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Does Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy work yet?

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition Rockstar Games for PC players launched on Steam on January 19th after a long period of exclusivity. featuring remastered versions of grand theft auto 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice CityAnd Grand Theft Auto San AndreasThe bundle launches back in late 2021 in not very ideal shape. Multiple performance and visual issues plagued each entry, and since Rockstar released a few patches, this re-release begs caution.

At the moment, it’s no longer possible to purchase the original versions of the three games on Steam, meaning the Definitive Edition package is now the only fully available bundle on the store. After some hands-on time with each title, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect (or rather, what to prepare for) from the Steam version of the GTA trilogy.

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Members of a criminal syndicate sit around a table in a poorly lit room in GTA Trilogy.

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Image: Rockstar via Play Gamez

GTA Trilogy in the works yet?

Well, the answer is complicated. Yes, you can boot up almost all of the GTA Trilogy on Steam and play every single game without any issues. At least from my experience, I didn’t encounter any particular bugs that prevented me from getting from point A to B without issue (I’ll tell you more about hostile car drivers later). Disturbances such as heavy rain that used to make it nearly impossible to see are no longer present.

said that, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition To a large extent this is due to being in an optimal condition. In all three cases, the game is loading during the first boot-up. After the Rockstar Games Launcher opens — which, yes, continues to run in the background even with the Steam version — I get a black screen and the game processes unresponsive. So every time I have to open task manager, end the process and reopen the game. If you are interested to know, all the games asked for firewall permission as well.

Games are a mixed bag in terms of presentation. I went with GTA Vice Cityfirst, and to my surprise, the top right corner of the UI was present throughout the opening cutscene. It didn’t repeat itself afterwards, but it wasn’t the best first impression. In terms of interface, all three games share a similar structure – options are displayed on the left side of the screen, while the background is the game’s map itself. You can use your mouse to drag it around, but it’s not until you actually select the map button that you get to see icons or view waypoints. Also, sometimes hovering over this menu with the mouse selected the up button where my mouse cursor was pointing. While not a deal breaker, the overall presentation feels unpolished.

In terms of visuals… it’s complicated. None of the three games defaulted to my PC’s standard resolution, which is 1080p, and they still had black bars until I changed the setting and restarted them. In-game, some cutscenes showed characters with blank or outright severed eyes, and some models looked blurry when viewed up close. Some more times, the position of NPCs or key objects – such as a bomb that goes off when it starts GTA III – was clearly in a different position than intended. Again, while these issues won’t stop you from playing GTA Trilogy, they add up to be a constant distraction.

Due to both the different use of lighting and the design of different models, your mileage will vary in terms of the new overall aesthetic of each game. But even if you’re looking at everyone’s face looking like a mixture of a puzzled child and a crushed clay figure, some of the lighting effects are distracting at best and disruptive at worst.

Floating items like police stars or search markers emit their own light, and it’s incredibly bright, to the point where you can see their reflections on fences or other nearby objects. Shadows have the opposite problem, especially during cutscenes, where characters are often obscured (though this is sometimes related to the game’s time of day). In other cases, it is the reflection that may be hiding the characters, such as in the drive-thru scene in San Andreas where the group is picking up food. The glare against the front windscreen was so intense that I could only clearly see CJ inside the car.

In the GTA Trilogy a man drives a car on a coastal highway.

Image: Rockstar via Play Gamez

Is GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition worth playing?

to be honest, come again GTA III either GTA Vice City Looks inevitably clunky in this day and age, and most of the small additions are only subtle changes, such as the radio from the channel wheel. Grand Theft Auto 5 Now available in all three games. It is also notable that there are a fair amount of accessibility options compared to the original release.

However, there were a few odd instances here and there. For example, sometimes hitting police cars or bikes doesn’t immediately yield the desired star. Sure, it’s helpful, but still off-putting. Driving in general feels chaotic — in GTA IIII couldn’t go more than a few blocks without seeing a car accident or a pedestrian killed on the floor blocking a street.

In San Andreas, sometimes drivers get angry and start hitting you repeatedly for no reason. During one particular incident, they managed to flip my car over so I got out before it exploded. But even after the job was done, the driver continued to reverse slowly and then marched against the wreckage in an endless loop.

Unfortunately, performance can also be quite arbitrary. Using the RTX 2060, i7 8700k, and 16 GB of RAM, I was over the 60 FPS mark most of the time running the highest settings. But framerate dropped frequently in all three games, sometimes for no particular reason. DLSS is at least an option, but overall, it seems like the games are operating in a much more demanding way than they should, and affecting performance as a result. (My PC’s fans made a weird, constant noise while playing them, which I’d never heard before.)

Overall, if you are planning to watch all the three games, then you are bound to face the problems and glitches mentioned above. If you really want the GTA trilogy on Steam, they’re pretty much the only options available, and the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. But if you still have a PS2 lying around, this might be your best bet for reliving nostalgia without getting horrified or frustrated every ten minutes.

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