Wed. Dec 1st, 2021
GTA Definitive Edition Isn't San Andreas' First Remaster

Later this week, fancy remastered variations of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas hit all the main platforms, together with Nintendo Switch. They will likely be launched as a part of a brand new assortment referred to as GTA: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition. Rockstar’s advertising and marketing makes it sound like Definitive Edition is the primary time it’s ever remastered a GTA sport. But longtime followers will recall that about eight years in the past Rockstar made a primary try at re-releasing San Andreas, and the outcomes proved largely horrible.

Rockstar’s 2013 cell model of San Andreas claimed to have “newly remastered graphics,” however what it actually had was a shitload of issues. The cell redux was adopted by console variations, and most followers think about these to be large trainwrecks, crammed with numerous bugs, damaged options, and visible glitches. (Fans usually refer to those ports as “remasters” though Rockstar solely used that phrase as soon as in a Newswire weblog from 2013.) And as a result of this crappy new model was developed by Grove Street Games, the identical studio behind the upcoming Definitive Edition, some followers are fearful for the prospects of Rockstar’s newest batch of traditional GTA revamps.

So, what’s so unhealthy about these “enhanced” and “remastered” GTA: San Andreas ports? Well, loads. If I listed off each downside gamers have documented in these supposedly enhanced ports of the traditional open-world sport, this text might simply surpass 50,000 phrases. But a number of the issues fall into two key classes: damaged options that labored high quality within the PS2 / Xbox originals, and adjustments made to the way in which the sport appears to be like that made sense for a cell port, however appear misplaced on consoles.

For a number of followers, that second merchandise factors to the most important difficulty with the older San Andreas ports: The builders used a cell port as the muse for supposedly enhanced console re-releases. This isn’t simply hypothesis from followers. Buried throughout the code of the Xbox 360, PS3, and different 2013 ports of San Andreas are property and recordsdata immediately from the cell sport. In the 360 model, a cheat code truly helps you to re-enable the onscreen touch-control icons. There’s no denying the place these ports got here from, and whereas I’m not towards cell video games, it wasn’t a terrific thought to make use of a downgraded and scaled-back port of San Andreas as the idea for subsequent variations on extra highly effective {hardware}.

Let’s begin with visuals. Many particulars, similar to timber, bushes, and climate results, are fully absent from the 2013 ports. Lighting can be completely different, ditching pre-baked and hand-tweaked shadows for overbright, higher-res textures that smash the vibe of some areas, particularly shops and houses. These adjustments give the sport an empty, low-cost look. Everything is just too brilliant, clear, and naked. On a cellphone display screen this isn’t too huge of a deal, however on a full-size HDTV all of it stands out like a sore thumb.

A screenshot comparing the full grassy fields from the PS2 version with the barren land in the port.

It should be noted, Rockstar’s original San Andreas 2013 announcement explained that the port would contain “remastered graphics” and “enhanced character and car models.” To be fair, it wasn’t lying. These ports include some minor enhancements, like nice-looking reflections on cars and less clipping on clothing. But the myriad other new problems, like how character models look shiny and wet, make it hard to appreciate these admittedly nice enhancements.

Other annoying visual problems include broken character models, with some NPCs having closed eyes or badly deformed facial features. Radar and map textures are also prone to loading slowly, making it hard to navigate around the world while you wait for your radar to fully render a readable image. The cutscenes camera on Xbox 360 is zoomed out too far, meaning you can see things that Rockstar never intended, like characters freezing in place or T-posing. (The PS3 version thankfully resolved this and several other issues that never got fixed on 360.)

Read More: The 10 Worst Missions From The Classic GTA Trilogy

Alas, the problems didn’t stop at visuals. For example, songs on the radio will often rewind or just stop and start for no reason. (A lot of songs were cut from these ports, too.) Some cutscenes are no longer skippable, and features like swimming and riding bikes are screwed up, removing nuances and limiting players to a single speed. Some of these issues actually make the game nearly impossible to complete.

A terrible example of this can be found in the PS3 version. Early on in GTA: San Andreas, a progress-critical mission has you head to the beach to complete a dancing mini-game. The problem? The PS3 version’s dancing mini-game isn’t properly coded. In the PS2 original, you hit button prompts as they scroll through a circle at the bottom of the screen. It was a simple but fun rhythm game. In the port, that’s all broken. The timing is wrong. The only way to beat this mission is to actually hit the button prompts well after they pass through the circle. It’s likely a lot of players didn’t realize this and spent far too much time trying to finish what was originally a fairly easy tutorial mission.

Other missions crash the game if you take specific routes, forcing you to map out different, safe paths to reach your objective. Other missions freeze up unless you mash a button at just the right time during a loading screen or menu.

GTA tremendous fan and YouTuber Vadim M has created some impressive, in-depth videos covering all these various issues, bugs, and problems found in 2013’s San Andreas ports. While I don’t always agree with his attitude in these videos, like how he calls the devs lazy, I readily agree that these ports are bad, and make it hard to enjoy San Andreas.

Perhaps worst of all, Rockstar actually removed the original PS2 and Xbox versions of GTA: San Andreas from the digital PlayStation and Xbox stores, replacing them with these awful ports. So not only are these ports bad, but for many players, they might be the only easy and legal way to play the classic San Andreas without exhuming an old PS2 or PC copy. A similar situation could play out with the upcoming remastered collection, as Rockstar has also decided to yank the original versions of those games from places like Steam ahead of the Definitive Edition’s release later this week. The more things change…

On November 11, Rockstar will release GTA Trilogy – Definitive Edition. It’s been made by the same studio that produced the disappointing San Andreas ports, so you can see why fans have shown some concern amid the hype around these remakes. However, Grove Street Games has also worked on ports of other games that were solid and well-received. Some fans believe that the San Andreas ports were done quickly and cheaply, possibly in response to music licenses expiring. This time, hopefully Rockstar has given GSG’s devs the time, resources, money, and support they need to create great remasters of some of the most popular games ever made.

Even if the brand new remasters don’t stay as much as all of the hype and expectations, I’d be shocked if the remastered GTA: San Andreas port we’re about to get is any worse than the sorry sport people have been struggling via these previous eight years or so. That’s one thing, proper?

By admin