The upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition is a monumental occasion for the fandom for a handful of reasons. Not only are some of the most beloved and best rated classics in the series getting re-released with overhauled graphics and controls, but this is the first time the series graces the Nintendo Switch console.
Rockstar has posted some official screenshots of The Trilogy on the Switch.
The assumption with The Definitive Edition was that since the remasters retain the original, low-poly aesthetics instead of featuring versions of the classic games completely rebuilt with a high-fidelity, realistic visual direction would allow all versions on all platforms to look and run the same. Updated textures, particle effects and lighting can't eat that many system resources, right?
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Nonetheless, players have spotted some notable differences on these screenshots of the updated GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas on the Switch. The most apparent downgrade compared to screenshots captured on other systems are rougher looking faces that are less detailed.
To be entirely fair, the Nintendo Switch is a handheld and equipped as such, and complex lighting effects can tax hardware to a great degree. Even with these minor discrepancies, the games will still look great on the Nintendo platform - or awful, depending on where you stand. The Definitive Edition's choice to keep the classic aesthetic has been a highly divisive choice, with a clear love it or hate it situation going on.
As far as we're concerned, the more exaggerated and cartoony visual direction of the 3D era GTA games is part of their charm and of the overall experience, and the games would have lost something in the transition to more modern and realistic graphics. Honestly, due to the degree of stylization, the original games outright hold up to this day, and if the remasters would have just updated controls, fixed bugs and cranked up the draw distance, we would have been satisfied.
The point is - the retro style graphics are a welcome direction, and these small differences between their rendition on the Switch and other platforms is hardly a deal breaker. If you feel strongly about this sort of stuff, the Switch may not be the best platform for you to play The Trilogy on, but it's a landmark release nonetheless.
Previously Rockstar and Nintendo have seldom crossed paths. Handheld GTA games, like Advance and Chinatown Wars have cropped up on Nintendo platforms, and some other Rockstar titles appeared on consoles such as the Wii, but usually the two companies didn't tangle - likely something to do with Rockstar Games' typical subject matter not gelling with Nintendo's family-friendly profile.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition with its mouthful of a name is launching on the 11th of November, just a couple of days from now. In preparation, players who pre-ordered the game - coming in at a full-price of $60 - can pre-load the title on Nintendo Switch and Xbox for the chance at jumping into the virtual shoes of Claude Speed, Tommy Vercetti or CJ the moment the game goes live.