It seems that with GTA: The Trilogy, Rockstar looked at CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and uttered the famous line, “hold my beer.” Following a disastrous launch and numerous complaints, the hugely anticipated remaster of the beloved games currently has a Metacritic score of 0.5 on PC, 0.7 on PS4, 0.4 on Xbox One, and 0.5 on Switch.
The GTA Trilogy got off to the worst start possible on November 11 when, just a few hours after arrival, Rockstar tweeted that its Games Launcher had been taken offline for maintenance. This left people unable to play the game they just bought and stopped them from loading Rockstar titles such as GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as their online elements.
The launcher did come back online late on November 12. However, the remastered GTA Trilogy remained inaccessible and was taken off sale as Rockstar removed “files unintentionally included in these versions,” likely music that was no longer licensed, full game scripts with developer notes, and data related to the infamous “hot coffee” sex mini-game from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Hot coffee was disabled in the original but remained in the code. Players found a way to reactivate it in 2005, leading to a $20 million lawsuit against Take-Two that it ultimately settled.
But it’s not just these problems that have led to the GTA Trilogy being hammered by reviewers and buyers alike. There are reports of bugs in the game itself, terrible effects, invisible structures, wandering camera angles, and even misspelled signs and posters, possibly due to an automated upscaling program.
The general sentiment was best expressed by u/Cyb3ron on Reddit:
Remasters of older games are becoming increasingly popular these days, but it’s an area where developers need to tread carefully, lest they be accused of a shameless cash grab. Mass Effect Legendary Edition and Mafia Definitive Edition were well received, but Crysis Remastered, which was delayed following a backlash against the very unimpressive trailer, has a mixed rating on Steam.