Posted by Rob Harris @RHarris
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

GTA V was never a graphical slouch. Rockstar's distinctive art style -- something close to exaggerated realism -- has always managed to evoke worlds that feel both contemporary and timeless.

In 2014 the game was treated to a visual upgrade on the PS4 and Xbox One, introducing a first-person mode that highlighted the developer's staggering attention to detail. In 2015 GTA V launched on the PC and, two years after the original release, it continued to hold its own as one of the best looking video games around.

Raising the graphical bar

That said, there's always room for improvement, especially if GTA's incredibly active modding community has anything to do with it. One talented modder, Josh Romito, has been working extensively on a graphical facelift for the game, named 'GTA V Redux.'

The mod includes a number of impressive features that help make Blaine County look more beautiful than ever before, including:

  • 100% re-written weather files from scratch, without a detail over-looked.
  • Newly added volumetric lighting for all times of day.
  • Massively improved terrain tessellation, adding detail to the environment that has never been seen before.
  • Brand new, real life, company textures for billboards, commercial vehicles, trailers, bus stops, and taxi ads.
  • 4k textures: Plants, tree's, bushes, grass, fire, explosions, particle effects, water, clouds, sky dome, and more!

If that's all gobbledygook to you, there's a much easier way of demonstrating what all these improvements add up to. The standardized barometer for measuring the power of any graphical engine, for me, is how good rendered wet pavement looks. In this test, GTA V Redux excels:

You might be wondering how all this extra visual fidelity affects the game's performance. Surely Redux puts unbearable strain on your PC graphics card, right? Not necessarily. Josh Romito says:

I suggest that your able to run the vanilla game with at least 10 fps to spare, in order to achieve optimal performance with the mod . There will be a typical frame-rate drop anywhere from 5-10 fps depending on your PC.

That sounds surprisingly undemaning.

How can I get GTA V Redux?

Unfortunately, the mod is not quite ready for release and is listed as 'coming soon.' Keep an eye on the website for further announcements.

In the meantime, why not check out some pre-release videos of the enhanced game in action, or browse the screenshots below...

Now that's some good looking vegetation

One two, Trevor's coming for you

Three, four, there goes my car door

Mayday, mayday

Hollywood shootout

All the rims

Cruisin' down the 101

Don't look down

What's your favorite GTA mod?

[Source: GTARedux]