Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition only launched yesterday, but it’s already seen a number of fan complaints, ranging from the quality of the remasters to not being able to play the PC version at all.
While many have praised some of the visual upgrades (particularly to landscapes) on new-gen consoles, and appreciated the introduction of modern control schemes, there have been a number of issues raised with the quality of the new versions of the classic games. Here are the key factors right now:
To sum up much of the public response to the Definitive Editions, at time of writing, the top post on the 3 million user-strong r/Games subreddit is titled “Rockstar should be ashamed of the GTA Trilogy Remaster”. The post, which has garnered 1,300 comments and counting, points out that Rockstar released almost no direct feed gameplay ahead of launch, mentions that reviews were not permitted pre-launch, and calls into question the choice of fidelity and performance options for remasters of games that are up to 20 years old.
The quality of all three games in the collection has garnered criticism. IGN staff members have come across visual glitches with player models, repeated problems with cutscenes (primarily where the world around the scene continues as normal, even causing cutscene actors to be pushed out of shot), and suffered from corrupted save data.
Character models in particular have become the butt of social media jokes, with many seeing new models as downgrades on their much older originals:
— Salt King 👑🧂🎮 (@Saltiest_Gaming) November 11, 2021
Others have taken issue with how the games have adapted the feel of each world, not least in their approach to draw distance. Primarily due to technical concerns, the original games used fog effects to mask their worlds – with modern tech, this no longer needs to be done, but many have pointed out that simply being able to see the full extent of each open world with no atmospheric effects is odd rather than impressive:
So weird seeing this all at once. pic.twitter.com/AwnrA5P19e
— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) November 12, 2021
One recurring complaint across multiple games in the Trilogy has quite the opposite effect to being able to see the entire world, however. Heavy rain is rendered as almost entirely opaque, meaning that in-game storms can cause the game to become incredibly hard to navigate. Some players have reported simply having to stop playing the game and waiting for rain to pass before continuing.
A chuva nessa trilogia de remaster dos GTA está horrorosa principalmente no San Andreas, sem contar que não chove onde já está molhado 😅 #GTATrilogyDefinitiveEdition #GTATrilogy #GTASanAndreas pic.twitter.com/4UU2PtZ3YU
— 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒅𝒂 𝑫𝒆𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒐 (@psdadepressao) November 12, 2021
The Nintendo Switch version of the collection has come in for particular criticism. Players have complained about lower-than-expected resolution, an unexpected visual downgrade from other console editions, egregious pop-in, and long loading times.
By far the most recurring issue for players, however, is performance, with many players reporting wildly fluctuating framerates – including IGN’s Destin Legarie:
Like… I hear the other versions aren’t great, but I started with the GTA Trilogy on Switch for analysis. You can see the stuttering immediately. And… well… yikes so far. Expect a Performance Review video soon on IGN. https://t.co/GEr0qtAHdc pic.twitter.com/Pzl950LGtu
— Destin (@DestinLegarie) November 12, 2021
Some players would simply like to actually play the game, however. On PC, Rockstar has removed the game from sale while its Rockstar Games Launcher service undergoes maintenance. The problem is that, despite being single player games, the Launcher is required to boot the GTA Trilogy (and other Rockstar PC games) in the first place. The upshot is that, at time of writing, PC players have been unable to play the GTA Trilogy for around 17 hours, with no estimate given for when the issue might be fixed.
Some players have been upset by discovering that the remasters are missing some of the original games’ iconic music tracks, as well as certain original cheats. While both are understandable – music licenses are notoriously tricky to retain, while the switch of engine to Unreal reportedly had an effect on cheats – it hasn’t stopped players from calling into question how definitive these editions really are when compared to the originals. That’s not been helped by apparent datamining discoveries (as reported by VGC) that point to the missing music tracks being included in the games, but simply disabled at the code level.
Older Versions and Modding
Compounding the issue for many is that, ahead of the Trilogy’s re-release, Rockstar has made it increasingly difficult to play the original versions of the games, or even mod them if you already own them. Rockstar removed all digital versions of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas from sale ahead of the Trilogy’s release, leaving The Definitive Edition collection as the only digital versions of the game available to new players.
Even before the Trilogy was announced, Rockstar parent company Take-Two had been threatening legal action against modders, seemingly specifically targeting mods made for the three games in the collection. As a result, mods that improve the original versions’ looks, add extra content, or perhaps make them in any way more desireable than the Definitive Edition versions are no longer available. The threat of legal action even saw some modders voluntarily taking down their work. Some are worried that GTA modding as a whole will effectively come to an end due the chilling effect from takedown notices.
The consensus among many players is that this was to drive players to buy the official remasters – except those new versions currently look extremely unappealing to many.