Ten years later, GTA 5 still looks impressive, albeit after two re-releases. It’s most impressive on PS5, Xbox Series X, and high-end PCs. That said, it’s all still based on the original work that started way back in 2008 at Rockstar North. So, after learning that Take-Two, the parent company, has set aside $2 billion to support GTA VI during its entire lifetime, it’s no wonder that the most recent findings have yielded some extraordinary features.
After Rockstar got hacked in September 2022, a lot, and I mean A LOT, of GTA 6 development footage and other types of information got leaked all over the Internet. Since then, Rockstar tried to get rid of the evidence. However, it couldn’t be undone once it happened, with images and videos still roaming free.
More than a year later, people are still finding new things to hang on to regarding graphics and gameplay. Most recently, Rockstarmag, with the help of insider information, has been able to piece together some fantastic GTA 6 features, more specifically, regarding the “RAGE” game engine. It stands for “Rockstar Advanced Game Ending,” which isn’t an inspired name, but it gets the job done.
Apparently, Rockstar is currently using RAGE 9, with heavy improvements to the physics, day-night cycle, visual fidelity, and, of course, the NPC AI. Considering how RDR2 looks and how immersive the world is, can you imagine a superior experience? Because honestly, I can’t. But alas, it shall be so.
One area where Rockstar reportedly made headway is water simulation in real-time. Making water appear lifelike in games takes up an unbelievable amount of horsepower. So, if you ever thought water in a glass or even an ocean looked rough, it’s because the technology couldn’t support all that real-time simulation.
Thus, game developers had to use various tricks in the past to make things look like water. There are exceptions, of course, but it seems RAGE 9 has the real-time liquid shtick in the bag.
Vehicles are next on our list, which doesn’t surprise anyone. Everything you see in a video game is made out of polygons. Characters, clothes, weapons, and, of course, cars. The more polygons or geometry an object is made of, the more you can play with its structure. So imagine that instead of having 10,000 polygons, a car might now have 100,000 or more.
This would let Rockstar play around with body deformation in an unprecedented way. Bumps, crashes, and everything a car can go through will look x amount of times better than ever. A great example of vehicle damage simulation is the BeamNG.drive simulator.
The lighting will also look phenomenal. Apparently, the new RAGE engine can now better simulate how various objects react to light in terms of reflections and refractions. The lighting in RDR2 on a high-end PC looks absolutely gorgeous, so I can’t even fathom what more realistic lighting could mean.
Now, combine the global illumination with an amped-up weather system, and you end up with one of the most impressive visuals your eyes have ever seen.
Rockstarmag also said GTA 6 will have a fantastic weather system, much like RDR2, that will affect the world and gameplay. Heavy wind and storms will visibly affect the flora and oceans.
People at the beach may even head back to their cars and leave for home when a storm hits. We could even get a “severe weather” warning on our in-game phones and witness the sky go from crisp, shiny blue to horrifically dark and cloudy.
To say all of these features sound amazing would be a severe understatement. Thankfully, the in-development video leaks looked nothing like what we’ve discussed, so when the trailer finally appears, we can safely be blown away by how rad GTA 6 will look.
I’m hoping for a December 7 trailer release during Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards show. It’s celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so if there’s a reveal planned, it makes the most sense to be shown there.