It’s been a long time since Rockstar released one Grand Theft Auto Game that wasn’t a port of GTA V. So fans were understandably excited to play a more modern version of some open-world classics. But although there is a lot to like here, including some nice quality of life improvements and better lightingthere is also a lot to fix.
For those who don’t know Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition is a remastered collection of GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas. It features improved graphics, improved controls, and a number of changes that make the older games more in line with the newer games. You can even play all three games at 60 FPS on next-gen consoles and PCs. All that Sounds kind. However, after playing each game in the collection on the Xbox Series X for about an hour, I’m disappointed.
The disappointment takes some time to settle in. From the beginning the world of GTA III having real-time lighting is shocking. It’s like going back to an old childhood slope and finding that everything has been spruced up. As cars drive by, their headlights create dynamic shadows as NPCs walk through them. Neon signs illuminate the world around them and in the morning rays of sun caress the spaces between buildings and trees. Thanks to the Unreal engine, the 30 FPS “Fidelity Mode” and the 60 FPS “Performance Mode” are wonderful to look at.
But the lighting also changes some new problems. Indeed, some areas of the game are too dark, especially in the more claustrophobic alleys and streets of GTA III. Playing around with the limited visual options in the settings for each game helped a bit, but I also had to tweak my TV settings to get the best picture possible. Since Rockstar has said that the trilogy will indeed receive updates, hopefully the developers will be fine-tuning the lighting even more. Maybe we should give Claude a flashlight or something.
Like the new lighting system, the improved textures are sometimes stunning and distracting. Many of the buildings, streets, and other locations in the trilogy look more detailed, with some textures on par GTA V or other modern open world games. Some models have also been replaced, such as the trees in the woods of San Andreas, to make these old digital worlds a little less meager.
These altered textures aren’t always perfect, however, including more glaring issues shared on Twitter. You will often see textures that are not properly aligned or seem upscaled and broken. I found an alley in Vice City
None of that stuff – the lighting, weird models, clipping issues, texture defects, and general shakiness – is a big deal breaker. But this is a $ 60 package that claims that “Final edition“These games. And right now … it doesn’t feel like it.
It’s not all bad, of course. The controls are an absolute highlight. You are now free to aim the left trigger and aim automatically as it feels GTA V as GTA Vice City. The controls are not as smooth as newer GTA Games, but in general the controls made life easier during the missions.
Likewise, the ability to slow down time and bring up a weapon wheel is way better than the old alternative of spamming the weapon switch button to quickly try to get to the weapon you want. And you now get a little GPS trail on your radar, similar to newer open world games, which makes it easy to navigate through the different cities in the collection. These are all good things that will go a long way in making these games accessible to people who didn’t grow up with them GTA Games.
For now, however, I would recommend not reaching for that trilogy collection on any platform. Currently, these games feel floppy and rough to the touch in a way that the old games didn’t, even considering some of the original clunkiness that was present in these games. But the new collection seems to add more glitches to the mix, some of them appear to be mistakes which originated in the famous dreadful San Andreas Mobile connection.
Furthermore, Players on Switch have reported numerous accomplishments and graphic problems which make the game almost unplayable in some sections. On the Xbox Series X, I noticed frequent FPS drops and an overall slowness in Performance mode. The older consoles have seen reports of performance issues as well. There are strange mistakes too including one that randomly throws your character and car into the air. And in contrast to the texture errors and lighting changes, these gameplay and performance issues are much harder to ignore and actively ruin the experience.
I wanted to love these remastered games as I’m a huge fan of the older ones GTA Title. The idea here is solid; I wanted to experience these games in their full glory, without the fickleness.
Right now the collection needs a bit more polish before I would recommend picking it up. But undoubtedly, ingrained GTA Fans or gamers who have no other way to experience these games are more likely to overlook these issues. But for most people, I’d recommend waiting to see if Grove Street Games and Rockstar spice up these games.