Eurogamer: GTA4 Review Plus Music Namedrops

By Kieron Gillen on December 1st, 2008 at 12:29 am.

This is the sort of thing which makes the Daily Mail suspicious of Eastern Europeans, I suspect.

I think all of RPS have reviewed GTA4 PC for somebody or another – the only one I’m not sure about is Walker, and I think someone may have… actually, no, he hasn’t, apparently. Poor old Walker, eh? Anyway, while Jim’s hit the world of print, mine has hit the internet first, which means I win. I take apart the PC version for Eurogamer, mainly concentrating on the new stuff. And don’t worry, installation-worriers. I give a shout out for you. Go read here.

I also talk a load about music. RPS GTA4 mixtape, I suspect, will be incoming shortly.

, .

38 Comments »

  1. Joe says:

    Best. Alternate text. Ever.

    Also, good review. I bought GTA IV on 360, so I can’t comment of the majority of your points, but I agree with most of your PC-related points. As well as this, you retain your sense of humour, which made me draw to RPS in the first place.

  2. Joe says:

    Of course, I was drunk and actually meant 360/PS3-related points.

  3. The_B says:

    I am going to do away with any aspirations of streed cred and cool and am going to send Nico on his bike around Liberty City to sounds of Pink’s Trouble.

    That or Girls Aloud’s Something Kinda Ooh.

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire is also on my playlist.

    KG

  5. Down Rodeo says:

    That’s a fair review. Undoubtedly GTA will (almost) always be good, Rockstar know what they’re doing. And it does look very pretty. But for me, no. I have never managed to “get into” the Grand Theft Auto games; I have played the original 2 (3? London? I dunno) which were and still are a lot of hilarious fun, but the 3D incarnation never did it for me. Perhaps I crave structure rather too much.

  6. Dan (WR) says:

    GTAIV was the first GTA I’ve bought on a console instead of PC, and I really wish I hadn’t. I didn’t realise how fundamental my own music was to enjoying GTA until I didn’t have it. Especially as it would have been a good excuse to load up some Gogol Bordello. :D

    At the risk of being curmudgeonly, I do wish some reviewers had been a little more critical of GTAIV though. It’s a brilliant game and the City is one of the greatest achievements in gaming, but… as usual, the missions are mind-numbingly linear and immersion breaking. Having your hand held and being told what to do at all times is a killer for me. And it never ceases to irritate that people are bullet-proof until they reach point x.

  7. The_B says:

    BOOOGGGGIIIE WONNNNNDERRRRRLLLANNNND.

  8. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Every *single* time I go to any website but RPS, I always miss the comments threads here. It’s astonishing, really.

    Anyway, the review almost has me wanting to buy this for the second time. Having that 32 man biker race to some Black Label Society would be ridiculously amusing.

  9. Pags says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGIE WONNNNNNNNNDERRRRRRRLANNND.

    Nicely balanced review, though towards the end I fear it kind of veered towards the “here’s the bad points, which mean I must take a point off the score”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if that’s how you wanna write it, I just thought it wasn’t how you liked to see games reviewed – but hey, I won’t mention the war. Otherwise, definitely fair and definitely a score I’d agree with if I agreed with the idea of scores.

    Oh and I really do like this game quite a lot, or at least the Xbox360 version anyway. Definitely the game I’ve been playing most this year, and I have a feeling that even if L4D had been released at the same time that would still be the case.

  10. Pags says:

    Also, Dan (WR), if you’ve got a USB stick you can just plug it into your 360, press the big round button and play the music. It even overrides the in-game radio, though sadly it plays all the time unless you stop it yourself, regardless of whether you’re in a car or not. So yeah, not as neat as on PC, but you at least have the option. No idea if it works on PS3 though, I imagine it does but I can’t be sure.

  11. dhex says:

    “Also, there’s the option of your own music in game. By lobbing music files into a set folder, you can play them on the new radio station, Independence FM.”

    that’s a neat idea that more games should consider. i know it pees on authorial intent but i think it’d be nifty.

  12. frymaster says:

    I don’t know why they _haven’t_, really, it’s been part of GTA since the first iirc

  13. frymaster says:

    just started reading the article, and this had me confused

    Like the vast majority of PC games, it auto-calculates its graphic settings. Unlike the vast majority of PC games, its auto-calculation is more than a little optimistic, generally underestimating what your PC can manage for the logical reason that a less-attractive game is less annoying than a less-playable one. I had to knock down the default graphic options quite a bit on my PC (dual-core 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 640MB GeForce 8800) until I got an acceptable rate, and even then there was the occasional really nasty drop

    “more than a little optimistic” – implies the game sets thing to a higher detail level than your PC can handle.

    “generally underestimating what your PC can manage for the logical reason that a less-attractive game is less annoying than a less-playable one” – implies the game sets things to a lower detail level than your PC can handle

    “I had to knock down the default graphic options quite a bit ” – back to the first implication, and continuing in this vein.

    So yeah, I’m confused :D Am I really really misinterpreting the middle of my three quotes, or has something gone wrong in the editing?

  14. born2expire says:

    Underdog’s “Back to Back”, Leeway’s “Enforcer”, Cro-Mags “It’s the Limit”, and Killing Time’s “Tell Tale”, will be my songs of preference. Where is Madball?

    I hope it will be like previous GTA games on PC and you can import MP3′s, that way I have have Biohazard’s Punishment playing as I drive over many people.

    Fun fact, my handle “Born2Expire” is actually after the Leeway album that Enforcer is from :)

  15. dan says:

    Why is it I always feel like I need a shower after reading the EuroGamer comments section?

    Anyways, it seems I really should upgrade my PC (or firebomb it and start from scratch) as my ailing P4 ain’t up to snuff these days.

    And you can’t beat Ice Cube’s It Was a Good Day for cruising around in GTA.

  16. thefanciestofpants says:

    Blaring Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance whilst wreaking havoc in a tank never gets old.

  17. DigitalSignalX says:

    re: sabre dance, have to agree classical music suits both the exploring and a little bit of the old ultraviolence aspects of sandbox games in a sweet way. You can insert classical tracks into the Fallout 3 radio as well.

    Itching for GTAIV now. Still going to buy + pirate.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You should be scratching part of that itch by now…

  19. aldo_14 says:

    “more than a little optimistic” – implies the game sets thing to a higher detail level than your PC can handle.

    “generally underestimating what your PC can manage for the logical reason that a less-attractive game is less annoying than a less-playable one” – implies the game sets things to a lower detail level than your PC can handle

    “I had to knock down the default graphic options quite a bit ” – back to the first implication, and continuing in this vein.

    So yeah, I’m confused :D Am I really really misinterpreting the middle of my three quotes, or has something gone wrong in the editing?

    I got more than a little confused there, too. But really I want to know what it’ll look like on my PC *ulp*…. so long as it’s same or better than the consoles I’m happy. Wish I’d got a graphics card with more than 320MB, now.

  20. Nahual says:

    Is there a limit for how big the files can be? Cause my plan is to listen to podcasts as talk radio :)

  21. Stitched says:

    After finishing the 360 version, I don’t see why I would bother with the PC version; except maybe the multi-player aspect(?). I would argue that there are way better multi-player games in the PC space (and console space as well).

    Paying for and playing the same game, only prettier, doesn’t really make much sense to me.

  22. Ginger Yellow says:

    I think what Kieron meant was that while most games opt for less-attractive-than-your-machine-can-handle, GTA goes in the other direction.

    Regardless, I’d like to know how attractive it was, compared to the 360 version, at playable settings (I have a similar set up to Kieron’s, albeit with a 3Ghz processor). I spend most of my time in GTA games just cruising around the cities, checking out the sights, doing stunts and occasionally causding mayhem. So if it looks considerably better on PC, I’d probably buy it again at some point when it’s on sale.

  23. Fissile Command says:

    Once you’ve read a few Eurogamer discussions and clicked “ignore” on all the trolls, rabid fanboys and first-posters it’s fine. (Similar feature for RPS wouldn’t hurt.)

  24. Paul Moloney says:

    But for me, no. I have never managed to “get into” the Grand Theft Auto games; I have played the original 2 (3? London? I dunno) which were and still are a lot of hilarious fun, but the 3D incarnation never did it for me

    Same here; back in my PS1 days, I played GTA1 to bits. With GTA Vice City, the only 3D incarnation that’s appealed to me so far, I dip in for a few minutes every so often (as I did the other day) and then get bored easily. Mainly because driving is a chore using non-analogous methods (and GTAVC is completely broken when trying to use an XBox 360 controller) and you just end up smashing into stuff or feebly playing around with the hideously complex control-mapping screen.

    Smashing up stuff is, admittedly, fun for a while, but at some point you would like to actually play the game rather than indulge in a Demolition Derby mini-game.

    The Eurogamer GTA4 review explicitly mentions having to swap between gamepad and mouse/keyboard in previous versions but I found this annoying, spending most of the time scrabbling between peripherals.

    If this is all fixed in GTA4, that makes it a maybe-buy for me. Of course, there’s no demo is there?

    P.

  25. Kieron Gillen says:

    frymaster: Tom edited that bit which has reversed its meaning. What I wrote (minus a typo) was…

    “Like the vast majority of PC games, it auto-calculates its graphic settings. Unlike the vast majority of PC games, its auto-calculation is more than a little optimistic (They generally underestimate what your PC can manage, for the logical reason that a less-attractive game is less annoying than a less-playable one).”

    Paul: As I said in the review, in this one I mainly played with just the mouse and keys. Previously, I’ve bounced between the two.

    KG

  26. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Mainly because driving is a chore using non-analogous methods (and GTAVC is completely broken when trying to use an XBox 360 controller) and you just end up smashing into stuff or feebly playing around with the hideously complex control-mapping screen.”

    Huh. I never had that problem at all, although I will admit I skipped GTA from number 2 until San Andreas, because GTA III ran like crap on my PC and I only had a Gamecube until this generation. In fact, once I played my first console GTA I found driving much less precise than San Andreas on PC with the keyboard. I’m pretty good at it now on 360, but it took a hell of a lot longer to get used to (and I still can’t do it well on PSP).

  27. klo8 says:

    Ahhh, must.. resist.. should… NOT… BUY! :(

  28. Doctor Doc says:

    I ask again since no one answered in the doormen-thread; is there going to be cd-keys and anti-cheats in the PC version? I don’t see how multiplayer could work in practice without it.

  29. Leelad says:

    Is it really that much better on the PC?

    Tempting…..I just want a mod that makes people fuck off and not bother me. the only thing that stopped me playing on the PS3.

  30. AbyssUK says:

    KG if we have the 360 version already, is this worth shelling out for? I hate the DRM aspect of it but I want to play multi player with a mouse, also 32 players sounds good. Also any news to if the DLC will come to the PC ?

    Also does it have LAN options? if it does how many people to a disk?

    Thanks,

  31. Pags says:

    Leelad: The sleep option on Niko’s phone. Use it.

  32. Nick says:

    Oh god, please don’t let the comments here ever become like the Eurogamer comments =(

  33. Simon Jones says:

    Yeah, those Eurogamer comments are a pretty depressing insight into a certain portion of humanity. Odd, too, given that they’re wildly out of sync with the style and attitude of the Eurogamer website itself. Usually the host site dicatates at least some of the direction of the accompanying comments…although perhaps there’s a certain critical mass a website reaches at which point comments threads will inevitably dissolve into AIM conventions?

    Anyway…had this on Steam pre-order since it was announced. I’ve loved the originals plus Vice City and San Andreas, especially once I discovered the joy of SA on PC when it appeared on Steam. Made me swear to never buy a GTA game on console again – playing with decent controls and a stable framerate was a joy compared to playing them on my PS2 back in the day.

    Having said that, it sounds like my computer could have a bit of a battle on its hands with GTA4…maybe time for a GPU update. Eep.

  34. Klaus says:

    9! NINE OUT TEN!! What the hell is the matter with you Gillen!?, clearly you should have given an 11/10.

    Screw the rules!!!

    Man, I thought I’d never see the day where a 9 and 10 are the difference between ruin and paradise.

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    Simon: To be fair, EG comments thread punches above a lot of videogame website comment threads.

    KG

  36. Nick says:

    As does the quality of their reviews.

  37. Norskov says:

    Now where is that mixtape?

  38. Zoso says:

    Mine just turned up today, and after all the faff of that Social Club nonsense, Games for Windows etc., it auto-calculated that 800×600 would be the optimal resolution. In fact it sulks if I try and push it any higher than 1024×768, and I don’t think my system’s that bad (8800GTS, Athlon 64 X2 etc.) Needs some tinkering, I guess…