Anyone can say what they want about Grand Theft Auto V, the 2013 release for the geriatric twins, but it just does not hold any kind of visual candle to Rockstar’s 2007 outing of GTA IV. Why? Because Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t have the iCEnhancer (not yet anyway). And Ice Laglace’s iCEnhancer 3.0 has just dropped, showcasing some jaw-dropping visual upgrades for the PC version of GTA IV. Behold the beauty.
Good freaking grief.
It doesn’t even make sense that a game could look that good, especially compared to the blurry mess that is GTA V. There’s still a possibility that Rockstar’s latest game could match the quality of the visuals we’re seeing here for the PS4, Xbox One and PC – such as the god-rays, bokeh depth of field, dynamic light diffusion, scattering, etc,. – if Rockstar didn’t strip out too much of the graphics core for its outing on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (viz., this is considering that neither console is capable of utilizing the advanced graphics rendering techniques you’re seeing in the video above).
From when I snuck in a look at GTA V’s code last year (a move that landed us with a nice little legal threat from Rockstar’s lawyers) it indicated that the game was actually designed first (or was lead) on PC. So it might be possible for GTA V to scale the way we’re seeing GTA IV outputting some of the most amazing visuals available this generation of gaming.
For anyone wondering how those visuals are achieved, a lot of it has to do with RAGE, Rockstar’s Advanced Game Engine. The core technology that powers the newer GTA titles was designed for massive scalability – the likes of which few engines are capable.
Combining RAGE’s scale-form with Ice Laglace’s – real name Hayssam Keilany – iCEnahncer 3.0, it enables the game to look far better than what the hardware the game was designed for was capable of producing.
In addition to this, Keilany is an accomplished graphics technology engineer. He is still contributing to what’s called the Brigade Engine, a scalable software technology that can be used to produce real-time interactive environments based around path-tracing technology. It all sounds foreign and weird, but the short gist of it is that the Brigade Engine can be used to design playable games that look like ray-traced images, like the one below.
If you’re in a position where you can’t properly watch the latest iCEnhancer trailer, fear not for Flickr is here to the rescue. You can check out some still shots from the trailer below.
Now comes the moment of truth: the download link.
Unfortunately, at the time of the publishing of this article Hayssam Keilany’s website is down due to all the heavy traffic pelting his site at the moment. Yes, everyone wants to get their hands on the latest iCEnhancer so they can deck out their game to look just like real life. I can’t believe.
Nevertheless, if you can find a way to get through the digital throngs and heavy interweb traffic, you can grab iCEnhancer 3.0 from Keilany’s official website. Have fun… if you can download the update.
(Updated 26 July, 2014 @ 2:38:18)