Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Remastered versions of GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas releasing on consoles and PC later this year
Oh, so after I finish playing Diablo 2 I can move on to GTA 3. All I need are a few more random boners and a Sum 41 CD and I'll be reliving 7th grade.
In all seriousness, it's a little unnerving to see this trend in video games. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to replay the classics, but I worry that video games will have the same disease as Hollywood. Last time I went to the theater, there wasn't a single preview for an original story. They were all reboots, sequels, or biopics. I'm starting to see the same thing in games.
There are lots of original movies coming out of Hollywood, but they don't get as much attention. They generally lack the big flashy marketing budgets that draw people in by the millions. Big budget films are a high risk venture, so it makes sense that Hollywood would choose to mitigate that risk by tying a large share of them to already successful properties.
These risk mitigation strategies are nothing new to Hollywood. Today it's superhero movies and nostalgic reboots, but it has taken many other forms including samey westerns in the 1950s, broadway musical adaptations in the 1960's, and so-on.
The most recent film I saw in theaters was The Green Knight, which I thought was a pretty original take on an Arthurian legend. The trailers shown before it were mostly for other mid-budget films that most people probably won't bother seeing. The only sequel/reboot/whatever in the lineup was Shang-Chi. When I saw Cruella earlier this year, the trailers were for almost nothing but sequels and reboots.
I've been saying this for a long time. Remakes and sequels aren't the enemy of original games, they're their biggest ally. They make the money that bankrolls the little games. Or, as an MMO gamer, they tank so the DPS guys can do their work.
Yeah, when I saw the Green Knight, Zola, and other A24 films, the previews were for original movies but for bigger pictures like A Quiet Place II and Many Saints of Newark all the previews were for sequels, prequels, and biopics. I don't mind, and I am glad that studios like A24 are still putting movies in theaters, but I wish there were some more original movies with bigger budgets. It seems like only huge names like Nolan and Tarantino get the chance to make an original big-budget movie.
I do wonder what new thing they're going to add to make it interesting to replay, or if the goal is entirely to pretty them up so that the graphics are palatable to someone playing them for the first time?
I think with enough distance most people will just be happy to replay them as they were with the more palatable graphics. It's been a decade and I sure can't remember most of the game so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people are in the same boat.
It sounds like the controls are being redone, which is a big deal for me. The original games feel really clunky to play these days.
I hope they add modern movement (climbing, swimming in GTA3/VC, etc.); the new aim system in GTA V which is great and maybe even modern car physics.
I just wonder how much the difficulty or missions would change because of these changes, sounds like they might need to do some adjustments or you could end up making things too easy, too hard, breaking something, etc.
Not sure about GTA, but I'm a few acts into Diablo 2 and it is the same game with better graphics.
And is nostalgia carrying the day?
As a long-time fan of the series, I'm concerned that this intends to ship this year and they haven't shown any gameplay or in-engine footage. Fans of the series know that Rockstar Games doesn't have the best track record of remastering their games (see the PS3 "version" of GTA: SA, most mobile ports of these games, etc.), and often don't capture the game's look and feel on it's original hardware (namely, the PlayStation 2). Rockstar North seems to deliver a beautiful "master" version on the lead hardware platform once, then the remaining Rockstar studios are tasked with porting it everywhere else, with varying levels of quality. As a somewhat purist of the series, these particular games (GTA III, GTA: VC, & GTA: SA) are honestly best experienced on PlayStation 2 -- the target platform that Rockstar North created the games for.
Based on their complete lack of awareness (or some 4D strategy I'm unaware of) with the "Expanded & Enhanced" version of Grand Theft Auto V, I really don't have a lot of faith that these will faithfully recapture the look and feel of the original games, while also providing a significant enough improvement to the visuals and gameplay experience to make them feel more modern.
I suppose I'm cautiously optimistic here, but my hopes aren't very high. I guess we'll see.
If anyone's interested in having access to the old versions outside of piracy, now is the time to pick them up.
Note that even those versions are missing music, which is impossible to get 'outside of piracy'.
Since no one made the connection, I'll start: it's a shame that they thought they needed to remove all those mods to give way for the remasters. That is obviously false. It's very hard to imagine a scenario in which the remasters will not be a huge success.
Well, the trailer is out. I'd be very impressed if it was a third-party mod, but it's official. Devious of them to kill off those mods with DMCAs, ensuring that this is the only choice players have:
This will actually cost you 60 USD or 55 GBP.
From Big Game Dev™'s perspective, why take the risk of creating a new game?
The gaming community has accepted that we now remake ~10 year old games. Judging by the Souls remakes, people seem to love it. Bethesda is probably hard at work remastering Fallout 3 & New Vegas.
Most importantly, what would it take to reverse this trend?
You mean Demons Souls? That was a totally different situation, and was quite risky. The original was one of the biggest risks of the generation.
It was also an entirely different studio. From let Bluepoint do all the work while they got on with Elden Ring. Sony wanted a big title for the PS5 launch and Demon's Souls was, frankly, a superb choice.
Also Demon's Souls was absolutely worth remaking. The original was one of the best games of that console generation, but it was a PS3 game and it never got that popular. I had to play an import copy bought at some expense from a (possibly) shady ebay dealer. It's so good, though, that I nearly bought a PS5 just to replay it with HD graphics and I almost never replay games. See also Shadow of the Colossus, another great classic game from a couple of generations ago, brought to a new audience with a remake. I would argue that there are games which are worth remaking and updating. Rez and Wipeout getting VR remakes was also completely worth it.
However. GTA3 exists for the PS4. I could buy and play it right now if I wanted to. A remake doesn't bring an old game to new players, because new players can already play it. It's a good game, but it's not a great game and it's certainly not a genre-defining game like Demon's Souls.
Not all remakes are a bad idea. Re-mastering and re-re-re-releasing one or two games an apparently infinite number of times just to squeeze a few more ££$$¥¥ from players, on the other hand, is shitty. Bethesda, looking at you. Rockstar to a lesser extent as well.
Yeah, there's a huge gulf between remakes and re-releases/remasters as well. A remake, done well, is almost as good as a new, original IP. Especially when they reimagine or recapture what the originals were going for but in new ways. Bluepoint's built their reputation on incredible remakes of Shadow of the Colossus and Demon's Souls. This also extends to movies, TV shows, and music too. When something is remade well, it's a work unto itself worth remembering and considering.
But with remasters and re-releases, it's a much lower ceiling when it comes to artistic merit. Not that there aren't great examples of both, but it's also unfair to lump remakes in with these when it comes to arguing for artistic ambition. Remakes are almost inherently a bigger artistic risk than remasters or re-releases.
In terms of these GTA games, a full-on remake would be very welcome. I was actually playing through the series all over again over the pandemic and, honestly, they are dated as hell. I don't think many people realize just how dated their gameplay is, especially GTA3's. That was one of the biggest shocks I had going back to play these games over the pandemic after something like 15 years, especially after continuously playing GTAV for the last six years.
A remaster won't fix or update these discrepancies, they are at the very core of the experience. These were games made before free aim existed on consoles outside of FPS games, when all games were lock-on aiming only, and your skill wasn't based on how well you could aim and shoot, but how quickly you can tap a series of buttons to lock-on, aim, and then run away before all the hitscan enemies took away too much of your health.
But also, it can't be understated how groundbreaking GTA3 and VC were to video gaming, they're the ones that ushered in open-world games as we know them now. Really, those are still bigger genre-defining games than even the Souls games, as there have never been as many Souls-likes penetrating the market as "GTA clones" back in the 2000's. We're still feeling their influence even today with any game that involves on-foot and driving as part of their core gameplay.
My favourite SNES game was the remake of the then 5 years old Super Mario Bros. 3.
That said, it has indeed been unusually long between GTA5 and GTA6, but I think that can be entirely blamed on the success of GTA Online. If Rockstar did go ahead with a new GTA now, it would have to be made without a significant online part, so as not to cannibalize on their current cash cow. And a new GTA without proper online play would also for sure piss off a big part of the player base.
I don’t think they’d have to make it without an online component. Assuming GTA VI is set in Vice City, they’d probably make it so you have to buy the game in order to play GTAO: Vice City. If you have both V and VI, you can link them together and have multi-city campaigns. Honestly that might be one reason for a delay: allowing for just that, while not cannibalizing the existing GTAO.
I wish they would make GTA 6 instead of remake the old ones
I don’t think these are mutually exclusive things. Game developing isn’t something that just scales linearly with manpower. Not only are different resources more or less necessary at different times (for instance, developers are lightly involved in the preproduction phase, whereas they are heavily involved when development starts), but too many cooks and all.