|Game:||Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition|
|Developer:||Grove Street Games|
|Available for:||PS4, PS5, XOne, XSX|
|Published in:||1 / 2022|
Last month we were cautiously optimistic that Rockstar wouldn’t crash its strongest brand. But the publication turns into a fiasco. The intrusive rain effect even achieved sad internet fame. Rockstar apologizes and diligently releases patches to remedy the situation. Is the nostalgia trip worth it after patch 1.03?
To anticipate the conclusion: no. Although the rain no longer robs you of your view and now also stays away from indoor areas, the basic structure of the former open-world visionary remains ailing and has not aged well in terms of play. Although you can feel the ongoing development of the three branches that were released between 2001 and 2004, the mission design still seems mostly bumpy today. The shootouts without a cover system are notchy despite the revision and the exaggerated vehicle physics in motorcycle missions cause rollovers and mission aborts even with the lightest touch. You can now start from the checkpoint after a failed mission, but a finer network would have been desirable here, since you still start at the start of many orders. On the one hand you then have to push away the (still great) speakers from the cutscene, on the other hand there are the boring driving sequences until the actual task begins. After all, the frustration potential was removed from some missions: the dreaded helicopter mission over Vice City can be mastered more easily thanks to better handling and 30 more seconds – but it still remains as fun as a ball pool without balls. Small adjustments such as a map, easier selection of radios and weapons are praiseworthy, but unfortunately Rockstar is obviously reluctant to spend money on music licenses, which is why many songs remain in Vice City and San Andreas miss.
The misfortune begins with the external developer studio Grove Street Games using its former smartphone port as the basis for the remaster. Already the Xbox 360 port of San Andreas suffered from this factor and struggled with a fluctuating frame rate. Now the remaster trilogy offers you a “fidelity” mode (better visuals) in addition to the almost fluid “performance” mode with reloading textures. In the test, it turned out to be completely unusable. Whether in Liberty City, Vice City or San Andreas – the targeted 30 fps turns into a stuttering orgy, with the frame rate running as stable as a sailor after a free beer evening. This mode is missing on the Switch, but despite the blurred optics, objects popping up and the lack of lighting effects, the performance keeps collapsing here. However, since the Nintendo version also has serious bugs to contend with, it is not surprising that Rockstar has postponed the retail version until next year.
But not everything went wrong: The newly textured open world and effects such as reflections of the neon lights on the revised car models provide an atmosphere boost. However, the redesign of the characters has gone horribly wrong. while in Vice City many models fit the colorful city’s style (aside from the misshapen stripper Candy Suxxx), many of the characters make an impact San Andreas and GTA III unintentionally funny. In addition, the visibility has now increased significantly, but the slightly orange fog from the San Andreas-Original added to the mood at the time and prevented you from seeing from the plane that the world is just a flat square with the end clearly visible on the horizon. Also the Rockstar patches on almost all clothes in San Andreas are another of many details that unnecessarily scratch the atmosphere. If you are thirsty for a nostalgia trip despite the problems, then rather put in the more coherent original or wait for upcoming patches.
Steffen Heller says: I have every GTA at that time devoured and Vice City remains the highlight of the series for me to this day. The less pleasant return hurts me all the more. The open-world genre in particular has made its way through the once-in-a-lifetime GTA triggered boom further developed. In contrast to Ulrich, I can even forgive rain, character models and bugs thanks to the milestone bonus, but the game mechanics weaknesses are too serious today and the mission design too old-fashioned. Running, shooting or beating: Everything is free of fun and once exciting chases become a test of nerves, so I have the most fun entering the old cheat codes and creating chaos away from the campaign like in 2001 – but this is also more fun in modern titles power.
Ulrich Steppberger says: I don’t understand how Rockstar Games could repeat the misstep of 2014 and even make it worse. At that time, an Xbox 360 implementation of San Andreas, which was also based on the mobile version and exhibited many of the same symptoms, such as questionable visual adjustments and generally weaker gameplay, which are now the Definitive Edition – this term just seems like an unfortunate joke – plague. The few sensible changes, for example in the controls, are almost lost in the sea of inadequacies, even in the still tolerable PlayStation and Xbox versions. A remaster in the quality delivered by Bluepoint Games, for example, was not realistically to be expected anyway. But until recently it seemed unimaginable to me that a company would treat its luxury brand so carelessly.
- uncut versions
- 28 songs from the originals are missing
- a total of approx. 70 hours of playing time
Unworthy remaster of a cult series that lacks the attention to detail in many areas that actually characterizes Rockstar.
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