As previously suggested by a healthy dose of rumors before, Rockstar is remastering the original three entries in the Grand Theft Auto 3D saga – namely Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in a remastered package, titled Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. The game releases on November 11, 2021, for all major platforms, and here are the 11 biggest differences between the original games and the remastered versions.
Music has long been an essential part of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto offerings, with players having a slew of radio stations on offer – each boasting a number of great licensed soundtracks. Over the years, the developer has put exorbitant amounts of money into buying licenses for these soundtracks. However, with those contracts having already expired – many soundtracks wouldn’t of course make the cut this time around. Of course, this is an assumption and Rockstar might very well renew them but it’s looking very unlikely.
With visuals receiving a significant overhaul, many oddities with the game’s faces have been ironed out with updated facial models. Of course, it’s a natural evolution of the models present in the original – but there are some stark changes from the originals nevertheless. While some fans are impressed with the changes, others have expressed resentment towards the whole affair with a plethora of memes and forum posts all across the internet.
Shooting was never one of Grand Theft Auto‘s strongest suits for a long time in the franchise’s history. Shooting is a vital part of the experience and the combat loop, sure – but the gunplay always seemed sub-par when compared to other facets of the games such as driving and world exploration. Enemies would rarely react to gunshots, and took so many hits before going down – making them bullet sponges. Before GTA San Andreas, you couldn’t even pop in and pop out of cover – making the combat loop pretty simplistic in its scope. While that’s an issue that has largely been addressed with Grand Theft Auto 5, it seems that Rockstar is making efforts to address the same issues with the original trilogy as well.
The biggest change in GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition from the original is of course, in the graphics department. Rockstar has used Unreal Engine 4 to suit the game for modern platforms, and the game looks absolutely stunning. There is a whole new lighting system, which has made reflections more detailed and dynamic than before. The visuals have also been updated with better materials and more details across the board, giving the games a fresh new look that sits comfortably between a by-the-name remaster and a full-fledged remake. The draw distances have also been improved, which was a much-needed improvement since the originals could only manage to render so much of the game’s world – thanks to the now-antiquated power of the PlayStation 2. The trailer also showcased updated weather effects and much more detailed shadows. The foliage has also received a significant bump in both quality and quantity, which coalesces to make the whole world feel a lot richer in comparison to the originals.
A GTA 5 Controller Layout
The original Grand Theft Auto games did have some flaws with their cumbersome control schemes, such as GTA 3 on the PS2 mapping the shoot button to the circle instead of traditional triggers that so many shooters use today. Controls for flying planes and helicopters were also pretty finicky at times, making completing flight-centric missions like Demolition Man from Vice City and Zero’s RC Mission from San Andreas an exercise in pain. Rockstar has confirmed that all games will be getting an updated control scheme, which would be following a GTA 5-esque controller layout. Hence, fans can expect quite a number of quality of life improvements with the remasters while making the game a lot more inviting to newcomers who are accustomed to modern control schemes.
Waypoints To Maps
The launch versions of GTA: Vice City, GTA: 3, and GTA: San Andreas don’t feature any waypoints. You can put a custom marker on the map, sure – but you will need to figure out the way for yourself. In contrast, you do get navigational aid in the recent Grand Theft Auto titles. In the remastered release of the games, players will have the option to add waypoints to maps. While it’s certainly an appreciable quality-of-life change from the original, it would be quite odd since all the three games are set in the past when such navigational technology wasn’t prevalent. That said, Red Dead Redemption 2 also has waypoints – so that wouldn’t be so out-of-character for the Rockstar of today.
Restarting missions was a major nuisance in the original Grand Theft Auto trilogy. If you failed a mission, you would either get busted or wasted – which would land you in a jail or a hospital respectively. You would also get robbed of a fair bit of money as well as your weapons, and you would have to then go to the mission blip to restart the mission. This makes revisiting the original games an exercise in pain, and for the remasters – Rockstar has added immediate mission restarts to the game. Now, much like GTA 5, you will be able to restart the mission without going through so many hoops. Mid mission checkpoints are also absent in the original releases, and while Rockstar hasn’t confirmed the addition of them for the remasters – it would be an obvious addition, nevertheless.
Achievements were introduced by Microsoft with Xbox 360, allowing gamers to compete for Gamerscores as they completed different challenges. Hence, it is obvious that achievements are absent from Rockstar’s PS2 Grand Theft Auto releases. With the Definitive Edition, each game will get its own list of trophies and achievements – and fans can hope to get duly rewarded for searching the games’ maps for secrets and completing side activities. Rockstar has also confirmed support for Social Club integration, and as such fans can also expect added functionality on the social side of things.
Updated Drive-By Controls In GTA: San Andreas
Drive-by controls in GTA: San Andreas can be cumbersome to control, and missions like The Wrong Side of the Tracks can further exacerbate the issue. Rockstar is making changes to the drive-by controls in GTA: San Andreas, although it isn’t entirely clear as to what the developer means by “upgraded drive-by controls” just yet.
Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling – abbreviated as DLSS allows gamers on an Nvidia GPU to play games at a higher resolution while actually rendering them at a lower resolution. The upscaling is powered by deep learning algorithms, and since this is a new technology – original releases of the games do not have support for DLSS – of course. The remastered trilogy will have support, which is great. The games have updated visuals for modern standards, and as such – should look significantly better at higher resolutions.
Gyro Aiming And Touch Support
Those who purchase Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition on the Nintendo Switch will have the option to utilize the handheld’s gyroscope for aiming. It might not be a game-changer, sure – but it’s certainly appreciable that Rockstar took the time to utilize the console’s gyro capabilities to open new avenues for interaction. On the same note, Switch owners will also be able to utilize the handheld’s touch screen to adjust camera zoom and do selections of the games’ menu – among other little things. As you can imagine, the original releases did not have such options.