GTA Trilogy is a mess, according to Digital Foundry breakdown

Grand Theft Vehicle: The Trilogy — The Conclusive Edition has actually been getting some heat over efficiency problems and a range of badly gotten modifications from the initial video games. However simply how bad the trilogy carries out is something gamers are just finding out as the post-launch days roll by. To understand the collection’s variety of problems, and educate viewers on why they exist, Digital Foundry has published a 38-minute video breakdown of Grand Theft Auto 3 alone.

With each game available in so many different versions across a variety of platforms, Digital Foundry decided to tackle one at a time. Monday’s video covers Grand Theft Auto 3’s debut on the PlayStation 2, comparing its initial graphics issues to other games of the era while also highlighting what players have always loved about the GTA series: freedom.

The problems with the new remaster of Grand Theft Auto 3 first start to make sense after the realization that it’s actually a rebuilt version of a mobile port. From there, Digital Foundry takes players through a variety of changes to character models and art direction. There’s a fascinating section about the rain system in the Definitive Edition, and how it hinders much of the gameplay compared to the original version.

While there are some graphical improvements, such as with shadows, Digital Foundry argues that Grand Theft Auto 3 has lost most of its sense of style in this remake.

And once the analysis moves away from art and graphics into performance, things go from bad to worse. In Performance mode on Xbox Series X, the remaster runs at a mostly consistent 60 frames per second, but Digital Foundry says it ran into sections that dropped as low as 40 fps. The game runs at a more consistent 30 fps in Fidelity mode, but Digital Foundry saw frame pacing issues.

Performance mode is worse on PlayStation 5, with more inconsistency than on Xbox Series X. It’s bad enough that Digital Foundry recommends that PS5 owners download the PlayStation 4 version of the Grand Theft Auto 3 remaster and play it instead, because of its “near-flawless” 60 fps performance on PS5.

As you might expect, the Nintendo Switch version of the remaster is truly something to behold. A little over halfway in, the video dives into the game’s performance in docked mode and handheld mode. In either mode, the resolution on Nintendo Switch is seriously low. Simply looking at the comparisons to PlayStation and Xbox, it’s almost shocking how rough the Switch version looks and how poor the frame rate (with frequent dips under 30 frames per second) is for a 20-year-old game.

By the way, if you’re just interested in seeing a wide range of bizarre bugs, the end of the Digital Foundry video has actually you covered.

It’s fairly easy to look at screenshots from Grand Theft Vehicle: The Trilogy — Conclusive Edition, or simply scroll through Twitter, and surmise that it’s a mess. However as typical, Digital Foundry does an exceptional job breaking down precisely why and how it’s a mess.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.