GTA 4 PC Impressions

I’m downloading now from Steam… and it’s taking a lot of time. Any impressions here? What’s the performance on the PC like. A couple of gamers in the Steam forum said that they are getting 20-25 fps on a AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3ghz) with Geforce 8800GTX - 768mb. I sure hope that is not the case!

I don’t actually have the game, but if I understand Kieron correctly then
a. no current computer will run it at max settings and
b. the game is a bit optimistic with it’s default settings.

Longest installation I can recall. Way too many hoops - I know I’m a luddite PC-only, single-player only weirdo but the Rockstar Social Club plus Live thing confused me. The game says a mandatory Live update is required, so I have to exit out and update that. Then I go to set up a Live account because apparently you can’t save without it (!) and Microsoft lets me waste my time typing everything in then says the server isn’t available.

A mammoth install later, Social club install, Live install, Live update, an online check to see if the release date is passed, an online Securom serial number registration and I’m finally in the game - even if I can’t save progress because the Live account thing doesn’t work.

It looks crap (yes, I’ve only got a 256Mb 8600GT), so I play with the settings. It just won’t increase the resolution - if I understand the red “you are about to exceed your video memory limitations”, my machine isn’t capable of more than 800x600.

Going to go play Sacred 2, instead. I didn’t expect my machine to look fantastic but I didn’t expect all this hassle.

I believe your average gamer will face lots of obstacles. Support will be a terrible nightmare. Good luck, Rockstar.

Ouch, I was really looking forward to this one. I have a 512 mb 8800GT and if it can’t run this at an acceptable resolution, I’m going to have to put this off for later. I’d appreciate anyone else who can chime in with how well this does on their machine.

I remember VC and SA not running great when they came out, but this sounds like the cost of entry is a lot higher this time

I’m surprise that Kieron didn’t discuss much about the whole installation process - Live, Social Club, etc. I wonder if he’s score of 9/10 would have included the pains of getting started.

It’s not that bad, to be honest. I mean it’s annoying and intrusive, but it’s not significantly worse than - say - an MMO. And you can apparently link your accounts so you only have to log into one.

The performance would be the more annoying aspect for most people.

Dhruin: You can make an offline account for Games for Windows live. You don’t have to log into the Rockstar thingy either, as there’s a skip login button.


I still had to create a Live account, right? That wouldn’t work for most of the day for me. Anyway, I finally got that done an hour ago but I’m not happy that it locks down the resolution. I appreciate my PC is nothing special but it meets minimum specs and I’d rather be able to bump up the res and drop down something else.

Edit: Ah, I see what you mean - I missed the completely offline thing.

I did see some documentation that said a view distance setting of “10” was equivalent to the console performance, which would mean NASA wouldn’t be able to set it to 100. Having some future-proofing is nice but it’s going to be a shock to a lot of PC gamers to have the sliders on the low side.

Is there any real reason to get this if you have the x360 version …?

My review’s linked upthread which mainly concentrates on the changes.

Big ones?
32 player multiplayer
Video editor
Custom Music
Looks much better if you have the hardware

32 player MP is the big one. It really does change the game to total mental.


I’m actually encouraged to learn that the default settings for current hardware is pretty low. I’ve been playing GTA3 on Steam lately and I’ve been really happy that you can set the resolution and drawdistance really high (Looks a thousand times better than the PS2 original, and a far cry from playing Diablo2 or Star Craft and being locked at 640*480).
I’m happy buying GTA4 in the knowledge that I can come back to it in 3-4 years and it will still look fantastic.

This forum thread seems to cover some of the worst problems people are having:

Anyone with a little patience and interested in saving a few bucks can pick this up at Circuit City in a few days. Their Ad for next week will supposedly have the game listed for $45, and with any luck will stack with this coupon code:

10% Off Any Video Game (limit 3)

Bringing you down to about $40.50 + Tax

they wont sell it to me on steam so I wont buy it, sucks to be them

Where’s that PC gaming level of domedness image when you need it?

Just wait till you guys start actually playing the game. Have fun learning to drive again!

Seriously, it’s kind of funny that when the same game comes out on consoles and PC, one thread starts out “So what about that first mission/area/impressions of gameplay/min maxing character” and one starts out “I can’t get my video card and/or sound to work”.

Now back to The Witcher.

Merely getting Grand Theft Auto IV to run is a long and tedious experience. Talk about sabotaging your customers. Yes, this crap even happens to people who buy it on Steam.

I’m sure they’ll blame the sales figures on piracy and a d0med PC market while Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead sell millions.

Damn, won’t work on Vista 64 thanks to an incompatible Live update? I guess I won’t be buying it.

Holy shit, what a mess. EA’s recent PC releases are looking better and better…

any review of gta 4 PC that doesn’t mention this part of the game isn’t worth the web space, imo.

Sounds great so far!