News - Updated on May 13, 2022

After a terrible release GTA: The Trilogy six months have passed in which Rockstar Games managed to release several large patches. Have you brought the game to life? Oliver Mackenzie from Digital Foundry went to find out.

The main comparisons were made on two builds for Xbox One X:

  • 1.02 is a patch released simultaneously with the release of the disc versions.

  • 1.04 is the newest, March patch.

What has been improved (somehow)

  • In the original release, for some reason, the rain did not overlap the surface of the water and was very strong and bright – it turned out to be unpleasant to look at the picture through it. By version 1.04, the rain has changed: the density of the drops has remained the same (or close to it), but now the rain is much more transparent and pleasing to the eye, and also superimposed on water, does not penetrate under hard surfaces such as roofs, and is not so strongly tied to the player’s position. However, the rain still moves horizontally with the player – this is noticeable, for example, if you drive fast in a car.

  • Originally in reissue San Andreas there were not enough effects for height: if you climb a skyscraper or fly an airplane, the whole map is visible at a glance. Because of this, the world looked very small, and in the distance the border of the water surface was clearly visible. In the patches, the “Haze on the ground” setting was added – it turns on the fog, hides distant objects and, according to Mackenzie, looks good. However, there is still a problem: when the player gains altitude, the haze appears too noticeably.

  • The original version had a large number of errors on signs and signs. In patches, many typos have been corrected, the resolution has been increased in some places, but there are still mirrored inscriptions on some surfaces.

  • In patches, interruptions with collisions and bugs in missions were corrected. But even on 1.04 one of the cut-scenes in San Andreas stuck, and GTAIII caught invisible geometry on the road.

  • The performance mode on consoles holds the bar at 60 fps better, although at some points there are still drops to 50.

A new haze that hides from you how small San Andreas really is.

What remains as before

  • In some places, grass does not properly cover the ground, and vegetation breaks through the road.

  • The ambient occlusion effect is still too bold – if the character is standing against the wall, it seems to glow black.

  • Beach in vice city reflects too much light.

  • The animations don’t suit models with such tall and smooth geometry, which often causes cutscenes to take on an unintended comic effect. The author of Digital Foundry admits that this is unlikely to be fixed in patches – the scale of work is too large. But it’s still annoying to watch.

  • In quality mode on new generation consoles, there are still moments when frames are rendered unevenly – because of this, there is a feeling of “brakes”.

One of the corrected typos.

Separately, in the video they scolded the work with textures:

  • Some of the new surfaces are drawn too simply, as if it were a stub, and the “upscaling” through neural networks is too noticeable in some places – the algorithm clearly lacked information due to the low initial resolution.

  • McKenzie believes that the developers should have gutted the ports for the first Xbox, which already used higher resolution textures – sometimes four times more than on PS2. With them, scaling through neural networks would have turned out much more decent.

  • New textures (even if they are good) do not look good on old models – they often lack geometry. For example, there are walls where normal maps have been applied and therefore the bricks look convex, and there are walls without normals – they look unnaturally flat and / or monotonous.

According to a Digital Foundry employee, many texture problems can still be fixed in patches.

One of the textures in the Definitive Edition on PS2 and the first Xbox, and an example of scaling based on the Xbox version. Compared to the version from the Definitive Edition, the result is much cleaner and better quality.

The conclusion of the video is disappointing:

old GTA hard to find in decent shape on modern devices. There is a mobile version, where there are enough bugs, and control is based on touching the screen; there are PS2 Classics releases with horribly uneven frame rendering; there are original releases on PC, where it may be difficult to run on modern computers; have a port San Andreas on Xbox 360 and PS3, which inherits all the problems of the mobile version. With this context Definitive Edition is not the worst way to enjoy these games. <…> For most people Definitive Edition might be the best option. And it’s sad on a fundamental level. Some of the most respected, most popular games of all time deserve something better than troubled remakes.

Oliver Mackenzie

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