When Rockstar brought Grand Theft Auto V to next-generation consoles and PCs back in 2014, it wasn't a simple port. Much of the game's graphics had been reworked to take advantage of the new hardware, including additions like high-definition real-time reflections, added foliage and entirely new fauna.
Other publishers may be content to push out an updated port of an older game, but Rockstar went above and beyond with GTA V.
Even so, it's been nearly two years since GTA V hit the PC — and while it still looks great, there are plenty of other games that are starting to edge it out in terms of graphical fidelity (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt immediately comes to mind). It's part of the natural evolution of gaming ... but a group of fans is doing the best to keep Grand Theft Auto V at the forefront of PC graphics.
PC gamers are no stranger to graphical mods, and GTA V has its fair share of visual tweaks and upgrades. That being said, there are few mods as powerful or pretty as GTA5 Redux: developed by a group of dedicated gamers, the mod completely overhauls the game's visuals to create something that's truly impressive. Simply put, GTA5 Redux makes the game look like it was released earlier this year, not in 2014:
Right off the bat, Redux brings a serious texture and lighting upgrade to GTA V. When it first launched, the game featured a few blurry textures and shadows — instead of simply upping the resolution on Rockstar's older assets, the Redux team has created an entirely new set of textures and effects.
The improvements are easiest to see on roads: instead of looking like flat sheets of pavement, roads now look like they've actually been driven on. Tiny details, like new sidewalk textures and realistic potholes help create the sense that these aren't brand new roads — people actually use them.
Lighting and shadows have received a similar bump in quality, with shafts of light gently shining through billowing smoke and busted-out windows while soft shadows create a more realistic sense of depth. On top of all that, the mod comes with new particle effects and texture overlays, too — they're smaller touches, but the combined effect is definitely worth it.
Simply put, Redux looks great ... and the mod looks even better when it starts raining.
Redux doesn't just make changes to the visuals, however: everything, from police responses to enemy loads to bullet physics to lock-on aiming has been tweaked as part of the mod. Seriously, the list is absolutely massive — there are too many tweaks to list here (though you can read them over at the mod's official site).
Honestly, it's stunning that a small team of fans could come up with such a universal overhaul of how Grand Theft Auto V works. Sure, the mod will come at the cost of performance, but even those with less-powerful PCs can appreciate the gameplay adjustments. In a lot of ways, the Redux mod is almost like a second PC port — only this time, it's 100 percent free.
There's still no firm release date for the GTA5 Redux mod, but the team has promised that a solid launch will be revealed in the next video. To keep up with everything Redux-related, make sure to check out the mod team's official site.