PS5 Review: Grand Theft Auto – The Trilogy: The Definitive Edition

GT-yay or GT-Nay?

Three iconic cities, three epic stories. Play the genre-defining classics of the original Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas updated for a new generation, now with across-the-board enhancements including brilliant new lighting and environmental upgrades, high-resolution textures, increased draw distances, Grand Theft Auto V-style controls and targeting, and much more, bringing these beloved worlds to life with all new levels of detail.

The first GTA games that jumped to 3D were iconic when they launched and while they’ve aged in terms of gameplay by today’s standards, they were the template for sandbox games and the industry evolved a lot as a result. Still, it would be nice to play these classic games with GTA V style controls and updated visuals plus framerate boosts, right? The answer is a yes with a but, which I know you’ll understand by now…

The remastered versions of the games are a mixed bag of decent quality of life changes, but also incredibly buggy additions like the game repeatedly crashing, some bridges or barriers being invisible, character animations being clunky and even save games becoming corrupted. It happened to me with Vice City after I collected all 100 hidden packages, so I had to redo that which was bothersome to say the least. Still, at least they lowered the Godfather requirements from 1 million points to 100k.

The good news is that The Definitive Editions of these games allow you full control of the camera and shooting is a lot easier both on-foot and in vehicles, while controlling them are also more stable overall and easier to manoeuvre except for the Red Baron RC from San Andreas…that still handles terribly. Switching weapons is also a lot easier as the game has the weapon wheel from GTA V at your disposal. Ultimately these games have been made easier than their original versions, but they can still be a major challenge if you aren’t prepared. Luckily, the game autosaves often and you also get a retry option if you die during a mission, something that was lacking previously.

Each game has had a change to the visuals, some criticise the more cartoony art style but it works really well with Vice City in particular, which is oddly the best looking of the trilogy. GTA 3 has some dreadful rain effect that makes it difficult to make out anything and while it’s being reduced slightly in the first post-patch, it still needs toning down. Character models have also been updated and while there are improvements to characters like Tommy Vercetti, the same can’t be said for the likes of Candy Suxx or CJ’s first girlfriend from San Andreas. There have been some very questionable changes made here which have already become meme level famous.

Each game also struggles to maintain the 60 FPS in Performance Mode, dipping here and there during things like races or shooting sections. It still has a faster framerate than its original versions, but it’s a shame that it can’t keep the 60 FPS consistently throughout. The voice acting of the trilogy has always been superb and the same quality crosses over with no issues, but in terms of the soundtrack…well, the games have lost a number of songs from the original versions due to licensing issues, which I understand but it’s still disappointing to lose classics like Killing in the Name or even cheesy tunes like Ring My Bell.

The Verdict

Ultimately its tough to look at this trilogy as Definitive Edition’s when they are so many technical issues at the moment. The gameplay has definitely been improved and the quality of life changes are welcome, I just hope that future updates get this collection running as great as I know it ultimately can.

Score: 7.0