GTA 5’s Ray Tracing Means Shop Corner Mirrors Actually Work

GTA 5’s Ray Tracing Means Shop Corner Mirrors Actually Work

GTA 5’s Ray Tracing Means Shop Corner Mirrors Actually Work

Rockstar’s addition of a graphical fidelity mode has made gamers notice things again.

It may be 2023, but Grand Theft Auto 5 remains one of the most popular and played video games. Although the title was released nearly a decade ago, Rockstar has remastered it and added things to freshen it up over the years, including performance and visual upgrades for PS5 and Xbox Series.

One of the most recent updates added ray tracing to GTA 5 and its online component. Not everyone will be able to see ray-traced reflections in real-time as the fidelity mode graphics setting only applies to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S players. Meanwhile, graphics specialists at Digital Foundry have marveled at the ray tracing Rockstar has implemented, while gamers are also impressed with the level of visual fidelity the new graphics mode allows.


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Over on the GTA subreddit, gamers have noticed new details and how ray tracing has made certain in-game assets shine brighter than ever.

As seen in the video, the player enters a grocery store in a first-person view in the online game. Looking around the items in the store, it’s really impressive to see how the resolution and detail of the items have been increased in the current-gen update, with snacks and magazines having legible text and bouncing light on them, helping to increase realism.

Walking through the store’s refrigerators, it’s clear how much more realistic ray-traced reflections can make surfaces look. Reflections from beverage cabinet windows have that subtle yet realistic look that is the signature of real-time ray-traced reflections that closely map the behavior of light in the real world. Ray tracing is a CPU-intensive technique that simulates the behavior of light in real time, unlike more traditional techniques where developers would simply “paint” light onto assets, to put it bluntly.

Then the piece de resistance. The player looks up, taking the in-game camera with them, to bring the “metal mirror ball thing” into view. Now, are you going to watch this? See how it shines, how it curves, and how the curved mirror reflects and refracts the surroundings and characters. Really, it’s a wonder to see a ten year old game watching that reflective. With ray tracing, in-game store owners should be able to better see if crimes are being committed now.

Nevertheless, Grand Theft Auto 6 would be good to see soon. And Rockstar Games has put its significant resources to focus on developing the sequel to its hit series. Meanwhile, players can walk around the world of GTA 5 and marvel at all those ray-traced surfaces.

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