Rockstar Games has announced that they are remastering the classic Grand Theft Auto trilogy: GTA III (2001), Vice City (2002), and San Andreas (2004). In the GTA games, you play as a criminal in satirical depictions of popular American cities. Stealing cars, robbing banks, and overall, causing havoc are normal activities within the game. What shook the ground harder than this announcement for GTA fans is the fact that the remaster is releasing across several platforms this month, including Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC. When gamers at Blake were asked about their opinion about these releases, 77% showed excitement.
The full graphical overhaul to the games is what really sells the remaster to fans. The games have been ported to the Unity Engine and are getting updated models, textures, lighting, animations, and even a modernized control scheme inspired by GTA V. Though everything is getting a graphical upgrade, Rockstar has chosen to keep the similar art style and gameplay feel of their classic entries instead of giving a more modern look, similar to their newer releases.
Some people have criticized Rockstar over this decision saying they thought they were getting a full remake of the game using similar graphics and physics of their newer games. This is a reminder that Rockstar has promised before their full announcement that the games would be remastered, not remade. The purpose of the remaster is to modernize a classic game while keeping the nostalgia factor there.
“It’s definitely more polished… It definitely looks more up to date I guess you could say,” English teacher, Mr. Macleod points out. Mr. MacLeod believes Vice City was the best game out of the three and expresses his love for it.
“It was the first one to get the ball rolling,” states MacLeod. “The thing I really liked about [Vice City] was the nostalgic factor because as a guy who grew up in the ‘80s, the colors, the pastels, the music, it all very much modeled of Scar Face (1983) with Al Pacino so for a guy who grew up in that period it made me feel I was in one of those ‘80s, gangster, drug kind of movies portraying one of those antagonists.”
The remaster has dubbed itself the “Definitive Edition,” meaning it claims to be the go-to version to play for the best overall experience. Art teacher Mr. Wieman agrees with this claim.
“I do like when they do a remaster and the graphics are better. So even though I own the old [GTA] games, if I got the new one I would probably end up playing the new one more,” He explains.
On the other hand, Mr. MacLeod isn’t impressed by what he has seen.
“I feel like when games, movies, or artwork is ‘re-released’ and they just tacked on a few extras or just put on a fresh coat of paint I feel like it doesn’t make it ‘definitive’ it just makes it extra. I always compare it to the original Star Wars films. When those were re-released in 97… it did not improve what I felt was already a great series of films, it was just adding if anything some extra content or maybe a few extra behind the scenes looks but in terms of, in terms of being the definitive version the director wanted to release, I feel like that ship kinda sails once you release it for the first time.”
These three games are classics in the gaming world and seeing them reimagined in the modern world will be a great sight to see no matter what. The real question is: will the remastered versions live up to their original counterparts and even be good enough to be truly considered the definitive edition? We will just have to see after exploring the nostalgic cities and experiencing the stories we used to love.