Today we’re talking about the GTA Trilogy, The Definitive Edition. We’ve been playing these nonstop since they went live and we’ve got some info for ya. This was a long-rumored rerelease of the classic Grand Theft Auto games really changed the world of gaming. And it’s got some good tweaks. It’s got a couple of things it’s missing, a nice new coat of paint, some weird visual glitches, and some issues, and yeah.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that this is not a complete remake. Set your expectations, it’s a remaster. It’s an updated, nicer-looking, and more convenient version of the original that still feels lolled in some spots. Yes, I’m bumped that Rockstar de-listed the original versions of the games, so you can’t buy them anymore. But I think what we have here is, if you’re interested in it, a decent way to experience the classic games.
They’re like you remember, for the most part, except for a few things I’ll explain. But it’s also a good enough representation for a new generation of people to play it who never got to.
The answer for the whole thing is a bit more complicated. This is gonna be a divisive one. Now, whether you think it’s worth the money or maybe you don’t want this because you’re mad that Rockstar still isn’t giving you a Grand Theft Auto Six, that’s up to you. I can’t really move the needle there. But putting that stuff aside, let’s just dive into this product.
The Upgraded Visuals
So first, let’s talk about the biggest upfront upgrade, you know, the visuals. A lot is this is gonna be down to personal taste and preference, you know, specifically with the art style. It’s subjective, so keep that in mind. But the facts first.
These are the original games, but with new, nicer, higher resolution textures. New lighting system, vastly better particle and weather effects, cars look way better. They’re shinier with better reflections, characters and objects look just kind of updated as they filled in the blanks with the old graphics. There’s a bit more to the middle cut scenes too. But generally, visually I think in most instances, it looks really good.
San Andreas has some really killer lightning during the day that can make things look pretty modern, while GTA Vice City just seems to have gotten the most care here. The colors are freaking, absolutely, like amazing. And the game just looks and feels a bit fresher, but familiar.
Some characters and things have a bit more of that cartoony look that the old games were going for, but now, you know, less muddy and a bit more fully realized. Now again, that’s a matter of personal preference.
But there are some side characters that look kind of jacked up though, I will say. I don’t know what happened. They will be Memed a lot. But once you start moving and once you start playing, this really is still the old Grand Theft Auto games. Meaning, characters still get in the cars in that same goofy, aggressive way. They still have those crazy jerky jump animations and shooting still looks a little awkward.
Performance on Console and PC
More on that in a bit. Now on PC, it has DLSS support and on next-gen consoles, it’s to quote Rockstar, “4K up to 60 FPS.” Now it’s got two modes, of course. Prioritize resolution or prioritize frame break mode. We’ve seen this in a lot of other games on newer consoles and it’s all fine and dandy. There’s not a massive compromise in cool visuals between the two, except for one game, GTA 3. GTA 3 overall seems like it got the least attention.
You’ll see that be the theme here. I know it’s the oldest and the hardest to fix but there are tons of weird glitches, we had a few crashes and there is a lot of visual bugs and stuff that flip flops weirdly, depending on if you’re frame rate mode or fidelity mode. Lightning can get really weird and inconsistent and the rain effects are downright hard to look at. I can’t believe these are in the game. It actually made two of us here kinda feel woozy after staring at it for too long. The frame rate also dipped here and there and was not rock solid, which is something I really was not expecting for an updated version of a PS2 game.
You know, this stuff should be watertight. Thankfully, though, so far, San Andreas and Vice City seemed to be much stronger overall. The frame rate on frame rate mode maintains a close to solid 60, except for the occasional stutter. It’s still a bit more than I was hoping. But, I’m just pointing out stuff that was noticeable to our naked eye. It seems mostly smooth. This also goes for the last-gen version as well. It looks a little more frames, but it ain’t bad at all. And it looks okay.
Gameplay for GTA Trilogy The definitive edition
Now, the gameplay itself feels good. It feels largely unchanged but slightly beefed up in places that count. The games are still good and really fun, specifically San Andreas. It’s all still so great if you ask me. The games have more modern check porting and autosaves, so it’s way easier to restart a mission if you fail. The older games were notorious for this, you know, you would do a longer mission and you would fail right at the end.
You can still swap weapons the old fashion way by just mashing the button through them all, or just holding it and bringing up the weapon wheel now. And many maps are updated as well with fresh navigation and stuff. The control layout is more Grand Theft Auto 5 style and the aiming and shooting have been updated as well. The targeting style was said to be like Grand Theft Auto 5, but, not quite. This is not the control upgrade you were possibly looking for.
Like I said at the start, it’s still the same game here. With the same awkward combat that we enjoyed back then. Now you can just pull the left trigger and log on and aim a bit quicker and more naturally and in a way, that makes it feel more in line with a regular third-person shooter. But, you know, movement is awkward. The character’s arm can sometimes flail about and shootdowns are still mostly awkward. It gets better by game, you know, just like it did back in the day.
Same Car and Fight Animations
So the update makes aiming and shooting a little easier and cleaner, but the combat can still look a little awkward. Just know that. But at the very least, it’s easy to pick up and doesn’t feel as archaic. And thankfully, guns still have the same punch. Swinging a bat or a Malay weapon is still just zany and goofy and the games still have challenging spots.
The same goes for driving. I know people are very particular about the driving in between these games. I don’t wanna get too deep into it. But it seems like they didn’t really mess with anything. But there are still differences and feel between the games. Also, we got to acknowledge the music
These games are known for really embracing the spirit and culture of their respective time periods. And with that came some incredible license real-world tracks. Most notably, San Andreas and Vice City. Unfortunately, there are some missing tracks. Now if you played earlier re-released versions of the games from a few years back, you might already be aware of some of the tracks missing here. Some are whatever, and some are really noticeable. But there are still tons of tracks. And they’re seemingly higher quality now. But the missing tracks are a bummer.
Now, this is one part of Rockstar not getting the rights but it can also very well be some of the music labels and artists saying no. It happens sometimes and it sucks for us, the people playing and buying. It’s not stripped down super hard by any means, but I got some favorites that didn’t make the cut. Now still, if you’ve never played these games, it’s worth pointing out that they’re still fun, still worth playing, and cool if you like gaming history.GTA 3 changed everything. It feels a little generic now, but the sarcasm is still pretty good.
And at the time, it was so, so unique. And then San Andreas just kind of blows everything out of the water with more gameplay elements and absolutely insanely massive open world. Along with some really cool West Coast hip-hop stuff.
That is it for the GTA Trilogy the definitive edition. I still love these games and even with warts on this version, doesn’t bother me too much. I do really still wish this one had more time in the oven. I know they were trying to hit an anniversary release. But some elements just feel a little bit too messy or undercooked. You know, from some optimization to some weird visual glitches.
I do wish there was a little more care on everything because these games are so important. Also, which one are you gonna jump into first? Are you waiting for a sale? Do you think this is too expensive? Do you think this is just fine? Let us know any of your thoughts. Have you had any weird glitches and issues?
There’s a lot to talk about with this one, so let us know.