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GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is a mess

gta trilogy remaster
(Image credit: Rockstar)

The Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy is rife with enough bugs and glitches to make Cyberpunk 2077 flinch. The game, which just released this week and is currently unavailable to purchase after Rockstar removed the purchase links from its website, is filled with graphical glitches. Players are cataloging these issues and other, unintentionally funny problems all over social media and sharing their disbelief, amusement, and confusion.

It didn't take long for people to start finding an assortment of issues with the high-definition remakes of Rockstar's three classic games. Players are capturing footage of blinding rain effects, invisible bridges, spontaneous blood pools, ridiculous camera angles, questionable changes from the original versions of the game, and much more. For the most part these issues haven't prevented people from running it, but it's not a good sign this early into its release.

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One odd thing players are reporting is frequent misspellings of city signs and other posters that some have suggested look like the game's upscaling was done by an automated program instead of a human. A Mexican restaurant in GTA San Andreas now sells "enchilaoas" instead of enchiladas for example. Similarly, a car repair shop offers repairs for "bearboxes" instead of gearboxes.

In contrast to those confusing changes, Rockstar decided to leave a GTA San Andreas mission where a character tasks you with hunting down an apparent gay man to hide a prior relationship with him, completely intact. It's not a good look for a remastered game in 2021.

All of this is present in a game that some can't even play at the moment. Rockstar took down its Rockstar Games Launcher for several hours, forcing anyone (who had at least previously logged in while it was online) to play offline. The launcher is back up, but the games are not available for play or purchase. Rockstar said it will "remove files unintentionally included in these versions" before making them available again. Dataminers stumbled on curious developer comments and unlicensed songs in its code, which could have prompted Rockstar to halt availability of the games.

GTA Trilogy's transition from Rockstar's proprietary engine to the Unreal engine hasn't gone smoothly. What's worse is that the developer removed the original version of the games from Steam last month. If you want to play these influential open world games, you'll currently have to do so wading through a pool of bugs and other problems until a patch is released.

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.