GRAND THEFT AUTO: THE TRILOGY — THE DEFINITIVE EDITION
The description of the collection sounds like a dream: three classic parts of the series, which had a huge impact on the industry, are transferred to a new engine. The graphics have been tweaked, the gameplay has been changed, and all this goodness is available on a variety of platforms: on computers, on new consoles, and on old ones, including Nintendo Switch. But then it started: a vague trailer, strange screenshots, no gameplay videos, and no pre-release press copies. I immediately remembered some Polish creation …
It’s no secret that the remasters turned out bad. It would be possible to ignore them at all – well, they left and left. However, Rockstar did everything possible to ensure that the audience armed with a pitchfork and brought down the scores on Metacritic. First, she (or rather, Take-Two, but this is not so important) announced a hunt for user modifications, including those that improve the graphics in these games. Then she removed the old versions of the three GTAs from the stores, replacing them with new ones. Well, she set an indecently high price for the collection: it is absurd for America, and even more so in Russia without the “regionals”. On the PC, you can buy the trilogy only in the Rockstar store, where it costs 4,279 rubles, and on the Switch they generally ask for 5,399 rubles.
Sometimes it feels like you’re playing a GTA remake created in Dreams.
You don’t know who to blame for what happened – either the Grove Street Games team, or the Take-Two publishing house, which apparently allocated a small budget for remasters and set tight deadlines. Someday we will find out the truth (as happened with Mafia III, the problematic development of which was published in a large article), but for now we can only be perplexed. Was the management satisfied with the result? Has anyone tested these games? And most importantly, what will happen next? The same Blizzard, although it recognized the problems of Warcraft III: Reforged, did not try to fix anything in the end – the old version is still not legally available, and the new one remains rubbish.
The rare changes that GTA remasters are to be commended for are what you would expect from any normal re-release. Now, in case of a mission failure, you are offered to restart it from a checkpoint – well, yes, it should be so. The mini-map now shows the path to the next goal in all three games – it is logical, this is part of modern GTA. The menu of the third game now has a world map – it would be strange if after so many years it had not been added. Autosaves have appeared, so you no longer need to go through the entire map to complete the session. And most importantly – the wheels for selecting weapons and radio stations, thanks to which you save a lot of time.
Shooting here in the spirit of modern Rockstar games – either uncomfortable aiming, or “auto-aim” for the smallest. On the Switch, by the way, there is a gyroscope control.
Graphically, the games have also changed, but not for the better. GTAIII, for example, turned out to be unnecessarily dark, and San Andreas sometimes has strange lighting problems. In the menu, you can tweak the brightness and contrast and achieve a more or less normal look, but why this is shifted to the user’s shoulders is not clear. The rain deserves special mention – instead of transparent drops, there are white stripes that fill the entire screen, due to which you can’t see a single thing. This catches your eye as soon as you launch the first mission in GTAIII – did the testers even begin to watch the introductory cut-scene?
All textures have increased resolution, and low-poly objects with high-quality textures sometimes look unnatural and alien. Signs and inscriptions are teeming with typos: instead of AIR GUITARS, the store window says AR GUITARS, and instead of AVAILABLE, it says AVAIABLE. This does not look like a neural network – rather, illiterate outsourcers are to blame, and with them the quality control department, if it participated in the development at all.
Some objects have been redrawn, including palm trees – the coast opposite the hotel in Vice City looks more beautiful than before. Yes, and in San Andreas, vegetation was paid attention – the bushes even wrinkle a little if you step on them. At the same time, games have lost their atmosphere, which is especially critical for San Andreas, where without the usual orange filter everything seems gray and faded. And because of such point improvements, objects do not fit together well – for example, the rails look better, but the train wheels still do not fit with them.
The characters suffered the most. GTA has always had a lot of cartoonish images, but in the remaster it is a natural freak circus. They tried to refine the old models, the animations of which were not changed in any way, but it turned out so-so. Here, the characters are more reminiscent of animated plastic dolls, especially the protagonist of Vice City. And in San Andreas, people walk and talk with broken necks all the time – with stretched textures it looked normal, but here it became creepy.