The Travesty of the GTA Trilogy

I think I can speak for many of us that we were pumped for the GTA Trilogy‘s arrival on modern videogame platforms.

After all, receiving news that three of the most groundbreaking open world games of all time in the noughties are getting remasters-is a cause for outrageous celebrations akin to a monkey hurling its feces around inside a cage at the zoo…OK, that’s at least how I felt about it.

Then the trailer comes out, presenting us with a goofy looking sheen and this cartoonish aesthetic that nobody could’ve expected.

Upon taking a cursory glance at Ken Rosenberg’s character model, I mistook his afro-emblazoned head of hair for a burnt tree of broccoli, little did I know at the time that the ugliness of this model was not a one-off isolated incident but evidence of the hideously uneven visual strokes Grove Streets Game has tarred haphazardly over the entire trilogy like the etching on an excitable polygraph machine. Maybe we should’ve taken the hint that these guys ported the mobile version of San Andreas onto the Xbox 360.

It goes without saying that scepticism crawled through many of our brains after the trailer, making us question just how good the GTA Trilogy will be when it arrives.

Fast forward to when the embargo lifts and we finally got to see the gameplay R* kept hidden from us like an embarrassing boob job and the ardent fans can be heard brandishing their pitchforks. You can’t blame them either when you witness the extent of a hack job they managed to pull off, turning three undisputed classics into a messy splurging pile of mulch.

Where to begin here? Audio inconsistencies, atrocious rain effects, technical oddities, an unrefined targeting system, slapping on GTA V‘s selection wheels that don’t blend in with the rest of the game, missing licensed songs and the general sense that nobody cared enough to develop proper remasters of these three otherwise amazing open-world sandbox juggernauts.

On the subject of rain effects, go take a look at the rain in the original Vice City and how the droplets cascade down the screen and you get a true sense of a thunderstorm pattering down on land. Then take a look at the original version of San Andreas and notice how the wind sweeps the heavy rain across the landscape. None of these details are in their respective “definitive edition”, just showcasing the poorness of the quality despite better draw distance and some stunning views.

Some have compared the disappointment of this botched and battered GTA Trilogy to the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077. I personally cannot get on board with that comparison because there’s a huge gulf between a crashing, broken pile of shattered promises of a new game that was so disastrous that it was removed from being sold on the Playstation store, and a half-hearted sprucing up of three great games that despite all the quibbles still works and can still be played without debilitating issues.

Not that Rockstar don’t deserve to be beaten over the head with this level of hyperbole because they called for it, but the GTA Trilogy can provide great fun, especially for those who have never touched any of the games, although the original versions are superior-which is only expressive of how much of a failure this “Definitive Edition” is.

When all is said and done the GTA Trilogy has come out in a tattered state but it’s still held together despite the holes. There isn’t an excuse for such a shoddy outcome even if the core R* development team is working hard on future projects. To say GTA fans deserve much better than this goes without saying. Now we’re forced to be weary of any remasters R* produce here on out- and the gnawing thing is that it really didn’t have to be this way

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Written by
Although the genesis of my videogame addiction began with a PS1 and an N64 in the mid-late 90s as a widdle boy, Xbox has managed to hook me in and consume most of my videogame time thanks to its hardcore multiplayer fanaticism and consistency. I tend to play anything from shooters and action adventures to genres I'm not so good at like sports, RTS and puzzle games.

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