TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition" had such a rocky launch earlier this month that the company apologized and briefly delisted the game from PC platform stores.
Players complained of degraded visuals and slow performance that sapped the games of some of their original flair. Much of the problems were due to Rockstar's choice to upscale ports of the mobile versions of the game rather than stick to the specifics of the original releases.
While the complaints are justified, they probably won't bother many players except for the extremely observant. The visuals and glitches don't do much to take the sheen off of some of the most beloved games of the PlayStation 2- Xbox generation.
The games are just too much fun to be ruined by technical hiccups.
Originally released in 2001, 2002 and 2004, the trilogy redefined open-world shooters, becoming pop culture touchstones for a generation of gamers. They paved the way for the more refined and much better-looking "Grand Theft Auto IV" (2008) and "Grand Theft Auto V" (2013).
Coming back to the older trilogy, which strips away much of the scale and complexity of the later games, feels like a joyous return to the fundamentals of what made the games so appealing. There's also a certain innocence to the chicanery of the older games that puts a smile on your face.
The novelty of playing the "GTA" trilogy on the Switch is captivating. Jacking cars, messing wit NPCs and riding along as missions devolve into haphazard police chases and shooting sprees is as much of a guilty pleasure as it was two decades ago.
Not all of the changes are for the worse. Those who pine for the PS2 days forget the copious loading times of that system. Now missions load with crisp precision, and failures let you repeat at the start of your endeavor rather than forcing you into the walk of shame to your last save point. The soundtracks — particularly for "Vice City" and "San Andreas" — remain some of the greatest in gaming history.
The controller layout replicates the much smoother "GTA V" setup, and there are enough visual refinements to offset the drawbacks. Once updates come down the pike to get the games up to par, the package will be significantly more appealing.
That said, if you find the game on a Black Friday deal, there's no reason to wait for the updates to pick up this anthology. Even in the current, imperfect form, these are brilliant games evolved in significant ways for the modern era. Grab a gun, take the wheel and prepare for a ride as wild as you may have remembered.
Publisher provided review code.
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