Does GTA Trilogy work yet? Is Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy worth it?

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition launches on Steam on January 19, after a long exclusivity on the Rockstar Games store for PC players. There are remakes of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice Cityand Grand Theft Auto san andreas, the package launched back in late 2021 in less than ideal shape. A lot of performance and image issues spoil each item and while Rockstar has released some patch Since then, this re-release requires caution.

The original versions of the three games can’t be purchased on Steam at the moment, which means that the Definitive Edition bundle is currently the only one available on the store. After some practice with each title, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect (or rather, what to prepare) from the Steam version of GTA Trilogy.

Members of a criminal organization sit around a table in a dimly lit room in GTA Trilogy.

Image: Rockstar over Polygon

Does the GTA trilogy work yet?

Well, the answer is complicated. Yes, you can launch the majority of GTA Trilogy on Steam and play each game without much of a problem. At least in my experience, I haven’t encountered any particular bug that prevents me from getting from point A to point B without as many problems (I’ll tell you more about drivers enemies later). Problems like heavy rain that made it almost impossible to see are gone.

Which says, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition mostly from the optimal state. In all three cases, the game stuck loading on the first boot. After the Rockstar Games launcher opens — yes, continues to run in the background even with the Steam version — I get a black screen and the game’s process becomes unresponsive. So every time I have to open task manager, end the process and reopen the game. All games also ask for firewall permissions, in case you wanted to know.

Presentation wise, the game is a mixed bag. i went with GTA Vice Citythe first Steam release, and to my surprise, the top right corner of the user interface appears throughout the entire beginning cutscene. This didn’t happen again after that, but it wasn’t the best first impression. In terms of interface, all three games have the same structure — options are displayed on the left side of the screen, while the main background is the game’s map. You can use your mouse to drag it around, but it’s not until you actually select the map node that you can see the icons or set waypoints. Also, sometimes hovering over this menu with my mouse selected the button above where my mouse pointer is pointing. While not a deal breaker, the entire presentation feels unpolished.

Visually… it’s complicated. None of the three games defaulted to my PC’s standard resolution, which is 1080p, and they had black bars on the side until I changed the settings and restarted them. In the game, some cutscenes introduce characters with empty or completely cropped eyes, and some models look blurry when viewed up close. A few other times, the location of the NPC or the main object – such as a bomb that explodes at the start gta III – obviously in a different location than intended. Again, while these issues won’t stop you from playing GTA Trilogy, they add up to become a constant distraction.

Your mileage will vary in terms of each game’s new overall aesthetic, due to different lighting usage and different model designs. But even if you don’t mind everyone’s faces looking like a mix of a surprised child and a distorted clay humanoid, some of the best lighting effects are distracting. medium and at worst disruptive.

Floating items like police stars or mission markers emit their own light and are so incredibly bright that you can see their reflections on fences or other objects up close. Shadows have the opposite problem, especially in cutscenes where characters are often obscured (although this is sometimes related to the current time of day in the game). In other cases, the reflection itself can hide characters, such as in the drive-through scene in San Andreas, where the group is picking up food. The glare on the front windshield was so strong that I could barely see CJ inside the car.

A car driver down a coastal highway in GTA Trilogy.

Image: Rockstar over Polygon

Is GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition worth playing?

Truth be told, reconsider gta III or GTA Vice City in this day and age it’s inevitable to feel clunky and most of the minor additions are just subtle changes, such as the radio channel wheel from car theft 5 is present in all three games. It is worth mentioning that there is a decent amount accessibility options current compared to the original releases.

However, there are some odd circumstances here and there. For example, sometimes hitting a police car or bicycle doesn’t immediately lead to a wanted star. Sure, this is helpful, but still annoying. Driving in general seems chaotic — in gta IIII can’t go more than a few blocks without seeing a car crash or a dead pedestrian lying on the floor across the street.

In San Andreas, sometimes drivers will get angry and start hitting you repeatedly for no reason. In one particular case, they managed to overturn my car, so I got out before it exploded. But even after action had been taken, the driver continued to reverse slowly and then plunged straight into the wreckage in an endless loop.

Unfortunately, performance can also be quite arbitrary. Using an RTX 2060, i7 8700k, and 16 GB of RAM, I was at 60 FPS most of the time running the highest settings. But frame rates regularly dropped in all three games, sometimes for no particular reason. DLSS is at least an option, but overall, it seems like games are behaving in a much more demanding way than they should, and impact performance as a result. (The fans on my PC make a weird, constant noise when playing them, something I’ve never heard of before.)

All in all, if you’re planning to watch all three games, then you’re bound to run into problems and glitches such as those described above. If you really want GTA Trilogy on Steam, they’re the only options available, and the presentation leaves a lot to be desired. But if you have a PS2 lying still, it might be your best way to sink into nostalgia without having to be terrified or frustrated every ten minutes.


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