Grand Theft Auto V fans have been eagerly awaiting any official news from Rockstar Games about Grand Theft Auto VI for over a year now, but thanks to a new GTA 5 graphics mod for the PC version, gamers can get a taste of what next-gen GTA might look like someday soon.
The GTA V Natural Visions Evolved mod essentially turns an adventure in Los Santos into a live-action movie. The PC-only mod is still a work-in-progress, but its creator Jamal “Razed” Rashid teased an early-access version of the mod with a gorgeous May 15 trailer. (Only Natural Visions’ Patreon supporters can download the mod.)
Natural Visions offers a complete overhaul of GTA 5’s lighting system, ambient colors, textures, and building models. The mod uses ray tracing — a graphics technique that simulates how light acts in real life — to make all of its upgraded assets look like a scene out of an action movie. This massive revamp of the 2013 game’s graphics hints at the graphical standards we can expect from the series with the eventual release of GTA 6.
Take a look at the stunning trailer.
“I've spent multiple years crafting the latest version of one of my mods,” Razed writes on the Patreon page. “It required me to modify hundreds of files / variables, several 3D models, and numerous textures to achieve a result that would bring the game to the next-generation of graphics.”
Razed assures his supporters that Natural Vision will be made available to the public on a GTA 5 mod sharing site eventually, but for now, the early version is being offered behind a Patreon paywal to help him and his team continue their work.
A big leap for console gamers
High-end PCs have been capable of supporting ray tracing in games since late 2018. But the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X were released before that, so those top-of-the-line current-gen consoles rely on more traditional kinds of light simulation that appear less realistic.
However, it's already been confirmed that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have the hardware needed to support ray tracing, so these kinds of stunning graphics won’t be exclusive to PC for much longer. Plus, if Natural Visions has already blown your mind, GTA 6 could seriously up the ante by outclassing even high-end mods like this in terms of graphics.
The Inverse Analysis — Rockstar created GTA 5 on its proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) software, which was completely reconstructed and modernized in preparation for the game’s launch. The company further refined RAGE for the 2018 release of Red Dead Redemption 2, so a huge upgrade before GTA 6 is all but guaranteed.
GTA 6 has been confirmed to be in development by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier in March, but Rockstar has yet to make any official announcements about the game. Schreier’s sources told him that the game is in “early development” and is still “years away,” which suggests the company is taking its time to create yet another open-world masterpiece. The longer we have to wait for the sequel, the more likely it as that the new graphics will be better than anything we've ever seen before in gaming.
Until Rockstar is ready to show off GTA 6 on next-gen consoles, Natural Visions is the perfect way to get a glimpse of what a next-generation Rockstar game could look like.