We've also included a graphics comparison video and a review roundup to help you decide whether or not to invest in GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced, so keep on reading for all of that helpful guidance!
What is GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced?
When the remastered version of GTA 5 was announced in June 2020, the developers from Rockstar stated in an official blog post that this new version of Grand Theft Auto V would be "expanded and enhanced with new features and content" for PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
That's where the exact wording "expanded and enhanced" seems to have come from, and certain segments of the fan base have latched onto this phrasing and pored over it.
Basically, this is the new version of GTA 5 that is only available on the next-generation consoles. If you're lucky enough to have a PS5 or a next-gen Xbox, you should be able to buy this new version of GTA 5 from the store on said console.
Get the best of RadioTimes.com sent to your inbox. You'll never miss a thing...
Sign up to be the first to know about breaking stories and new series!
What has changed in GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced?
In another official blog post, Rockstar has detailed the expansions and enhancements that you'll see if you buy GTA 5 again for PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.
The blog promises "new graphics modes including up to 4K resolution, a framerate of up to 60 frames per second, improved texture qualities, HDR options and ray tracing, faster loading times, immersive 3D audio, platform-specific features, and more".
Those are the technical enhancements, basically, but what about the 'expanded' side of things? What is actually being added to GTA 5 in terms of new content?
Well, to be honest, you shouldn't expect that much in terms of fresh playable stuff. There aren't any new story chapters being added here, and nor are there any new gameplay modes.
However, as promised, you will be able to choose between a number of different visual modes that were never available on console before. They have been described in yet another official blog post like so:
Within the game itself, Rockstar hopes you will notice "increased population and traffic variety, increased vegetation density, improved lighting quality across shadows, water reflections, and other elements. Plus improved anti-aliasing, motion-blur, highly detailed new explosions, fire, and much more."
PS5 owners will also be able to feel enhanced controller sensations, with Rockstar adding support for the DualSense controller's haptic feedback and adaptive trigger features. Rockstar has apparently added "new sensations to weather effects, directional damage, rough road surfaces, explosions and much more".
There are also sound-based improvements, with Rockstar promising "immersive audio" that makes the most of Tempest 3D positional audio on PS5 and Spatial Sound on Xbox Series X/S.
GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced comparison video
Now that the expanded and enhanced version of GTA 5 has come out, graphics comparisons are beginning to appear on YouTube and various other video-sharing platforms.
The 10-minute video above is one of the easiest-to-understand comparisons that we've seen so far, and it's divided into sections so you can skip around and see how different parts of the game are looking in this new version.
It's worth noting at this stage that if you want to play this new version with 4K graphics and/or 60 frames per second, you'll need to have a TV or a monitor that is capable of doing those things. Sometimes, it's hard to see the improvements with remasters like this if you're still using the same ancient telly that you played the original game on.
GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced review roundup
Although not many people seem to be putting official review scores on them, hands-on impressions articles for the enhanced version of GTA 5 have now begun to appear online.
Sammy Barker from Push Square has played the PS5 version, and the resultant article says: "All three modes look great to our eye, although considering how slow and cumbersome GTA 5’s controls can feel at the best of times, the 60 frames-per-second options are literal game changers."
That Push Square piece goes on to add: "The game does still show its age, however: there are textures which are clearly ancient that pop up from time to time, and the character models – particularly their faces – can’t cut it against contemporary releases like Horizon Forbidden West or even The Last of Us 2. Still, we’re talking about a title from 2013 here."
Over at Pure Xbox, Fraser Gilbert has shared some hands-on impressions of the Xbox Series X version (the article notes that the Xbox Series S version was not tested yet at the time of writing).
That Pure Xbox article says: "Fidelity mode is where you'll start, and it looks pretty great considering this is a game that was made ten years ago. In particular, the three main characters (Michael, Trevor and Franklin) look sharper and more detailed than they've ever done on Xbox before, while the game's lighting is also notably improved across the board."
The article adds a little later on: "We feel like the game's use of HDR might be a little bit bugged at launch, as certain scenes appear overly dark to us, but we're only basing this off a couple of initial hours of impressions – there's more testing to be done before we can give a final verdict on this. In regards to everything else, we're suitably impressed with the visual and performance improvements in GTA V for Xbox Series X, much like we were with the Xbox One version in 2014."
Both of those articles also state that loading times have improved dramatically, which is certainly one thing to be happy about. But should you invest in this new version of GTA 5 on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S? Is it worth buying if you've already got the old version?
That's entirely up to you, of course, but we'd reiterate that a fancy TV will go a long way to helping you see the differences. Saying that, if you are playing on an older screen, you should still see the benefit of the faster loading, the controller changes and the audio improvements, so it might still be worth it if you're a mega fan.
Read more on Grand Theft Auto:
Follow Radio Times Gaming on Twitter for all the latest insights. Or if you're looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.
Visit our video game release schedule for all upcoming games on consoles. Swing by our hubs for more Gaming and Technology news.Advertisement
The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.