Hundreds of mods have allowed the classic Grand Theft Auto IV to evolve well beyond its original design. But with the game’s fifth anniversary arriving Monday, developer Keilany Hayssam is close to revolutionizing GTA’s graphics with the iCEnhancer 2.5 mod.
The project has been in development since 2011 and is nearing a public release. It uses the Brigade Engine to perform path tracing capable of producing photorealistic images. New screenshots of the engine working in GTA IV were released Saturday and display a stunning level of detail and realism. For a look at the mod in action, a gameplay video from earlier this year (featuring an optional Iron Man mod) is also available (embedded above).
Remarkably, GTA IV with iCEnhancer 2.5 looks even better than the screenshots and videos of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, scheduled for release in September. Those with early access to the mod report that it also performs well on current hardware, easily reaching 60fps at 1080p.
The release of iCEnhancer 2.5 may be enough to satisfy the PC market, where the franchise faces an uncertain future. While every major GTA game to date has been released on the PC, GTA V is currently only slated for a release on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Rockstar, the game’s developer, told IGN that a PC release is “up for consideration,” but no timetable was provided, leaving PC gamers in the dark.