Having launched just today on major platforms, publisher Rockstar Games shared a graphics comparison for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. Published by IGN, the video runs through all three remastered games, highlighting the amount of work developer Grove Street Games put into updating the visuals for these very old titles. And honestly, it’s impressive stuff, with new lighting effects and enhanced skin tones.
Everything looks way better in the remastered trilogy. That’s readily apparent from the video’s start, which begins by showing how much GTA III has changed. Character models look fuller while environmental assets, such as doors and rails, appear smoother and more three-dimensional. Animations have also been improved across the board, as evidenced by the brief Vice City montage. Thomas “Tommy” Vercetti speeds on a motorcycle through the city and as the video swipes between the original and definitive editions, you can not only better see the world in motion, but also witness the air blowing through Tommy’s shirt. It looks far more dynamic and realistic than before.
Maybe I’m biased, but some of the best improvements seem to come in San Andreas, particularly regarding skin tones. The melanin in Carl “CJ” Johnson’s skin finally pops, whereas before it appeared muted and grey. This dilution of complexion is something Black skin usually faces in games, and though I can’t say with confidence that it is better without actually playing the game, the video seems to emphasise accurate skin tones more.
That’s not to say everything will go over without a hitch. Things didn’t go well the last time Rockstar re-released San Andreas in 2013, with those ports missing several features and plagued by bugs. And it even seems that the publisher has removed some bangers from the game’s tracklist. Bummer.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X|S.