Rockstar yesterday launched the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, a collection of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas rebuilt and remastered. Today, you cannot buy it at all on PC. Given that the Internet has been abuzz with screenshots of by how bad parts of the new versions look, it might be tempting to assume Rockstar pulled it from sale for being rubbo. However, they do seem to be having trouble with the launcher software which the game requires. Hmm! Either way, the game is a mess.
I didn't dig the cartoonish visual style of the remasters in marketing screenshots and trailers, but I was not prepared for quite how ugly and inept it seems in reality. The internet is awash with screenshots and clips pointing out ugly character art, obvious typos, wacky bugs, excessive effects, and animations which question our understanding of the human skeleton.
A load of common gripes are gathered in a Twitter thread by @VinePotato (click on through for the full horror):
What the FUCK pic.twitter.com/1tPeUAsdB7— potad (@VinePotato) November 10, 2021
Some of it is... ouch.
Arm rickets are a major issue in Grove Street pic.twitter.com/J0kbdhA7on— potad (@VinePotato) November 10, 2021
And just yikes:
Some typos are obvious:
And some outright ruin jokes:
Bugs are wacky:
And effects can be a lot.
The only place to buy the game on PC is the Rockstar Store, which does not currently even list a PC version. You might assume Rockstar have pulled it because it's such a mess, but they haven't explained what's up. They do seem to be having trouble with the Rockstar Launcher, which is required to play the PC version.
"Services for the Rockstar Games Launcher and supported titles are temporarily offline for maintenance. Services will return as soon as maintenance is completed," they tweeted yesterday.
PC services are still down. The only update so far today says: "We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work on restoring services for the Rockstar Games Launcher and supported titles."
Perhaps the Launcher is so busted that it seemed only sensible to stop selling the game, not wanting people to buy something they couldn't actually play. Maybe it will return to sale once that's fixed. If this is a coincidence, it's terrible timing from a PR perspective.
But also, man, surely they'd still be embarrassed. For a studio who obsess over details like tempartures tightening a horse's scrotum, all this is... woof. Their games are never flawless (the state of cheating in GTA Online remains absurd) but this is just a mess. Rockstar themselves didn't make the Def Ed, with Grove Street Games (formerly War Drum Studios) rebuilding the three games in Unreal Engine instead.
I hope they make drastic changes and big fixes. Rockstar pulled the original games from sale after announcing the Def Ed, so these will be the versions standing for posterity. Rockstar's legacy will look very different this way.
I've asked Rockstar PR what's going on, why the collection isn't sold any more, and if they plan to do anything about all of the everything. No reply so far.