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GTA 5 Will Have A Massive New Mod Expansion

Have you ever wanted to virtually explore the city of Chicago, but you don't particularly want to ever play the first Watch Dogs game again? If so, you're in luck. Thanks to the efforts of a couple of determined modders, the entirety of the Windy City has been recreated within Grand Theft Auto 5.

There have been some wild GTA mods over the years. Some of these mods have allowed gamers to do some truly bizarre things, like patrol the streets of Los Santos as British police officers or play the game as Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. However, modders FV Design and Lozano have leaned in a decidedly more artistic direction, with their goal being to bring a city they love to life. That project is the aptly-titled GTA 5: Chicago

According to FV Design's notes on their videos concerning the mod, the goal of this mod is to be able to "showcase" the city of Chicago with the same level of detail and graphical fidelity as the maps in Grand Theft Auto 5.

Exploring GTA 5: Chicago

FV Design's YouTube channel features several videos showing off the impressive work in progress. In a video titled "DEV Update 3", FV Design guided players through the city by land and by sea.

GTA 5: Chicago was eerily quiet when compared to the official games, at least in this clip. There's something kind of creepy about running through the rain-slicked streets of Chicago in total silence, the only sounds being the splashing of puddles beneath your feet. For all intents and purposes, this update video seemed to portray a normal afternoon in the Windy City. This video featured plenty of traffic, but seemingly no pedestrians.

Still, that didn't detract from just how impressive this mod is, particularly considering the fact that it's the work of only two people. FV Design and Lozano most likely want to focus on building the city before populating it with maniacs. It should also be noted that FV Design seemingly threatens to blow up a helicopter at one point on the demo, so clearly this is still the same GTA 5 that fans know and love.

Something felt a bit off about this video, but fans' fears were quickly laid to rest.

The people of GTA 5: Chicago

Shortly after GTA 5: Chicago began to receive attention from news outlets, FV Design released another update video. This one showcased a virtual Chicago with a significantly larger population. Titled "DEV Update 4.5," this video began with GTA 5 protagonist Franklin stealing a car and going for a joyride through the city. FV Design gave viewers a look at some of the NPCs in his version of Chicago by nearly running them over — because that's just how you roll in a GTA game.

In addition, the notes attached to this update video list multiple tweaks and additions made to GTA 5: Chicago. These include train tracks, ferris wheels, and a collision fix that keeps boats from coasting straight through the shoreline. 

The reactions to GTA 5: Chicago have been very positive. More than a few commenters have mentioned that they live in Chicago and feel FV Design and Lozano nailed it. Others have been curious to see how FV Design and Lozano's work could benefit an older title like Grand Theft Auto 4. A few fans have quipped that GTA 5: Chicago is likely to be finished before the official GTA 6.

2020 has been a big year for GTA mods

GTA 5: Chicago is just one of the many exciting mods to be created for GTA 5 this year. Back in May, modder Digital Dreams uploaded footage of a mod they had been working on that brought Grand Theft Auto 4's Liberty City into the next generation. Not only did Digital Dreams recreate the map from GTA 4 inside of Grand Theft Auto 5, but they also added ray tracing-style effects to everything in the game. The realistic lighting in this mod gave gamers their closest look at what a remake of GTA 4 might look like on the PS5 or Series X.

Grand Theft Auto 5 also made the jump to VR this year, thanks to another mod. Developer LukeRoss00 used a method called "alternate eye rendering" to approximate a 3D effect. This had the effect of making the first-person camera of GTA 5 feel more immersive than ever.

If you're interested in checking out GTA 5: Chicago for yourself, the early build for the mod is currently available through FV Design's Patreon page, which also gives patrons early and exclusive access to several of their other projects.