Despite so many video game fans looking forward to it, Rockstar’s remaster of three of its most popular games (bundled together in one package named GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition) has had a disastrous launch.
Actually, those who bought the remastered trilogy hoping to have fun with GTA 3, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas have been reporting a bevy of issues which have dampened their enjoyment of the games.
These include the fact that some of the character models look pretty horrid – the tweet below (via IGN) showcases some of the worst examples, with characters like GTA: Vice City’s Candy Suxxx (top left in the image above) having been “remastered” in a rather unflattering way.
— Salt King 👑🧂🎮 (@Saltiest_Gaming) November 11, 2021
There seems to be issues with the draw distance in the game too. For instance, heavy rain seems to cause serious visibility problems in the likes of GTA: San Andreas, so much so that players might be having to stand still until the bad weather subsides in the game in order to continue playing.
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
Being able to see too much isn’t a godsend either. The original GTA games included in the remastered trilogy were released between 16 to 20 years ago, and console hardware was not nearly as powerful as it is today. So game developers resorted to tricks like using fog to limit how much of the map players could see at once, in order to maintain a good frame rate.
Nowadays, though, this isn’t necessary as IGN points out, but seeing the entire map unobscured by fog seems odd as one disgruntled player says in the tweet below.
So weird seeing this all at once. pic.twitter.com/AwnrA5P19e
— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) November 12, 2021
GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition has been released on PC and consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is admittedly the least powerful system of the lot, and the GTA trilogy appears to have serious performance issues, with wildly variable frame rate in addition to the problems plaguing the other editions.
Also, the PC version was unavailable to play for several days, and had actually been removed from sale.
Game company Rockstar tweeted an apology (see below), explaining that the removal of files unintentionally included in the remastered games is the reason behind this.
The Rockstar Games Launcher is now online, but GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is unavailable to play or purchase as we remove files unintentionally included in these versions. We’re sorry for the disruption and hope to have correct ones up soon. https://t.co/NiMNXUKCVh
— Rockstar Support (@RockstarSupport) November 13, 2021
It’s been speculated by some that the inclusion of music tracks in the remastered games (which Rockstar no longer is legally entitled to use as the corresponding licenses have expired) is the reason why PC owners of GTA: The Trilogy were unable to play the game while Rockstar worked with studio Grove Street Games (which is actually behind the remasters and not Rockstars themselves) to remove these files from the games. But apparently this has nothing to do with the controversial GTA: San Andreas Hot Coffee sex mod though…
All in all, this is a disastrous state of affairs, and might remind people of other bad video game launches, of which sadly we’ve had quite a few in the last couple of years.
Rockstar clearly made the mistake of outsourcing the GTA trilogy remasters to an external studio, which as the remaster innumerous problems show, clearly wasn’t up to the task.
Warner Bros. made a similar mistake back in 2015 with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. While the console versions were developed by British studio Rocksteady, the PC version was handed over to a third-party studio, leading to a disastrous launch on PC. The game was even pulled from sale while fixes were worked on in what was surely one of the biggest video game controversies of the year.
And going back to the GTA trilogy remasters, it remains to be seen how much this will hurt Rockstar’s reputation too. Maybe most of its audience is too busy playing GTA Online to care much about the remastered trilogy, which includes GTA 3, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas. It might make others wary of Rockstar’s future games though (including the upcoming GTA 6) as the company is synonymous with quality, and GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition has not lived up to Rockstar’s usual high standards to say the least.
So would be a great thing if Rocksteady is able to patch the remasters into shape as soon as possible, so that GTA fans can enjoy these classic Grand Theft Auto games on their platform of choice.