The ‘GTA Trilogy’ Isn’t The New ‘Cyberpunk 2077,’ The Definitive Edition Is Worse – Forbes

Yesterday, Cyberpunk 2077 started trending on social media, and surprise, it wasn’t because of any new updates to the game. Rather, it was because people were comparing the disastrous launch of the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: The Definitive Edition, to the release of Cyberpunk 2077, one of the biggest letdowns in gaming.

For me, that’s actually an insult to Cyberpunk 2077, because what we’re seeing with the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still recite the list of Cyberpunk 2077’s crimes by heart. The game was barely playable on last-gen consoles, so much so that Sony removed the entire game from the PlayStation store for six months. CDPR lied about its performance on those consoles and didn’t give out console review codes ahead of time.

The game itself fell short of the lofty expectations that had been set for it, as it was missing a lot of features, had issues with AI and a myriad of goofy bugs at launch. It wasn’t the game that was promised, even if over time, many fans found they could have a good time with it, and opinions have somewhat softened a year later for many. That said, it remains a cautionary tale.

So, if all this went wrong, why am I saying what’s going on with the GTA Definitive Edition is worse?

One quote I read yesterday was that CDPR shot for the moon with Cyberpunk 2077 and missed, while Rockstar shot for the ground and somehow…still missed.

Cyberpunk 2077 was attempting to make a sprawling, brand new RPG and surpass the beloved Witcher 3. The GTA Definitive Edition was simply remastering a bunch of old games, a seemingly far easier task, and it still went so, so terribly wrong.

What’s going on with the PC edition of the game right now is bizarre. Sony took Cyberpunk offline on the PS store, but you could still buy physical copies or play the digital version you already owned. But Rockstar itself has taken the PC version of GTA down in order to remove files left inside it ranging from everything from unlicensed songs to proprietary company tools to the San Andreas Hot Coffee sex mod. So, even if you bought the PC version, Rockstar is literally preventing you from playing it indefinitely.

There’s also the broadness of the poor performance to consider. Cyberpunk 2077 was a sliding scale. The PC version of the game actually ran and looked pretty great, even at launch. Xbox Series X and PS5 playing upconverted last-gen versions were okay, not amazing. Last gen consoles, especially base PS4 and Xbox One, were quite bad. But GTA Definitive Edition? All the versions, all six, PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are all performing badly for most players. People have commented that somehow PS3 ran GTA 5 better than a PS5 is running GTA 3. How is that happening?

Cyberpunk’s issue was that it leaned too hard into the PC version while ignoring consoles. Rockstar’s problem is that they tasked a mobile-based studio with remastering these three games mostly based on a mobile port, and as a result, the hardware doesn’t matter because the software has so many issues.

Finally, perhaps the worst aspect of all this, something that elevates what Rockstar has done here to a new level, is the fact that they spent time hunting down player-made remaster mods and taking those offline, and then stopped selling the original versions of the game altogether, clearing the way for this remaster which is worse than any of them. That was a terrible, terrible move, and fans are rightly roasting them for it now, given the state of the game.

This is not a project that should have been done halfheartedly. These are three of the most popular, most beloved games in industry history. They deserved proper care and attention for a quality remaster, not whatever…this was. And it does not jive with what Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick said in March about taking the time to do remasters correctly:

“Remastering has always been a part of the strategy. What we’ve done differently than the competition is we don’t just port titles over,” he said. “We actually take the time to do the very best job we can making the title different for the new release for the new technology that we’re launching it on.”

Cyberpunk 2077 had its issues, but zooming back to look at the full picture, I think what’s happening with the GTA Definitive Edition here is clearly worse, given the context, and how much easier the task at hand should have been. We’ll see what fixes they roll out, but this entire endeavor might be irreparable damaged at its core.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and its audiobook, and The Earthborn Trilogy, also on audiobook.

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