In recent years, Rockstar has rarely let us down. From the multiple versions of GTA V to Red Dead Redemption 2, everything the studio touched seemed to turn into a masterpiece. So when Rockstar Games announced “Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition” last October, we had little reason to be concerned. We had already imagined that we could spend our long winter afternoons (re) playing optimized versions of the mythical GTA II, Vice City and San Andreas, or even take these three open worlds with us everywhere thanks to the Switch version.
But would Rockstar Games have rested on its laurels? In fact, a year after the catastrophic release of Cyberpunk 2077, GTA The Trilogy seems to be following the same path. As with Cyberpunk, however, there was a hint: hardly anyone had a chance to play the game before its release. And when we release the build, we quickly understand why …
A tantalizing promise
It had to be a party. To mark the 20th anniversary of the release of GTA III, Rockstar releases this cult game, as well as the next two episodes of the series, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, on PlayStation 5, PlayStation. 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and on PC via Rockstar Games Launcher. On the program of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition: “many improvements, both in terms of graphics and gameplay, preserving the style and essence of the original versions.”
Rockstar Games announced many new features, such as more modern controls inspired by GTA V and graphic and environmental improvements (better resolution of textures, lights and more realistic weather). “These enhancements allow the iconic cities of Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas to better transpose to the latest platforms, thereby honoring the experience offered by the original games and modernizing them for a whole new generation of fans,” the studio said at the launching.
A disappointing reality
The promise was beautiful and it made you want to. It must be said that these three games have marked a whole generation of players. The idea of being able to play it on current consoles was therefore encouraging. In practice, we quickly become disillusioned. By default, all three games in this “final” compilation are released in “fidelity” graphics mode. The textures are a bit more beautiful, but the game is extremely uneven and difficult to play, even on Xbox Series X. To play in more acceptable conditions, you must switch to “performance” mode and thus have access to 60 FPS. Too bad that in 2021, even on next-gen consoles, we will have to make this decision, especially for a game that is far from flashy!
If all three games are really prettier than the original versions (and 20 years later, thankfully!), They are still very, very far from today’s standards. The faces are better modeled, there is more vegetation, but there is nothing to do, it is very ugly. And it’s been a long time since we’ve seen such a lazy remaster.
Graphics are not everything. But, unfortunately, the shortcomings of GTA The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition don’t end there. All three games are full of bugs. There are a lot of clipping (textures appear suddenly in the distance), there are lags (slows) and sometimes they are your allies doing anything and blocking your progress. The developers also wanted to improve … the rain. It was actually the worst idea because when it rains, there are so many drops that the screen becomes unreadable and the game cannot be played …
In short, it is the cold shower. As cultured as they are, these three games have aged quite badly (especially GTA III). They are now light years away from modern open worlds and GTA IV or GTA V. Playing there brings back fond memories. Still, if Rockstar really wanted to pay tribute to these three games, we thought there was a lot better to do. Taking into account the price of this compilation (€ 69), we advise you to skip it.
Refund requests are coming in
We told you in the introduction, the last time we saw such a big difference between the promise and the reality of a game, it was barely a year ago with Cyberpunk 2077. Also, just a few days after its launch, GTA The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition suffers the same consequences: massive return requests. This Saturday, November 13, Rockstar even decided to remove the games from its online store. One message simply says to players: “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and hope that the correct versions of the games will be available to everyone as soon as possible.”
The console versions are slightly less affected by the bugs (except for the Switch version, which looks really catastrophic), but according to the Eurogamer site, angry gamers are also asking Rockstar for a refund, as the bugs are numerous and the disappointment is great.
To get an idea of how well the build gets from players, let’s take a look at Metacritic. The game currently receives a user score of 1.1 / 10 for the PS5 version, 0.9 / 10 for the PS4 version, 0.7 / 10 on Switch, and 0.6 / 10 for the Xbox and PC versions. In jeuxvideo.com reader reviews, the game doesn’t do much better with a 4.9 / 20 rating.
If you want to play GTA The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, a word of advice: wait a bit. Or get out your old Xbox and PS2, it’s way more fun than playing this version from 2021!
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