Is it just me or did they tweak the driving with the GTAO update? Both driving in single player and in GTAO feels different (in a better way) than when the game launched..
Yes, steering is less sensitive and more linear. But still plenty of other problems to work in if they want to get the driving right.
Very amusing reading all the posts after this one debating whether or not Rockstar have made any changes to the physics or car handling in the patches, for me the answer is definitely yes, although the changes are subtle.
I'm a big driving fan having played most of the Codemasters racers and a few others like Forza etc, and one of the things that always impressed me about GTA IV and made me keep coming back to it for years after I completed it was the driving.
Yes the cars all rolled a bit too much, yes there was a bit too much understeer at speed on most of the cars, yes the low end cars were slow and boat like, but the higher end cars felt good to drive and the basic physics simulation was very sound, with small tweaks to the vehicle dat files it could have passed for a dedicated racing game.
My favourite car was the Sultan RS - not the fastest car in the game but the most balanced and most fun to drive, with just the right amount of controllable throttle over steer but not enough to cause you to spin out all the time.
With a little bit of practice you can drift that car around corners accurately just like a proper racing game.
The only other open world game I can think of with a similar degree of accuracy in driving physics is Mafia 2 - it has a different feel but is equally good in its own way. All the other open world games I've played only have purely arcade "physics" of the need for speed carbon or burnout variety which doesn't interest me at...
For GTA 5 I hoped for a game with the same physics and driving engine as GTA IV with the vehicle dat files tweaked to "tighten" the car handling up but without any major changes.
A bit less mass (GTA IV cars are a bit too heavy with too much momentum) a bit lower centre of gravity to reduce body roll, slightly firmer damping on the suspension to reduce the "bouncing", slightly more tyre grip and it would have been perfect.
As the trailers started to come out I began to panic as they clearly depicted pure arcade driving nothing like the attempt at simulation in IV. I dismissed it as unfinished betas or scripted car movement for the purposes of trailers but deep down I knew I was going to be disappointed.
When I got the game as soon as I got to free roam as Franklin I grabbed his car and drove right around the map, and was horribly horribly disappointed by the driving physics...it was worse even than I imagined.
No body roll at all, the car could stop from full speed in half a second with no skidding, steering was like Mario cart, the car felt light like a plastic toy car, just no feeling at all. Trying to drift the car was impossible, and even going at full speed there was no sense of "speed" like you felt in IV when you were going flat out.
It felt as bad as LA noire, which had terrible driving. In fact at first I thought they'd used the physics engine from LA noire, possibly to try to reduce CPU demands compared to the more complex physics simulation of GTA IV, to leave more CPU for the larger game world and/or improved graphics.
After a while I did start to get used to it, and I'm not entirely sure whether it was levelling up my characters driving stat, upgrading the cars themselves or both, but with fully levelled up characters and fully upgraded cars, they do definitely feel better - Franklins car has gone from being one of the worst to being one of the best to drive for example, albeit still very arcady in the steering, tight cornering and sudden braking.
Then the GTA online patch came out and I immediately noticed a difference in the feel of the cars, especially those that are fully upgraded, and especially with Franklin and Michaels cars.
The steering has gone from feeling like Saints Row 1/2 where the car just instantly goes in the direction you point it with no inertia, to feeling like it does actually corner more like a real car, albeit one that is still "too light" and responsive, and still doesn't have body roll.
You can actually wheel spin and power slide Franklins car in the dry now and rather than feeling like LA noire it now feels a bit more like GTA IV with different car tuning instead of feeling like a completely different physics engine.
A combination of the patch, car upgrades and player driver stat levelling has taken the driving in the game from unplayable Mario cart that ruins the experience to a tolerable arcade racer with some feel of control and handling, albeit still with unrealistically light and grippy cars.
For all those who will say that I'm just another forum member who is whining about the handling and imagining a change in the patch that doesn't exist, this is the first time I've posted on this forum and in fact the first time I've even read this forum.
When the patch came out I could feel a change in the handling right away, it was subtle enough that at first I was doubting myself whether I had really noticed a change or not, but noticeable enough that I started searching on google for any evidence of or discussion about physics/handling changes in the patch, I also tried uninstalling the title updates and starting a new game with and without title update to try to confirm whether there really was a change or not.
Its only AFTER noticing a change myself, searching to try to find information about any physics/handling changes that I happened across this and similar threads. If I hadn't noticed a change I wouldn't have spent time looking for confirmation of changes in the first place, and I certainly did not read about changes anywhere before noticing it myself.
Those that think that software patch change logs list all changes made and that if its not listed its not real are kidding themselves. Silent fixes of unacknowledged bugs or issues are common place in software development.
It may not even be that they tried to "tune" the handling, there could have been a bug in the physics engine or vehicle controls that was discovered and quietly fixed which made the handling feel better.
So in my opinion changes in the physics and/or vehicle handling in one or more of the patches are subtle but real, and that the game is significantly more playable for me now, to the point where the driving is no longer distracting me from the rest of the game. YMMV.