tracing at 30 frames per second. Honestly, this mode looked beautiful and performed well but lacked the shine found in the other graphical options. This mode tries to offer a balanced mesh between performance and Ray Tracing, but I found it to be the most lackluster of the 3.

Performance – You will get 4k resolution with 60 frames per second. Once you switch from Fidelity to Performance, you will notice a huge overall look and feel of the game. The world is brighter with light reflections on vehicles and other objects more noticeable. The 60 frames per second option works wonders for the overall gameplay fluidity and character movements. Performance is my default now and I’m loving it.

Performance RT – Consider this the “Ultra High” option as it includes 4k resolution, Ray Tracing at 60 frames per second. And I know what you’re thinking, WOW! This should be the default since it has all the bells & whistles. The truth is I noticed some frame drops and other graphical hiccups not present in the other 2 graphic settings. Some locations look amazing like the beach fronts while other more densely populated areas not so much. This mode appears to be picking and choosing which settings to apply on the fly and can be a hit or miss depending on the situation.

One thing is guaranteed regardless of your graphical preference and that is the load speed. Thanks to the SSD, GTA V Online no longer has the time to make a sandwich boot upload time. The same applies when switching between characters. I counted 5 to 5 seconds for each character switch.

Overall, GTA V Online is a faster & prettier version of the open-world G.O.A.T. So if you are a long-time player with a next-gen console, this is a no brainer and a must buy, but for those new to the game, this is still a must-have if not for the amazing storytelling than for the absurd amount of content it contains thanks to years of updates. Hopefully, this will be the last rendition of this classic until GTA 6.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This review was written based on a digital review copy of Grand Theft Auto V Online for Xbox Series X provided by Rockstar Games.

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