A new update to GTA Online included some code from RDR2, which suggests that the upcoming Series X and PS5 updates could include a leap in tech.

by Alex Santa Maria, Screen Rant

Code found hidden away in a recent Grand Theft Auto V update suggests that the upcoming enhanced version of the game for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S may be sharing tech with Rockstar Games’ latest hit sandbox, Red Dead Redemption 2. Released just over two short years ago, there are few games that have matched the technical achievement of the cowboy open-world adventure in 2021. This level of technical achievement did come with a human cost for those working at Rockstar, and the cruel practice of crunch is evident in the final product’s slightly ridiculous attention to detail.

Red Dead Redemption 2‘s cities and outposts feel like living and breathing simulations, and that’s where a lot of the appeal lies for Rockstar’s legions of fans. However, one thing that Red Dead Redemption can’t claim over Grand Theft Auto is a more populous online mode. Despite releasing years earlier and lacking Red Dead Online‘s standalone release (for now), GTA Online remains the destination for those looking for open-world mayhem. Perhaps this is due to the low tech setting of cowboys being no match for the expansive mix of urban and rural environments that GTA Online benefits from. It’d be counterproductive to cram a rocket-powered motorbike with rocket launchers mounted to the front into the old world of Red Dead Online, so it remains more low-key compared to its modern-day sister sandbox.

Grand Theft Auto V and Online players may soon be getting the best of both works if some code referenced in a new update proves fruitful. Datamined by GTAForums user alloc8or, the latest update to the  refers to the specific branch of the RAGE engine (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine) utilized in Red Dead Redemption 2. This means that the developer could be planning to port the game to that engine, utilizing the tech from Red Dead Redemption 2 to give Grand Theft Auto V its second full-fledged update for a new set of hardware.

Some note that it’s possible that Rockstar could only be updating something like the UI to the newer Red Dead Redemption standards, leaving the rest of the game more or less as it is on a structural level. Considering that Grand Theft Auto V was originally released in 2013 and that a sixth entry in the franchise seems likely this generation, that line of thinking has its merits. On the other hand, if it wasn’t going to be a full update, it would be strange for Rockstar to miss the opportunity to advertise that GTA Online is enhanced for new consoles on launch day. Either way, other than a promise of a 2021 release, the newer generations’ versions of GTA V and Onlinemostly remain a mystery.

Grand Theft Auto V turns eight years old in 2021, and few games have maintained their momentum as much as Rockstar’s arguable magnum opus. While it’s unfortunate that GTA Online consumed the rest of the game and any potential single-player DLC, there’s no denying that there’s a healthy player base who consider the game expansive enough to play day after day for years on end. From stunting across the map to just grinding missions for an expensive car, the online component of the game is its own animal and it will likely reach World of Warcraft levels of longevity before it’s finally put to bed for good.

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