GTA VI Trailer Impressed Ex Rockstar Animator with How Far the Visuals Has Been Pushed

Following the release of the record-breaking GTA VI trailer, there has been an equally large amount of reactions from all kinds of content creators and personalities.

Among that sea, former Rockstar New England animator Mike York published his own reaction as an ex-employee of the studio. York worked on GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 for six years before leaving Rockstar (most recently, he worked on God of War Ragnarok in the final stretch to launch), and he was extremely impressed with the level of visuals achieved in GTA VI.

It’s not just a bigger city. Everything in the city is expanded on. What I mean by that is there’s more people, there’s more cars, there’s more plant life, there’s more animals, there’s more hair on each character. Every single thing has been reworked and developed and pushed. If you look here in this little cutscene, they even have little particles in the air floating through. This is an in-game cut scene. A lot of the games that you see are done with cinematics and they cut to a scene and it’s not all in-game, it’s kind of pre-rendered, but everything that you see in a GTA game is all done in-game. Every single cut scene.

Everything looks very good for in-game! I’m really impressed with how far they’re bringing the graphics for an in-game kind of version of this because a lot of times when you see a cinematic this is not that. When you play this game, it’s really going to look like this, it’s going to look just like this. It’s going to be incredible. I cannot wait, because the artists over there really know how to push the consoles and the hardware to the limits with their level of detail (LODs). Like, this is just a normal character that’s in the game, an NPC or whatever, but look how realistic they look. Now, usually the odd NPCs and somebody who’s just kind of milling about throughout the game that’s not a main character, it doesn’t look this good and that’s because they’re pushing the limits right now on this new hardware for PlayStation 5.

Mike York wasn’t the only one impressed with the trailer. Even Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann called it jaw-dropping (as well as ‘eerily familiar for someone who grew up in Miami’).

Frankly, we didn’t expect anything less from Rockstar. They are by far the biggest premium game developer on the planet, having delivered two back-to-back game of the generation experiences like Grand Theft Auto V (2013, PlayStation 3/Xbox 360) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018, PlayStation 4/Xbox One), which sold a combined 271 million units to date.

Both still stand the test of time when played on PC with mods. Still, with the jump to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, another big overhaul of the in-house RAGE Engine technology was definitely overdue, especially after even more time had passed between the games. It’s just too bad the game won’t launch on PC until 2026 in all likelihood, but that’s a story for another time.

At least we should have enhanced consoles like the PlayStation 5 Pro available when GTA VI launches to run it as smoothly as possible.

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