Hopefully, it will be the video game equivalent of a Singer Porsche 911 restomod.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most influential video games ever made: Grand Theft Auto III. Set in the fictional Liberty City inspired by New York City, GTA III was truly groundbreaking for the time, ushering a new era of open-world gaming.
While previous games in the series were played from a 2D top-down perspective, GTA III saw the series jump to 3D, letting you cause chaos in a living, breathing city, steal cars, and evade the law in pulse-pounding police chases. Playing the game today, GTA III's clunky controls and dated graphics haven't aged well. Thankfully, Rockstar Games is bringing GTA III and its sequels, 2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and 2003's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, up to modern standards. It's the video game equivalent of a beautiful Singer Porsche 911 restomod.
As part of the newly announced Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, all three games in the original GTA trilogy are being remastered for current consoles with "graphical improvements" and "modern gameplay enhancements." Don't expect the graphics to be on par with Grand Theft Auto V, however, because Rockstar Games says the remastered trilogy will retain "the classic look and feel of the originals."
The announcement trailer doesn't contain any gameplay footage but we expect the remastered trilogy to run at a higher resolution with sharper graphics and, hopefully, more refined on-foot controls and car handling. Let's just hope it's a more substantial upgrade than the upcoming PlayStation 5 port of Grand Theft Auto V, which looks virtually identical to the PlayStation 4 version.
We're particularly looking forward to revisiting Vice City. With GTA IV set in Liberty City and GTA V set in Los Santos from San Andreas, Vice City has been long overdue for an HD remaster. Set in 1986, Vice City arguably had the coolest cars in the series that perfectly captured the vibrant atmosphere of the era. Some of our favorites include the Infernus, which is clearly inspired by a Lamborghini Countach, the Cheetah (a Ferrari Testarossa lookalike), and the Phoenix ( a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am).
There's no release date yet, but Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition will release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year, followed by iOS and Android in the first half of 2022. In preparation for the launch, existing versions of the classic GTA trilogy have been removed from digital retailers. Hopefully, this remastered trilogy will help ease the agonizingly long wait for Grand Theft Auto 6, which still hasn't been officially announced eight years after GTA V originally launched.