Grand Theft Auto Review: The Trilogy – The Final Edition: A Missed Opportunity

I can not believe more than 20 years have passed since then Grand Theft Auto III was released. I’m old enough to remember playing the original top-down 2D game on my first computer, but it was GTA 3 on the PlayStation 2, which switched the series to top speed.

The game included a 3D action view and a refreshing freedom that ushered in a new era of open world gaming. It would be hard to overestimate his influence, but two decades have been a long time in the games and his age shows. To update this classic and create a remaster worthy of Grand Theft Auto: The trilogy – the final edition the label will require patience, care and skill. Unfortunately, Rockstar handed over the task to Grove Street Games and it seems that they were not given the time or resources to do it fairly.

Back on the vile streets of Liberty City (based in New York), I instantly feel at home with cargo pants and a leather jacket as I board the Banshee and go to work for the Leone family. You play like the silent Claude GTA 3, the introduction to a trilogy that includes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas. Going beyond the first rush of nostalgic joy as I burn a tire and flip through the radios, I’m struck by how rude everything is – the humor, of course, but also the mission design, shabby settings and remastered art.

You can track increasing complexity as you start from the prototype GTA 3 in the 80’s action movie neon fever dream Vice City, complete with licensed music hits by people like Blondie and a voice game by Ray Liotta, to a compelling story, gang warfare, character development and depth of San Andreas. The series was getting bigger and better with each step and all-conquering GTA V owes a great debt to his predecessors. So it’s sad to see them treated so carelessly.

There are plenty of errors straight from the gate in all three titles. Too much to mention, but highlights include more than one crash on the PS5 menu, falling through the map, riding a motorcycle while you’re stuck sideways on the street, NPCs running in endless circles, a cloud of charred dead boys floating constantly in the air after an explosion of a helicopter and a multicolored CJ riding a bicycle that contradicts the laws of physics. I played on the PS5, but obviously there are even bigger problems with the PC and Switch versions. Honestly, these GTA games have always been quite buggy, but you forgave the weird physical problem or the exploding car because the scale of the open world was so impressive at the time. But this is no longer true, and many of these mistakes are new.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Photo: Rockstar Games

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