Modders, Not Rockstar, Have Fixed The GTA Trilogy's Infamously Ugly Rain

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A comparison shot of the unmodded and modded versions of GTA's rain. The left, unmodded side is viscous, white, and hard to see through. The right, modded side is much clearer and more atmospheric without obscuring gameplay.
A comparison shot of the unmodded and modded versions of GTA's rain. The left, unmodded side is viscous, white, and hard to see through. The right, modded side is much clearer and more atmospheric without obscuring gameplay.

The recently “remastered” GTA trilogy has some of the ugliest rain I’ve ever seen, and a handful of days later, modders have fixed it. No longer will you walk the streets of Vice City at night, only to be covered in the drippings of Spiderman’s leaky web-shooter. Finally, you can be free of that oddly viscous rain.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition is very sick. The games are ill. They need doctors. Luckily for them, Rockstar has a pretty dedicated modding community, all of whom are trained in virtual trauma care. These brave few, whose greatest works were wiped out by the release of an overpriced, undersupported mess, have taken on the gargantuan task of fixing this shitshow. They have taken to this new work with the practiced, exhausted rage of a community used to being tossed scraps by a company that has become too big to fail.

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The rain, which has been made more transparent in about half a dozen mods searching for the perfect drop of water, is just the beginning of their grim quest. Other modders are attempting to restore the series’ signature radio stations, which were utterly eviscerated by expired music licensing. The games’ jerseys, currently haunted by the ghostly textures of dead numbers, have a faithful army of Vatican-ordained modders attempting dozens of simultaneous digital exorcisms. But all of this only scratches the surface.

The rot runs deep. Everything from character geometry to building textures is uncomfortably wrong. It is as if Rockstar has found a new kind of uncanny valley, but instead of being based on how people should look, this new kind of uncanny valley disquiets our memories of virtual cities.

Despite inventing a new kind of open world horror, Rockstar is attempting to fix some of these problems—going as far as disabling own launcher for a few days as they perform emergency file removal surgery on the game’s PC version. While the games were unplayable for days, they are now back and available to purchase again.

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