'Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy–The Definitive Edition' Is Definitively Trash
No one has the gaming world or pop culture in a tighter head lock than the British developer and industry behemoth Rockstar. GTA V is the most profitable piece of entertainment ever made, and their games have effortlessly spawned memes left and right for two decades.
With the unveiling of the remastered trilogy of the 3D generation of GTA games, we have a new excuse to replay (or discover) the wonders of '90s gangsta rap, sardonic radio adverts, and neon-soaked Miami art deco. What better way to squander your days away than wallowing in nostalgia?
Don't buy it. The game, that is. Literally do not spend money on it. We're not going to judge you if you purchased it out of impulse; hell, we own golden horse armor DLC ourselves. But allow us to point out a fundamental hypocrisy that's been overlooked by almost everyone in the gaming press while they fixate on the lousy-looking textures. As if that was the most noxious aspect of this circus.
There's a lot of reasons why this re-release is not worth your time or money. From devs refusing to fix the outdated physics and horrid AI, the pointless censorship, hacking out sizable chunks of one of the most influential game soundtracks out of sheer cheapness, bugs and glitches on multiple platforms, to basic problems like the inability to climb ladders or swim. Both glaring complaints fans have been on about for 20 years:
Those are small quibbles in comparison to the elephant in the room farting in our faces. If all you wanted was merely a shiny new coat of paint, "improved" textures, and a modern user interface, that's cool. However, you never needed to fork over 60 bucks. For anyone with a modest computer, all those minor improvements used to be offered for free, purely as a labor of love by devoted fans. And they generally looked better. The operative word is "used to." If you buy this game, you're being duped the same way your grandma is conned into buying magazine subscriptions when she could have easily looked up the same People articles online for nothing.
The release of the Definitive Edition harbors ominous implications for the modding community. A quick refresher. All the way back in 2015, Bethesda Softworks was embroiled in a nasty PR disaster over "paid mods." In essence, a huge corporation was trying to trick people into paying for content users had been offering for free for years. Backlash was swift and brutal; Steam pulled a Pontius Pilate and cleansed their hands of the idea. It made no difference because they brought it back years later as the equally-maligned Creation Club.
Why bring that up? With the re-release of Rockstar Game's iconic suite of GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas, Rockstar is, figuratively speaking, getting away with murder. We should have seen the writing on the wall all the way back in 2017 when Rockstar took the unprecedented step in attempting to nuke a thriving world of modding. The mob responded. Rockstar relented after fans revolted, their games' review scores bombed by angry Steam users, their social media feeds turned into rage-fueled dumpster fires. (In other words, it was a normal day on social media.)
That victory was also meager and short-lived. As of 2021, the modding scene has been razed to the ground by Rockstar's parent company. It's one thing for Bethesda to shamelessly rip off modders. They weren't killing off modders, only mooching off them. Rockstar didn't just kill mods; they dissolved the bodies in lye and dumped the remains in the middle of the ocean to remove any trace they even existed.
Want to play the old versions? Too bad. Rockstar removed those original games from sale permanently. Future generations are now stuck with these overpriced, ugly, soulless abominations.
That move was rather ironic as the new versions too were removed from circulation. Don't count on modders fixing all these issues if Rockstar has their say. In a coordinated action, invoking the aegis of DMCA regulations, Rockstar is going after and massacring the remaining modders still in existence like the ending of The Godfather. The great tradition of modding is now in peril. And without mods to rip off, where will companies get their ideas from?
You know the crass, cartoonishly shitty, greedy, shallow jerks that are depicted in Rockstar's games, no care of what beautiful thing they are destroying, laughing at the little people? Those caricatures are indeed real, only they speak with British accents.
Nothing good has come from this cash grab … almost nothing. The internet broke out in a synchronized chorus of laughter. The final product might suck, but we'll always have the memes. As revenge, modders have created sarcastic mods for other games purely to mock Rockstar's incompetence, memorializing the now notorious "definitive" rain effects:
Enjoy your “definitive” migraine headache.
Top Image: Rockstar Games