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Mini-Review of GTAIV for PC [Ranting]

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Alright, I'm going to go ahead and say that I might go nuts here and go from SFW to NSFW, so just a heads up.
Also, this is more or less a slanted review, aka <RANT>, but I do *try* to mention some positive things. It's hard.

Basic Info:

App NameGrand Theft Auto IVApp URL Version ReviewedLatest, don't know the version numberTest System Specs 3.73Ghz Celeron D (overclocked), 775MHz/460MHz ATi Radeon HD2600 Pro PCIe 16x 256MB GDDR2 (overclocked), 2GB DDR2 RAM (overclocked), Creative Labs X-Fi Fatal1ty XtremeGamer Professional (64MB X-RAM)
--- End quote ---
Supported OSesXP SP2+/Vista (SP1 as well)Support MethodsRockstar's websiteUpgrade PolicyFree updates for bug fixesTrial Version Available?NonePricing Scheme$50 for PC version - cheaper if you know where to look (Amazon, eBay, etc)Reviewer Donation Link Video URLNone (I would post one, but 1/4 FPS wouldn't be very effective)Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product None. I've loved the GTA series since I got into it at age 7, but nothing else.


GTAIV is a sandbox/action/roleplaying game where you take on the role of Niko Bellic. You come to Liberty City, America on a promise from your relative and a string of lies ensues. He lets you live at his apartment, and the game drops you into its massive world. Usual GTA storyline start since GTA3.

Who is this app designed for:

Gamers that like free roaming, cop chases, shooting stuff, explosions, action, and GTA itself. Definitely going to be preferred by console gamers.

The Good:

* Great idea
* Cool new way of preventing players from exploring too much early on
* Good storyline at beginning
* Nice collection of cars
* Highly detailed objects
* Cop AI is insane
The needs improvement section (explanations from chats with Xfire friends available below some complaints):

NOTE: In the chats, I am "BabyTiger"

* Cop AI is insane
* Slow controls!
* Exploration can lead to police chasing youSpoiler[16:42] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: took me 30 minutes and way too much bad language to get back to my safehouse to NOT lose them
[16:42] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: no
[16:42] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: just exploring

* The driving physics, in a nutshell, suck - I take a turn at approximately 30MPH and I take it at least 150 ft BEFORE the turn, and still slam into the stuff on the other side. And this is on a 4 lane road! (Vehicle types tested: SUV, Bike, Sports car, Station wagon - the Landstalker, my favorite car, suffers *BADLY* from this)Spoiler[16:43] Friend: maybe you accidentally ran over someone's grandma
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: idk but the freaking cops are pissing me off
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: LOL
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: i was in a station wagon
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: the car would die first
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: and it did

* You can not lose the cops - seriously. What did they do to the police here? I got away 3 times and all 3 times the map flooded with red and blue again. Even my safehouse wasn't safe. Isn't that the point of a safehouse? To, you know, be safe?
* Alright, now this is sad - I'm a hardcore lover of GTA. But, this next point, is just depressing and embarassing to rockstar:Spoiler[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: the only fun part
[16:43] Friend: it was a midget cop's midget grandma
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: was when i was on the final road to get to the safehouse
[16:43] Friend: it was just a tiny little bumpy
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: 4000 degrees kelvin came on on my PSP
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: so it was kind of cool
[16:43] Friend: ?
[16:43] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: the song from portal
[16:44] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: 4000 Degrees Kelven

* ^ The best part about the whole game so far, is that when I was running from the cops yelling words that I desperately hope my parents didn't hear (*cough*), the song "4000 Degrees Kelvin" from Portal started playing on my PSP. The best part of GTAIV is when a part of a DIFFERENT game came into play! :o
* Now, I cannot stress enough the lag. Oh god. It makes me want to cry so badly. I was SO excited when I hit 21 FPS for that .2 seconds. It was all downhill from there...Spoiler[16:44] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: overclocked my GPU, CPU, no startup processes except Xfire, and everything else that I can do, and I get max like 9 FPS
[16:46] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: its alright when your on the edge of the city getting an amazing 13 FPS until the cops chase you, I guess
[16:51] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: its on lowest now, CPU is overclocked, GPU overclocked, newest drivers, ATI Catalyst is at Max Performance, and Ive applied a user-made patch to speed it up EVEN with V-Sync off via a command line switch
[16:51] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: 3.7GHz CPU and 775MHz GPU plus 2GB of DDR2 RAM (best I can get for mobo)
[16:51] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: handles Crysis just fine
[16:52] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: this is no Crysis
[16:52] [ToW]黃金網酪 BabyTiger: its a crisis though

Why I think you should use this product:

If you have some type of super computer or a love addiction for GTA (and it's hard to find one stronger than mine - I used to be able to mod GTA3/VC/SA down to the core files and back), its an alright buy. If you don't but you want to try it, RENT it for a console. It's the only way you'll get a decent framerate and (maybe) have some fun. GTAIV is a good game on the outside, but my experiences are nothing but negative.

How does it compare to similar apps:

If you want to grab a GTA game, get GTA3, VC or SA (GTA3/VC are the better of that set, IMO). GTA4 just doesn't run on the PC. I didn't think I'd see a game that would lag worse than Crysis (11-24FPS) but I've found it. Disappointed is the only word I can use to express how I feel.


I don't think that, for the PC, it is worth the investment. Not only do you have to have a Games for Windows LIVE account, a Rockstar Games Social Club Account, the game itself, and a computer that had to cost as much as your house payment, but all I've heard from people that have all of the above is that they can't even hit 30FPS - and I can concur with that statement now.

Links to other reviews of this application:

Too many to mention:

Alright, that's my "rantview". Just my :two:. I'm curious what mouser thinks of it.

--- End quote ---

EDIT: Added another con
EDIT: Clarified some stuff
EDIT (5/29/09): Fixed incorrect word usage

I played a friend's copy on my machine for a few hours and I was getting decent FPS, even clocking 30+ when there wasn't too much going on... averaging around 25, I think. GTA is always fun but I really don't see that much of a difference between IV and GTA SA... maybe a few more in-game gimmicks, but that's it.

I think the cop AI _SUCKS_! Stand down a ladder with a shotgun and they just keep appearing like bunnies and getting their asses shot - Bang! Argh! Bang! Argh! Bang! Argh! WTF!
Also sometimes when rushing to arrest you their cars just flip and tumble around bends like speedboats. Which brings me to point #2, all cars I drove (still) felt like they weighed less than 100 lb. 

I'm far from a hardcore gamer but I can't help comparing any FPS I play with HL2 - and they all fall short when it comes to AI or performance, and to think I played it on a P4!
Crysis has awesome graphics but it makes me giddy and nauseous for some reason... maybe I'm just too old for gaming. :)

BTW, Rockstar's done the smart thing and priced the game down here at INR 500 (around $10 :P ), I assume they've done this in other markets too.

Um, the fact that your computer can cope with Crysis, which is a far more demanding game than GTA IV does not mean it would be able to run it at acceptable speeds. System requirements are there for a reason, and your computer is below even minimum requirements. Of course it does not change the fact that the PC port is riddled with very lousy programming, not that surprising considering that the console versions performed like crap as well (low unstable framerate, short viewing distances, etc.)

Apart from that, I agree with your review. The PC port is a slap in the face to gamers, with all those hoops to just launch the game just to play with another GTA (disclaimer: I always thought the franchise was WAY overrated). When you have excellent ports like Burnout Paradise or F.E.A.R. 2, it's simply not worth to invest a single cent in these trainwrecks.

My computer's CPU is below the requirements, but that is all. For Crysis it was (CPU, GPU), for COD5 it was (CPU), for NFSUC it is (CPU), Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box it is (CPU), for numerous other games it was and is, and they play much better than GTAIV. It is just amazing how such a great game could get so screwed up somewhere along the way. :(

I can't find it for less than $40 at a retailer, or $20 from other people (like on eBay). :huh:

I'm not much of a gamer but GTA is one of the very few games i actually look forward to playing, mainly because i love seeing how well they can create a living breathing place and let you go wild in it.

I haven't actually played much of GTAIV, for some reason i haven't found it all that engaging, though i do think it is absolutely beautiful and technically outstanding.  From a programming perspective it's just really impressive.  For some reason i actually enjoyed the previous edition better.

But i do love the vehicle damange details and the architecture all over the place.  I think the police are handled pretty well actually and pretty balanced.  If anything i wish they were more alert to traffic violations, just for a little bit of added realism.


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