Rockstar Games officially announced that Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, consisting of three legendary games – Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – will be remastered and released for the current generation of the consoles later this year. And considering we’ve already entered the fourth quarter of 2021, we certainly won’t wait long.
Rockstar promised us enhanced graphics and improved gameplay elements, but it also promised that the games will maintain their classic look from their original versions. So, we can’t know for sure what new things we’ll be added, but it’s certain Rockstar doesn’t want to recycle but adapt the games for old gamers who want to feel nostalgia and new gamers who never had the chance to play them.
So, we can’t know, we can only guess, but considering it’s been almost two decades since those games were released, and looking at all the new stuff Rockstar introduced in their newer games (like GTA5 and RDR2), there are some things we hope to see in the remastered version of the trilogy.
When we were thinking about all the new things we could get in the Definitive Edition, mission checkpoints was the first that crossed our mind. Introduced in GTA: Episodes from Liberty City, every mission had a few spots that were automatically saved and where the players could continue the active mission in case they screw something up. This was a well welcomed new feature because players didn’t need to drive from the hospital (if they died mid-mission) to the right location and then play the whole mission all over again, which can be quite frustrating, particularly in some certain, longer missions. The checkpoint system later became an indispensable part of GTA 5, which worked quite well. Neither of the original games of GTA Trilogy had the checkpoint system, and frankly, we still remember the days when we were starting some missions a dozen times over and over again, yelling into the screen, and some players even broke the controller in frustration. If Rockstar will spare us of all that with this remastered version, we’d be really grateful.
Flexible Drive-By Shooting
Driving controls weren’t always so fluid as they were in GTA 5. Yes, of course, even in older GTAs you can go straight, backward, left, and right, but we aren’t talking about that. Grand Theft Auto 4, which was released four years after San Andreas, introduced the more flexible aiming from the vehicle which also improved shooting accuracy. In the previous games, the only way to shoot from the vehicle was to turn the camera left or right and shoot through the window of the vehicle without aiming. GTA 4 introduced a lot more freely aiming system while driving, “look left” and “look right” controls were relocated to the right analog stick (on PlayStation) which allowed players to move the camera freely in any way. It would be good if Rockstar added this to the Definitive Edition because there are some missions where shooting while driving is a must, and after playing GTA 4 and GTA 5, most players probably weaned from the controls which require pressing the button to move the camera right or left before pressing the not-so-precise shooting button.
Improved Cover System
The cover system is one gameplay element that Rockstar kept improving with each new game. But, in the GTA trilogy, the cover system wasn’t so practical. Especially in GTA 3, where you couldn’t even crouch. Crouching was introduced in GTA Vice City and it was maintained in San Andreas so that players can take cover behind shorter objects like cars and fences. But, that covering system was still based only on walking and hiding behind the objects. With GTA 4, the cover system was heavily improved with a take cover command that hides the character behind the nearest solid object. And once in cover, a player could’ve peaked out and shoot while protected from the opposite gunfire. This made gunfights incredibly realistic, and it was maintained in GTA 5 and both Red Dead Redemptions. Many fans agreed that the improved cover system made gunfights a lot more exciting and it gave them a vibe of some action movie. It would be great if the Definitive Edition could include the cover system that was introduced long after the original games were released. Frankly, we would love this even more than the checkpoint system.
Although GTA San Andreas is still considered one of the best games of all time, it doesn’t change the fact that the game was released in 2004, and even back then, the game received some criticism for its graphics. Of course, we can’t expect the 2004 game will visually look like GTA 5, but remastering the game now could give us huge improvements regarding the visual design. Yes, Rockstar said that graphics will be improved (and that game will maintain their classic look at the same time), but improving the graphics would, in our opinion, make the great game even greater. One of the things that players would always notice was the design of the character’s hands, which looked like their fingers are glued together. That’s only one of the small details that can be fixed with the remastered version. Improving the graphics could also make characters (and basically, everything else) a lot more realistic. Don’t get us wrong, we are not expecting that the GTA trilogy will now have the Red Read Redemption 2 level of graphics, but some improvements can definitely be made, and we are looking forward to the improving Rockstar prepared for us with the Definitive Edition.
Tommy Vercetti and Claude Swimming?
Okay, this isn’t something that’s necessarily needed, but we couldn’t resist. Swimming in the GTA franchise was firstly introduced in GTA San Andreas, and since then it became an indispensable part of every new game, especially considering that the endpoint of every GTA map is the sea. In GTA 3 and GTA Vice City, if you jump in the water, you only have few seconds before your health drains and – bye, bye. That’s something that bothered fans for so long that they created some mods that would allow the playable characters Claude (GTA 3) and Tommy Vercetti (Vice City) to finally get into the water safely. But, that was fans. Rockstar never made the main characters Claude and Tommy swimmers. But, could this remastered version of the GTA trilogy give them a chance to do that? Maybe. But let’s remember, San Andreas had one mission that required the player to swim, while GTA 3 and Vice City hadn’t because the main characters couldn’t swim at all. So, if they introduce swimming in remastered versions of GTA3 and Vice City, it would be only for free-roaming around the waters of Liberty City and Vice City, but for some fans, that would still be enough.
Okay, we know this won’t happen because we seriously doubt Rockstar would hire a voice actor and record the dialogues to put them into the game 20 years after it was originally released. And we actually agree that making him talk now in the remastered version would probably take away a bit of that original charm the game had. Still, we hope that the remastered version will improve his physical design, and maybe even make his running (both his and Tommy’s) a bit more realistic because their running in original games honestly looked like they had a broom in their pants. Again, we aren’t saying that was a huge mistake because we understand that those games were released two decades ago, but if Rockstar has a chance now to improve already great games, why shouldn’t it?
We will leave our wishes at this. Of course, we could say that we want more side-missions, more things to do, more mini-games, more realistic NPCs, etc. But we must keep in mind that these are remastered versions of already existed games and it wouldn’t be fair to expect it like it’s some all-new game. We’ll save those bigger wishes for GTA 6 if Rockstar ever decides to announce it. It seems to us that Rockstar is buying time now with this Definitive Edition so that fans would remain calm and patient because GTA 6 is still very far away.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will be released for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch by the end of this year!