Saturday, November 11, 2017

Grand Theft Auto 4 (PC) Review

I know I am about 8 years late to the GTA 4 PC party. When I first saw this game announced for the PC, I was very happy. The game looked great in the trailers but I couldn’t buy it at launch because it was too expensive. I picked this up for $7.50 during a steam sale, therefore I am not terriblly unhappy for what I got, but if I paid $60 at launch, I would be very upset.

Where do I even begin describing the problems with this game. Let’s start with the awful GFWL.

GFWL is by far the worst DRM I’ve ever come across, and GTA 4 has fallen victim to it. To begin with, save games are tied to a GFWL profile - even if it's an offline profile. So if you ever need to take a backup of the save games, restoring them would not be possible without restoring the offline profile as well. If you forget this very important step, the game will not recognize the save files, and you are forced to start the game from the beginning. The only workaround is to use x live less patch.

However, using the x live less made some of the mods not work correctly, but that is a small trade off compared to starting the game all over again.

At this point, I want to remind people that games purchased from the Windows 10 Store might have the same issues...but that’s a different topic for another day.

GFWL is the worst. Shame on Microsoft for this anti-consumer garbage. Never forget.

In addition to GFWL issues, GTA 4 is a bad PC port. When I started the game for the first time, it defaulted to 640x480 because apparently my 980 isn't good enough for this 8 year old game. I had to use a workaround for the game to not lock my resolution to 640x480. Not a good start.

Graphics menu

The save system is really bad because there are no mission checkpoints. Failing a mission will mean starting over, but starting over means, all the armor and health are not restored, instead they will be at the same level as they were when the mission failed.

During long missions, you are constantly fighting the game’s weird design choices, bad controls, and one mistake could mean either restarting the mission or loading a previous save point. This is tedious to say the least.

Sadly, there are people who think this is not a joke, and that stock market really is a gamble...

The final mission is particularly awful. It is one of those drawn out missions which starts off with a car chase, followed by a shootout, then by a timed chase bike chase, followed by a chopper chase, followed by a foot chase. Make one mistake, and the enemy gets away, and you have to start ALL over again.

As if this isn’t bad enough, this mission has a game breaking bug. At point in the mission, there is a QTE (quick time event), where you have mash to the spacebar for the character to climb into a chopper, but this QTE will never work if your game is running at over 30FPS! I have failed this particular section four times before doing an online search, which revealed this problem. I had to use FRAPS, and start a recording which restricted my framerate to 30FPS, and then I was able to get past this section.

In conclusion, while the story is good, and characters are interesting, the PC port is a technical mess. I would recommend skipping this game entirely, but if you simply must play this game, try to get it for under $10. Anything more than that, is simply not worth it in my opinion.

Veridct - Wait for a deep discount