The recently released Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition has been met with criticism from GTA both fans and critics, and its poor performance has brought developer Rockstar Games to a new low. The long awaited collection of remastered versions of the popular titles from the PS2 era Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had promised players better graphics, controls and more. Upon release, however, longtime fans are disappointed, only exacerbated by other recent disappointments from Rockstar in recent years.
Following last month’s announcement, GTA: The Trilogy became a long awaited game that promised to modernize the PS2 classics with modern controls similar to those in GTA 5, better graphics, in addition to several other announced improvements, in general intended to be, as the title suggested, the definitive way to play these titles. Upon release, however, it will GTA remasters became unexpectedly bad. The game faced setbacks for several bugs, recycled assets from GTA 5, and questionable graphic changes. These issues were only more conspicuous to gamers, while Rockstar removed the original versions of the games from purchases in their online stores, removing players’ ability to experience the smaller buggy originals. And since the game is temporarily unavailable on PC due to Rockstar Launcher going into maintenance, players have had their fair share of issues with this release.
This is not the first time, even in recent memory, that fans have had problems with Rockstar. Several dubious decisions over the last few years have left a lingering feeling in some fans that they are not being listened to or appreciated, and for some, GTA: The Trilogy may even be some of the drop. Between the perceived over-dependence of GTA 5 and GTA online, possibly at the expense of a new original Grand Theft Auto title, and the poor treatment of Red Dead online, Rockstar has a lot to answer for in the minds of fans.
Rockstar’s investment in GTA 5 & Online Perplexes Fans
There is no doubt about that GTA 5 has been Rockstar’s biggest success story. As the best-selling Grand Theft Auto games, it has been a continuing hit among fans, but this enduring nature of its popularity proves to be somewhat detrimental to the view of the company. Released in 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, shortly before both console companies announce their new systems. At the time of the first releases, these new systems would not support backward compatibility, resulting in disappointment that older titles missed out on the new console generation. Rockstar was quick to allay concerns and promised an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of GTA 5, released in 2014. Fans were pleased with the re-releases, which offer improved graphics and framerates on the more powerful hardware, as well as the introduction of new content to the game, something to get players over until this generation’s new Grand Theft Auto released.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 would not see their own original Grand Theft Auto however, the title breaks a tradition with a new title every generation, since the original PlayStation saw the release of the original Grand Theft Auto. As the opportunities for these games have grown larger and larger with each entry, it’s easy to imagine development times taking longer and longer, but many fans have noticed that Rockstar’s continued investment in GTA 5 may be at the expense of a potential GTA 6. Rumors of experiencing a stony development, it is possible that the development continues GTA 6 being held back by Rockstar’s focus on GTA online, multiplayer sandbox component of GTA 5. GTA online continues to generate money for Rockstar through microtransactions for in-game currency, which may explain why Rockstar after 8 years has said nothing about a sequel. The upcoming release of GTA 5 for Xbox Series X | S and PlayStation 5 have only disappointed fans further as they fear this could mean another console generation without a new one Grand Theft Auto experience.
Red Dead Online continues to disappoint fans
Red Dead Redemption 2 was the long-awaited sequel to Rockstars Red Dead Redemption, with an online component equivalent to GTA Online, with mixed reception. Criticism has been directed at the lack of agency players have, with Red Dead online players who apparently work for everyone but themselves, but already as early as it was released, have played no shortage of problems. At launch, players were dissatisfied with how the economy of the game worked, apparently prioritizing players willing to buy microtransactions for gold bars over those who wanted to play the game to earn them, as players estimated the time it took would take them to earn 1 gold bar similar to 8 hour missions.
The lack of updates, especially in relation to GTA online, has left many Red Dead fans also disappointed. Once most upgrades are purchased in the game, you make money Red Dead online feels pointless as there is not much left to spend it on. Players often struggle to find something to do in the world. Where GTA online locks higher-level missions behind larger purchases – the purchase of a penthouse for access to robbery, leading to the purchase of an arcade for access to a higher paying robbery – Red Dead online players end up having lots of money with absolutely nothing left in the game to spend them on.
GTA: The Trilogy is just the latest disappointment that fans have encountered from Rockstar. Although Rockstar has issued an apology after the setback, this has not done much to deter disappointed fans from pointing out Rockstar’s inability to deliver the promised remaster to the classic games. Rockstar’s promised updates to address these issues do not yet have a fixed release date, but with posts that continue to go viral, pointing out bugs, poor graphics choices and other bugs in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition, it can be assumed that all resources that can be saved by the developer Grove Street Games will be used to make the promised fixes as soon as possible. Where the ruined remastered trilogy eventually ends up being updated remains an open question, but perhaps an even bigger question is whether it will be too little, too late for a legion of players who have been through too much disappointment too long.
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