Now that the Rockstar-embarrassing, staccato-titled Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition is out on Steam, this horrible trio of remasters has bailed out of Rockstar Store exclusivity and rolled into the dashing bumper of simple Steam Deck compatibility. I’ve spent this afternoon ambling across the redone GTA III, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas, in handheld kind, to verify what you most likely already know: they’re all nonetheless a bit crap.
While this isn’t an exhaustive technical teardown, I can’t rightly inform the place, if anyplace, the Steam launch really improves these infamous remasters. Within minutes, it’s clear they’re nonetheless largely the identical glitchy messes of lifeless upscaled textures, lifeless lighting, malformed character fashions, and ropey animations that all of us had a determined chuckle at again in 2021. The foremost distinction is that with Steam Deck assist, they will waste your time open air as effectively.
Except maybe that’s understating it. On the Deck, all three of the GTA Trilogy’s element games now ship thrilling new methods to be disillusioned, significantly although their wonky efficiency. On Low high quality, they’re able to hitting 60fps, however will usually out of the blue lurch all the way down to 30fps. Then climbing to someplace within the 40-50fps vary, then collapsing once more, then jolting upwards once more, and so forth.
The concern right here isn’t simply the bigness of the numbers – to personal a Steam Deck is to come back to phrases with the truth that 30fps could be playable, and a number of the finest Steam Deck games can solely attain that stage on their lowest settings. But no less than these carry out persistently. The GTA Trilogy can run easily sufficient that activating SteamOS’ built-in 30fps cap appears like leaving good frames on the desk, but that smoothness may solely final for a number of seconds earlier than one other 50% drop. It’s bafflingly frequent for these oscillations to happen a number of instances within the time it takes to drive by means of a single metropolis block.
It’s not clear what causes these drops, although I doubt it’s the Trilogy’s total constancy. Those Low/30fps champions I had in thoughts had been alongside the strains of Elden Ring and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, not half-hearted spit’n’polish jobs on three games that didn’t look significantly nice twenty years in the past. GTA III, the oldest and ugliest, really sputtered under 30fps a number of instances. Just… how. HOW.
This Steam launch, then, isn’t a lot a redemption second for GTA Trilogy – Definitive Edition as it’s one, hopefully final try at recouping its prices. Again, I’m seemingly preaching to the choir at this level, however whether or not you will have a Steam Deck or not, don’t trouble.