The game introduced a new age of open-world games and gave players a 3D view of the action. Although it would be difficult to overstate its impact, twenty years is a long time in the game industry, and its age is evident. It would require time, consideration, and expertise to update this classic and create a remaster deserving of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy —The Definitive Edition designation. Regrettably, Grove Street Games received the assignment from Rockstar, and it appears that they were not given enough time or funding to complete it well.
You immediately feel at home in your cargo pants and leather jacket as you boost a Banshee and head to work for the Leone family. As you return to the rough streets of Liberty City, which is partly inspired by New York. In Rockstar: GTA 3, the first game in the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy also includes Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas, you take control of the silent Claude. The goal design, the flimsy setups, and the remastered art are all crude after you get beyond the initial rush of nostalgic excitement as you drive your car and flip through the radio stations. Of course, the humor is vulgar as well.
You can see a progression in sophistication as you move from the prototype Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy beginning from GTA 3 to vice city, an action-movie neon fever dream with licensed music from artists like Blondie and voice acting by Ray Liotta, and then to San Andreas with its compelling narrative, intense gang conflict, and rich character development. The series expanded and improved with each installment, and the all-powerful GTA V has a significant debt to its forebears. It is heartbreaking to see them treated in such a thoughtless manner.
The Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy has a ton of issues right out of the gate. Highlights include multiple crashes into the PS5 menu, falling through the map, riding a motorcycle while embedded sideways in the road, NPCs running in circles nonstop, a cloud of charred dead guys floating permanently in midair after a helicopter explosion, and a multicolored CJ riding a bicycle that defies the laws of physics.
Although it performed well on the PS5, there appear to be even more problems with the versions for the PC and Switch. Since the open world in these GTA games was so expansive at the time, players were willing to overlook the occasional physics bug or car explosion. However, this is no longer the case, and many of these issues are also brand-new.
Death occurs inconveniently frequently and at random. At first, you might be relieved that San Andreas allows you to restart unsuccessful missions with the press of a button rather than having to return to the most recent safe-house save, as in the original, but you soon learn that San Andreas divides lengthy missions into pieces. Why then are you sent all the way back to the beginning in GTA 3 and Vice City? With challenging missions like S.A.M. or Copland, this quickly becomes boring.