Rockstar’s tremendous widespread Grand Theft Auto franchise is in a bizarre place in 2021. It’s a sport collection that is still large, regardless of going years with no massive, new launch. Its online iteration is more popular than ever, but when you go searching Reddit and Twitter you’d assume it has no fans.
After which on prime of all that, Rockstar launched a considerably good wanting however completely damaged assortment of remastered GTA classics and determined to combat modders all year long too.
And nonetheless, no GTA 6, even because it randomly tendencies on-line again and again. So yeah, it was a bizarre 12 months.
2021 began out effectively sufficient, with a enjoyable video of Gerald “Slink” Johnson and Shawn Fonteno reenacting their roles as Lamar and Franklin in a real-life recreation of the infamous roast scene from GTA V. GTA roleplaying additionally blew up again on Twitch, starring some non-GTA characters, too. And in February, some artful and good modders reverse-engineered Vice City and GTA III’s source code, opening up the potential to port these classics to extra platforms.
In the meantime, one other tech-savvy fan even went and stuck the terrible loading instances on the PC model of GTA On-line and Rockstar paid them $10k for doing so.
Nonetheless, issues rapidly went south and a string of unhealthy information for GTA followers and gamers started.
First, Rockstar and Take-Two issued a DMCA takedown towards the oldsters behind the GTAIII and Vice Metropolis supply code undertaking. A number of the devs stood their ground against Take-Two and all of this led to a still ongoing lawsuit.
Then, Take-Two started utilizing legal threats and DMCA takedowns to take away previous GTA III, Vice Metropolis, and San Andreas mods from across the web. This angered modders, a few of whom discovered practically decade-old mods eliminated because of the authorized takedowns. Other creators shut down and removed old GTA mods out of worry of authorized retaliation by the writer. (Take-Two remains to be doing this, by the way in which. Just last month the publisher reportedly removed GTA IV mods, together with a save file, from a well-liked GTA group website.)
All of this fueled additional hypothesis that Rockstar was planning to launch remastered variations of the basic GTA Trilogy. In August, Kotaku confirmed with sources that all the rumors were true and Rockstar was planning to launch remastered ports of GTA III, Vice Metropolis, and San Andreas throughout all main consoles embody Swap.
Later within the 12 months, as hype constructed round these remasters, Rockstar and Take-Two as soon as once more angered the group by yanking the original editions of the classic trilogy from digital storefronts.
In the meantime, over within the land of jetbikes and lengthy loading instances that’s GTA Online, the sport obtained its first of two massive, free updates. The primary got here in July. This Summer update was entirely focused on street racing and used fast cars to commit various crimes and street races. If that sounds rather a lot like Quick and Livid, effectively… that’s as a result of the replace was principally Rockstar’s adaptation of these movies. (Nicely, the early ones not less than.) It was an incredible replace, extensively loved by the group, and felt like Rockstar really listening to its playerbase who’ve longed needed extra automobile tradition content material in GTA On-line. Oh, additionally the replace added a nearly-unkillable Terminator knock-off. Like I stated earlier than, bizarre 12 months.
Round this identical time, Take-Two was trying to convince investors that Rockstar Games had a very diverse slate of games that included GTA V…uh... GTA On-line, and…hmmm... GTA V, once more…OH! and Pink Useless Redemption II. The truth is that Rockstar Video games has spent practically the final decade ignoring most of its widespread franchises and failing to create new video games that don’t begin with Grand or Pink.
As September rolled round, it seemed like GTA 6 was randomly trending more and more in 2021 than in the past. This was due to some components, together with bogus rumors getting reported by websites and rising demand from GTA followers who needed to listen to one thing in regards to the subsequent entry within the collection. Things got so bad in 2021 that someone crashed a live TV present simply to yell about GTA 6. As I write this in the midst of December, it appears extraordinarily unlikely that 2021 would be the 12 months Rockstar Video games lastly confirms and proclaims Grand Theft Auto 6. There’s at all times subsequent 12 months, proper?
Including to the rising frustration amongst GTA followers was the information that the discharge of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S ports of GTA V and GTA Online was delayed. Initially, these ports had been deliberate to come back out in November. However throughout an enormous PlayStation occasion hosted by Sony, Rockstar launched a brand new trailer that did not impress followers and introduced a four-month delay. It didn’t assist that within the run-up to the occasion, there have been rising (and baseless) rumors of GTA 6 being revealed or perhaps a trailer for the still-at-the-time gossiped remastered basic trilogy.
None of this occurred and as an alternative, an almost decade-old sport obtained delayed in 2021.
In October, GTA Online received a smaller Halloween update that added lethal automobiles and NPC slashers to the web metropolis of Los Santos. It additionally added some lethal clowns, too. And when you seemed up into the skies in the course of the spooky month of October, GTA On-line was infested with UFOs. Whereas not as cool because the Tuners replace, it was a enjoyable method to have fun the very best vacation, Halloween.
Lastly, after a lot of leaks, Rockstar confirmed on October 22 that GTA Remasters had been actual and would be out on November 11. The brand new ports would characteristic newly created textures and fashions and would additionally use GTA V-like controls. All of it sounded so good…
In fact, in case you have visited Kotaku or every other online game web site in the previous few weeks, you understand how the remastered assortment turned out. Not nice.
While it looked alright some of the time, it suffered from quite a few bugs, including rain that was painful to look at and horrible wanting fashions, and other unwanted visual tweaks. It was a whole trainwreck. Hell, folks datamining the remakes even found leftover bits of the infamous Hot Coffee content material in GTA San Andreas. Yikes!
The response to GTA The Trilogy: Definitive Version was so unhealthy and so sustained that Rockstar eventually issued a rare apology on November 19. Not solely that, the writer introduced plans to convey again the basic variations of GTA III, Vice Metropolis, and San Andres to PC gamers through its Rockstar Video games retailer. And homeowners of the remastered assortment would get the returning classics without cost.
Learn Extra: The Year In Gaming Apologies
For the reason that launch of the remastered assortment, modders have attempted to fix and improve the video games. However, many modders and GTA tinkerers have decided to sit this one out, citing how Take-Two Interactive handled them all through 2021. *Insert the “It’s Ironic Palpatine” GIF here.*
Rockstar and Grove Road Video games, the devs behind the remastered ports, have additionally launched just a few updates to the gathering for the reason that disastrous launch. These updates have actually fixed quite a lot and made the games more playable. However the devs nonetheless have a variety of work forward of them in the event that they want to really repair these remasters. It appears clear now that this stuff wanted extra time within the oven.
However Rockstar was in a position to finish the 12 months on a constructive be aware with the discharge of GTA On-line’s newest replace. This new update, The Contract, stars Dr. Dre and is set about a decade after the events of GTA V. Not solely did this replace add some awesome new tracks to the GTA Online radiowaves, but it surely additionally included some missions that felt like they might have been ripped out of an unreleased singleplayer GTA sport.
It’s a disgrace GTA Online remains to be, all these years later, a form of damaged mess that takes eternally to load. However when you may play the brand new replace, it’s the most effective Rockstar has made. It even provided lore nerds like myself with some new information about Michael De Santa’s post-GTA V status. Neat! Plus, it now signifies that Dr. Dre is an precise character within the GTA On-line universe.
Sadly on December 16, proper as GTA On-line on PS4, Xbox One, and PC was getting a model new replace, the original versions of the game on Xbox 360 and PS3 were shut down by Rockstar Games. The corporate had introduced its plans to shut the servers down on these growing older variations of the sport earlier within the 12 months, but it surely was nonetheless unhappy to observe the ultimate moments of the sport throughout Twitch that day. RIP.
And with that, the 12 months is sort of over. Positive, GTA 6 obsessed fans didn’t get what they needed and the remastered trilogy was a catastrophe that’s nonetheless not mounted. However just a few good GTA On-line updates helped guarantee 2021 wasn’t a completely horrible 12 months for the GTA group.
Let’s hope 2022 brings higher information, higher video games, and fewer lawsuits.