It’s fair to say that the launch Grant Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition was problematic, and a relatively rare example of Rockstar Games (and remastering developer Grove Street Games) being widely criticized. Visual styling, performance, and bugs are all areas that are not underwhelming, and the Switch version is arguably one of the worst of the ports.
A week after launch, Rockstar apologized for the release and confirmed that there will be a plan for fixes and updates to improve GTA Trilogy; the first update came out shortly thereafter. However, this is just an initial (and most likely hasty) patch and it looks like there is still a long way to go.
Digital Foundry was among the critics of the release last week, initially focusing on GTA 3 and describing the Switch version as “a big mess.” As you can see at the top of the page, there is now an analysis of two other GTA Trilogy games – Vice City and San Andreas. He also clarified that while the video work was done in the starter build, he tested the games after the fix and stated that criticism of the report remains unchanged.
Note: Most of this testing is done on the starter game. However, we tested the patch and found that none of our observations, performance metrics, or resolution tests changed … and even the rain effect in San Andreas (which was supposed to be improved according to the patch notes) seems to be without changes.
The first half of the video focuses on the art style and some of the technical details of the remaster’s visual effects, while the second half focuses on performance. The Switch version is addressed, but again, this is a negative picture. The listed resolutions are undoubtedly low in both dock and handheld modes due to performance issues as it struggles to maintain a stable 30fps. In general, a port is considered a “down-layer” version.
Even if the Switch version gets improved in the future, it looks like it will take a fair amount of work, and therefore time. Another question is if it will be prioritized alongside PlayStation / Xbox / PC.
For now, this seems to remain a disappointment for Switch, it will be interesting to see if the patches in the coming weeks and months can fix everything.