Grand Theft Auto IV for PC is a typical Rockstar PC port. They upped the resolution, texture quality and draw distance. All would be well, expect you need a PC from sometime near 2015 to play it. Seriously; this isn’t about a game that’s so graphically ahead of it’s time that it runs like a dog – this is a buggy, incomplete, poorly optimized game that shouldn’t run near this bad.

I really enjoyed GTA4 for the Xbox 360, but it’s nearly impossible to level the same kind of love towards this half-assed port. My computer isn’t a great gaming rig, but I can run Crysis on high with no problem. This game is, in no way, shape or form, a more technically proficient game then Crysis. Making matters worse is that lowering the graphical settings doesn’t seem to help any.

Another notch against GTA4 on PC is that it just doesn’t look as good as the 360 version, even with everything maxed out. The shadows are the worst offenders. They tend to pixilate and break up, creating a mosaic pattern that looks like shadows not at all.

Provided you can get the game to run, it’s still the same, fun game you enjoyed on the 360. The gameplay is still there, and shooting with a mouse is still light years ahead of an analog stick. All of the characters, minigames, missions and such are still just as you remember them. The game, though, likely won’t let you get that far to enjoy them.

I hate taking pot shots like this at a game that I want to like.  However, GTA4 for PC warrants it. For crying out loud, the ‘GTA4 optimized’ driver that NVidia and Rockstar recommended for my video card crashed and locked up my rig repeatedly until I uninstalled it. You also need to have the latest build of your OS, meaning XP’s service pack 3 and Vista’s service pack 1. I didn’t have SP1 for Vista when I first got this, and had to go and get that as well, adding a step of frustration.

As I said, if you can wade through the technical gaffes, this is still a fun game. The multiplayer has even been beefed up with a load more players at one time. I’d just as soon fire up my Xbox for my GTA fix, though, then fight this game tooth and nail. Alphasim out.