Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition review – Out of touch … – Sportskeeda


Note: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition is part of the GTA Trilogy: The Definitive Edition.
While Grand Theft Auto 3 paved the way for the open-world sandbox genre to flourish, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City took the foundation of its predecessor, fine-tuned it, and dabbed the game into the neon 80s lifestyle of Miami.
With memorable characters, a gripping crime story inspired by crime movies like Scarface, and tons of pop culture references, the game introduced an entire generation to the open playing field of craziness made by Rockstar. The whole cyber cafe culture in India is a testament to that.

With that in mind, how Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition managed to be a soulless shell of its former glorious release is still something I am very much confused about. Character models in Vice City Definitive Edition look worse than the other Definitive Edition releases. The original art style was once again ditched for a more modernized realistic feel. Add to that, some annoying glitches; Vice City Definitive Edition managed to annoy me more than make me feel good.
First up, just like Grand Theft Auto 3: Definitive Edition, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition doesn’t have any new cut content, side-story, or missions added to it. It’s the same, good old Vice City story in all its glitz and neon glamor.
Now on to the character models, and man, it makes me feel sad. Somehow, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition character models managed to look worse than their other two definitive edition counterparts.
All the character models are re-touched and look like ugly plastic dolls. Every character suffers from what I like to call the “Sausage Finger Issue”, where the fingers are so un-naturally thick and oddly modeled that they look like a sausage.
For the environment, just like every of the definitive edition releases, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition has been remastered. Lighting has once again been re-done in this game, and the neon-lit areas look absolutely gorgeous in the nighttime.
Similarly, all the grass foliage, palm trees, buildings, and item textures have been re-done to fit the more modern look these games aim for. But once again, the team ditched the intended art style and art direction the games were going for by making everything look too realistic.
Vice City especially suffers a lot because the original game looked like an 80s crime tv show/movie. This version seems like a re-shade mod put into the original game. Even the distant fog effects the game had before are missing, essentially letting items in the map that are not meant to be seen from a far distance be seen. Increased draw distance makes the effect worse.
If there is one good thing all three games have done in the definitive edition release, it is the quality of life changes being added into the game. Fortunately, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition also has the same QoL changes.
The game features a Weapon and Radio select wheel, so if a player wants to change the song or their gun, they don’t have to manually scroll through each of them anymore.
Instead, just hold the weapon/radio wheel button and choose the desired gun or radio station.
Similarly, the lock-in system for shooting has been changed. Players can now lock-in and aim at the individual limbs of the enemies, but just like Grand Theft Auto 3: Definitive Edition, the aim feels sluggish and is not snappier enough.
Even the drive-by system has changed, and it all boils down to turning your camera towards the way a player wants to shoot a gun.
Cars in the original release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City had weight in it, and turns felt good.
In the definitive edition, it feels like driving on a slippery, oily road. The number of times I have crashed because I turned way too much and the vehicle just went out of control was way too high.
Similarly, Vice City’s navigation and checkpoint system has been changed to the Grand Theft Auto 3: Definitive Edition. Players can put in a waypoint on the map, and the minimap will show players the intended path to take.
Missions, if failed, can start immediately now, making it less tedious to travel back to the starting mission points.
Even certain missions where the controls were a tad bit difficult in the original release have been changed to the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition to make it easier to play and finish. Demolition Man was a breeze playing through for the first time.
However, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition was the buggiest among the three games I played. The game either had some gameplay glitches or mission progression bugs.
In one mission where I had to save Lance, I had to shoot him because the mission would not progress even if I stood right beside him at the intended point. I hope Rockstar fixes these glitches because it ruins an otherwise good gameplay experience.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition’s audio and soundtrack are from the Android and iOS ports of the game.
None of the sound effects were re-touched or re-recorded for this release. But, fortunately, it does not sound bad. To my ears, it was fine, and apart from certain looping sound effects, I can live with this.
However, not all radio songs in this release make a comeback. All the Michael Jackson songs have been removed from this release.
In total, 11 songs have been removed from this release across all in-game radios.
You’d think a company like Rockstar and Take-Two, which managed to make billions of dollars the previous year, would have no problem re-licensing songs for the definitive release, but what do I know?
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition was tested on a PC with the following setup:
The game managed to run at a full 60fps in 1080p, with shadows set to medium, clouds kept to volumetric, and everything else set to high. Fortunately, I did not notice any frame drops in any scenario while testing the game out. However, new lighting effects sometimes darken certain areas of the map too much, making character models look darker and more difficult to see.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is my favorite out of the three older Grand Theft Auto games. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition tries to take one step forward and fumbles while doing what they tried to do. With gameplay bugs, butchered art style, bad character models, and some good QoL changes, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition definitely needed a lot of time in the oven for it to be a perfect remaster.
As of now, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Definitive Edition is not recommended, at least from my end. The game is not available for purchase separately. Given the asking price by Rockstar for the Trilogy definitive edition, it is best if you put your hard-earned money somewhere else.
Disclaimer: The review was written before the massive patch that fixed a lot of issues.
Part of GTA Trilogy: The Definitive Edition
Reviewed on: PC (Review Code provided by Rockstar Games)
Platforms: Rockstar Games Store, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Grove Street Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: November 11, 2021
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