The game that broke the camel’s back is finally back with a new update. Rockstar Games has quietly updated its remastered list of GTA 3D Universe games after near eight months of silence since the last 1.04 patch which added over 100 fixes and improvements.
Patch notes are rather underwhelming at best and simply read as follows, “stability improvements across all three titles on all platforms.” Vague rather than informative, we assume the developers ironed out any remaining performance issues and bug fixes to the games, evident as the console updates is around 400 to 500MB in size, while the PC version requires a full download as before, totalling a whopping 18.53GB.
As you may know, the trio of titles was released last year as a remastered bundle by Grove Street Games, who previously worked on the original Android and iOS ports under the moniker War Drum Studios. Though anticipation mounted in the weeks since its announcement trailer, ultimately the games were critically panned upon debut.
The studio responsible took on the daunting task of porting the three blockbuster hits from an ageing RenderWare engine – which, back in its heyday, was home to many third-party titles on sixth-gen consoles and PC; you could even call it the Unreal Engine of its time – to a more modern and robust Unreal Engine 4.
While the intent was to retain the original artistic style of the 3D universe and bring it into the modern era with a few worthy quality-of-life updates not possible in its original form, taking a shortcut, the developers decided to use their own mobile port to recreate the ‘Definitive Edition,’ alongside poor use of AI and machine learning to speed up the gargantuan task.
The decision brought about a number of discerning issues including; poor AI rendering of visual and animation assets, a number of collision issues, lacklustre engine optimisations that led to poor performance on even the most powerful gaming rigs, and bugs and glitches galore – even adding new ones that never existed in the original games! It was pretty and shiny, though, with the new volumetric lighting, crisp visuals and bloom effects serving as a new coat of paint.
Suffice to say, the aftermath led Rockstar Games to re-evaluate its current business model, and for better or worse, the company chose to abandon many projects that were rumoured to be in the pipeline, including a possible definitive edition of GTA IV. All efforts have now been moved toward much-anticipated GTA 6.