Grand Theft Auto IV PC version

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This very game has sold over 11 million copies worldwide on consoles, so Rockstar undoubtedly had high hopes for the PC port. Unfortunately, the port of this immensely popular game (PCW game of the year 2008) is lacking in a lot of departments.

Let’s start off with what you’ll need to play this game on your PC; a high-end gaming PC (think Crysis x2), a hefty 15GB of space on your hard drive, mandatory memberships to Windows Live and the Rockstar Social Club, a required update to your latest Windows service pack in both XP and Vista and a tolerance for buggy gameplay. Yeah, the odds are certainly stacked against our Eastern European friend.

It’s not all bad news, though. If you’re lucky enough to meet the above requirements, there’s something there to satiate GTA fanatics’ needs, from customisable controls and high-definition visuals, to hefty 32-player multiplayer. Exclusive features on PC include a spiffy replay editor; a fun distraction, allowing players to capture and edit footage from their favourite high-speed escapades, but it doesn’t nearly justify an entirely new purchase. As well as the editor you also get extended support for multiplayer, from 16 to 32, and a customisable radio station where you can import your own tunes.

While Grand Theft Auto IV remains an amazing title through and through, I can’t help but recommend a console purchase over this PC port. GTA IV PC retains much of the magic that made the game such a massive hit earlier this year, but there’s no overlooking the technical issues that weigh down this masterful game – from teeth-grinding slowdown to simply lazy controls. Still, even with its flaws, there’s no missing the fact that this is the same Grand Theft Auto IV that so many gamers fell in love with the first time around, with every mission, character, and locale completely intact. While it’s undoubtedly a system hog, that never stops GTA IV PC from delivering one of the finest cinematic action/adventure video game experiences to date. The graphics are breathtaking, and if you’re a fan of tweaking graphics to the max you should be able to get your fill of goodies here. There has always been a strong mod community surrounding the GTA titles on PC, so expect to see some worthwhile mods coming out in 2009.

Contrary to its top-ranked console cousin, this version of GTA only managed seventh place on the US sales charts in its first week. Demanding system requirements, a flawed launch and poor control scheme will put many PC gamers off the game. That said; the PC port of this stellar title is still worth keeping an eye on for hardcore fans or first-time criminals.

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Jan Birkeland

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