GTA4 Patch Calls Time On Social Club (App)

Before the tight-buttocked Crysis man turned up.

A hefty GTA4 patch has been released, which promises less-memory intensive (and better looking) shadows and performance boosters and… oh, this is minor, but splendid patch stuff. What makes this posting is what the patch actually removes. As in, the Rockstar Social Club application is no longer necessary to play the game – you log in on a web interface without another program sitting there eating your computer’s thinky-time. In short, you need a Social Club log in, but nothing else. It also allows you to buy the just released Grand Theft Auto episodes in-game, though The_B reports errors trying to buy in the UK, but we suspect that’s because of – er – something or another. Full change list follows.

GTA IV Title Update (Patch 6)

* Rockstar Games Social Club
o Remove Rockstar Games Social Club application
o Separate RGSC application no longer required to launch game
o Social Club login now occurs during the launch process
* Shadows
o A new, less memory-intensive, and better-looking scalable shadow solution has been implemented
o Enhanced Night Shadows added with user-selectable level of detail (replaces Shadow Density)
* Performance
o Rendering optimizations have been made to improve performance, particularly when enabling shadows
o User-configurable graphics settings have been added for shadow control
o Improved memory management
* Multiplayer
o Enhanced security to isolate users from cheaters and hackers
* Episodic Content
o Provide in-game support to purchase “The Lost and Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony” (Not available in Russian/Japanese Versions)
* Bug Fixes
o Vehicle shadows re-enabled between 8pm and 6am
o Fix floating street textures
o Pedestrians in vehicles appear further out from the player to allow for long range sniping
o The Moon has been implemented with simulated lunar phases
o Fixed garbled text in Japanese Multiplayer menus
o “RESC 10” error fix for specific hardware configurations

GTA4 was annoying in a lot of ways on the PC – if you actually had it running at a decent speed, it was a wonderful experience, but that initial experience has soured its rep – I suspect – forever.

We probably should do some coverage on the episodes, yeah? Anyone play them on the consoles?



  1. sigma83 says:

    Well _this_ took a while. Unfortunately my interest in GTA IV is long dead.

    • sfury says:

      Yup, only a year and half.

      No, thanks Rockstar, I don’t want to be in any social club with you. This game was an awful port that stuttered on my then-new-PC and didn’t deliver the same amount of fun Vice City and San Andreas had.

      Too little, too late.

    • billyboob says:

      if they make it $5 on steam again I’ll go there. just sayin

    • panik says:

      I concur

    • Vitamin Powered says:


      Yeah, I picked it up for £5 or so, specifically for when they made it a better experience. Oh, and a slightly better machine than the one I have right now of course. 1 down, 1 to go.

  2. sigma83 says:

    Also, yes. It’s rep was soured forever.

  3. Eggy says:

    I didn’t notice a big improvement in FPS but the shadows look much nicer now. They used to be really awful. Sadly I’m not able to buy the episodes through GFW live either (from the Netherlands) and I think we’ll have to wait untill they are released (16th) here in Europe. Even steam does not allow me to pre-purchase them.

    • The Dark One says:

      The first time I played the game, I assumed the shadows only looked like that because of some horrible bug (like the one that would make it to forget to render anything but the skybox). Why on earth did the think some sort of 80s-era animated GIF dithering effect would work in the first place?

  4. Cooper says:


    I got GTAIV only over xmas, and only started playing it about a month ago. By the time I got it, it seemed to have been ironed out very well, and I never had any issues (although, that one should NEVER go online with a profile on GfWL was something I learnt on another game). Although it needs the RSSC app, it always allowed me to launch the game without actually logging in. One less silly background app, the better though.

    Also, I’ve not heard anything but the DLC being very mediocre…

    • battles_atlas says:

      Metacritic has Gay Tony and Lost and Damned scoring 89% and 90% respectively – good enough for me

    • Optimaximal says:

      Surely said marks were for the Xbox 360 versions, where the majority of ‘professional’ reviewers fawned over the 360 exclusivity and thereby rated them as a veiled punch to Sony’s gut?

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Yep, they’re both good fun. They’re pretty much more of the same but with slightly different flavours, The Lost aims to be a touch grittier and features some nifty motorcycle combat while Gay Tony looks to hark back to Vice City by featuring a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist (it’s hard to stress just how much of a hateful git he is) and somewhat more outlandish missions. More of the same also applies to the plotting, which goes to pot in both episodes in the final third in the same way as the main game.

      Also, the social stuff pretty much everyone had a good moan about, myself included, has been largely fixed in the episodes. In The Lost vastly reduces the nag factor and makes topping up the friend-o-meter much easier, while Gay Tony just jettisons it wholesale and replaces it with an entirely optional club management mini-game.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Wow stop being a pretentious prick. It was nothing to do with exclusivity. If you enjoyed GTA4 you will love them both. I thought they were a significant improvement on GTA4 and would highly recommend them. Along with GTA4 they are among my favourite games.

  5. Skurmedel says:

    Sweet… I’m still playing it now and then for the video editor. Really GTA 4 was horrible on PC. The installer starts with some quite baffling mojibake and two buttons without a description, and you have to guess your way forward.

  6. aldo_14 says:

    Yay x2, although it still needs rid of Games For Windows, and I kind of picked the bones clean by now. Still, progress.

  7. rocketman71 says:

    Not bad. A little step in the right direction.

    Still not buying until they remove GFWL and SecuROM.

  8. RLacey says:

    But Rockstar have given us the moon!


  9. kewyrk says:

    Ballad of gay Tony is actually very good. It’s also the only GTA4 (original; TLAD; BOGT) that I’ve finished. Lost and Damned is the same as original – dull people whining all the time and killing each other.

  10. battles_atlas says:

    As with Cooper – by the time I got to this its was working pretty well, and only issue was the stupid Social Club stuff. And the fact that if you tried sniping 4×4 drivers from a distance (best bit of the game natch) you found the car’s were driving themselves. Delighted they fixed that.

    Haven’t played for a while, but goddamn, they’ve implemented the Moon, so how can I resist another run around?

  11. Darkelp says:

    The reason for the episodes not being downloadble in the UK version is because they aren’t availble yet.
    Tis the 16th (or 15th on steam) that they should be downloadble.

    But I am very excited about these episodes, GTA4 was one of my favourite games of the last few years.

  12. BaronWR says:

    “The moon has been implemented”

    I love surreal patch notes.

    Good to hear they are getting rid of some of the cruft that the PC version had. It did not impress me that I needed three different background applications (steam, GFWL, RGSC) to run the game.

  13. rock says:

    GTA4 on PC is one of the worst ported game I ever played. The previous patch didn’t help with the poor performance. Just go over to GTA forum on Steam, plenty of unsolved complaints there.

    I spent 5 pounds for this game during Steam xmas sales, but it is still a bad 5 pounds spent.

    Any other sandbox game (e.g. prototype, just cause2) is much much better on PC.

  14. AndrewC says:


    Can I ask if the episodes are standalone? Do I need to install GTA4 again to play them? Do they come with all GTA4’s ‘stuff’, just with a different avatar and story missions? Also, is it OK, if I am terrified of the idea of buying them through an in-game interface? I’m not sure anyone’s quite got DLC delivery licked yet.

    I liked GTA4, and if the performance is now not completely awful, I will like it even more.

    • Jim says:

      Yes they’re stand alone, you don’t need GTA 4 to play.

    • AndrewC says:

      Sweet beans! That’s 14gigs I won’t have to download again, at least.

  15. Tom says:

    this patch is amazing, to say the least!
    gos knows what they did but GTA runs like a dream
    pity it wasn’t the first patch

  16. AndrewC says:

    Also, is this:

    GTA IV Title Update (Patch 6)

    some sort of GTA-like joke about impenetrable PC patch names? I can’t tell.

    • Eggy says:

      Internal build numbers most likely. Not interesting for us gamers.

  17. Paul Moloney says:

    I really don’t understand the GTAIV loathing; I thought it was the best in the series. And while the frame-rate on PC (or at least, on my PC) sucked, I thought the port was fine. I certainly don’t understand people who hate GTAIV who _like_ Saints Row 2; the controls in the latter were just abysmal, particularly driving.


    • Jim says:

      I agree, there’s so many things to love about GTA4, the story, the characters and a whole host of amazing technical advances, such as the physics especially of the people. Very clever stuff. Saints Row 2 was awful though. The vehicle physics and handling were so off.

    • Riotpoll says:

      GTAIV misses the thing that made the previous games in the series good, fun and the characters were the worst part of the game! It’s so dull compared to say Vice City.

      Might install again to see if I get a decent framerate this time.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Paul Moloney: I agree with you about GTA4, but I can’t really begrudge the crowd that wants all fun all the time in their sandbox games. They were expecting GTA4 to continue the ludicrous excess of San Andreas and got something which was pared back to GTA3 levels with characters nagging you to play the mini-games. Personally, I’m happy that we live in a world which can produce both ultro-stupids sandbox games like Just Cause 2 and Red Faction: Guerilla and the narrative heavy likes of GTA4 and Mafia 2.

    • oceanclub says:

      “I can’t really begrudge the crowd that wants all fun all the time in their sandbox games”

      Don’t get me wrong; it was nothing to do with the nature of SR2 that I disliked. (I bought both it and Red Guerilla Faction from the same developer, Volition.) It was the fact that the controls sucked and the game was incredibly buggy (in my copy of SR2, leastways, none of the NPCs moved, all standing stock-still). When you are spending most of a game driving around, and especially when there are driving missions that require precision, the controls are important and Volition did a sloppy job of the keyboard controls.


  18. Premium User Badge

    Evil Timmy says:

    Hopefully they learned their lesson, and they’ll keep the appendix-like software that was RGSC out of the next GTA game. Never understood what purpose it served, or why it wasn’t just a set of integrated features. And maybe not make a horribly bad port this time around, one so bad I mostly played on a friend’s 360 and didn’t pick it up till it was pocket change, during Steam’s holiday sale.

    Hey, maybe they’ll even take a page from VC and SA (or even Saint’s Row 2) and remember that the best thing about a huge open world is having the freedom to find all sorts of hidden treasures and diversions scattered around the game, not just having a bunch of blah buildings to drive past on the way to something actually interesting.

    • Ashen says:

      To everyone complaining about a “bad port” – did you actually play it on the 360?

      Because it does run like shit there too, with about 20fps on average on equivalent to Low-Medium PC settings. I tried playing the two DLCs a while back and was pretty surprised to see how bad it looks and performs.

      On a powerful PC (strong multi-core processor being especially important – going from C2D to i7 doubled my framerate) however it looks and runs amazing.

  19. SlappyBag says:

    Too little too late.

  20. Evert says:

    Maybe I’ll finally be able to play it…

  21. Tyshalle says:

    Does anyone play multiplayer on GTA IV? It was completely dead on the 360 like a year ago. Didn’t matter what time of day you went on, the best you could get was like 3 players playing plain old deathmatch, and nothing else.

    Some of the multiplayer games were extremely intense when you had a good bunch of players going at it, but it was a huge shame that 6 months or so after it came out the multiplayer was completely dead.

    • monkeybreadman says:

      DEDICATED SERVER FILES, ie they dont exist. So many cool game modes that are all but impossible/crap without them.

      This is/was the last GTA i pre order

  22. Rob Lang says:

    I liked GTAIV a lot but they forgot to leave the fun in when they went all serious. Also, the characters weren’t that interesting and Niko wasn’t as likable as the previous silent characters.

  23. The Sombrero Kid says:

    gta 4 is the best game i’ve ever paid a fiver for, the end, even though it stopped working properly when i switched to an ati card (this is fixed for me now).

  24. Devrey says:

    Meh, too late. Just Cause 2 is already here, to one and only sequel to San Andreas.

  25. ripclaw says:

    I’m surprised they still bother with a patch. I’d have though anyone who had any interest in the game had finished it long ago.
    In general I find that DLC doesn’t do it for me. Once I finished the game, that’s that. The story is over. Dont really want to jump back into somewhere in the middle for some random new content.

    • AndrewC says:

      It isn’t random, it is two entirely new stories, with entirely new characters and, apparently, a penis.

  26. WTF says:

    But did anyone ever get this running properly? I’ve got (and had since I owned GTA4) a 3gig dual-core, 4 gig of RAM and a factory overclocked GeForce 260 (216SP) – a machine more than capable of running , for example, Crysis at 1600×1200, max DX10 details without going below 30FPS – and I cannot get GTA to run at anything above 20fps except in short bursts or without resorting to truly horrific graphics settings. Also – no AA, either in engine or forced through the driver? WTF is this, the 90’s?!

    • Aemony says:

      Vanilla GTX 260
      4 GB DDR2 800 MHz
      Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz

      GTA on 1680×1050 with graphics set on medium to high (custom settings), FPS above 30 at almost all times.

      Of course this was after the two or three first patches.

    • WTF says:

      Can you possibly check the percentage of core usage as you run it (assuming you have it installed, otherwise don’t bother obv). I am curious to see if it my lowly Dual Core bringing my performance down and whether an upgrade will offer any tangible performance boost.

  27. Aemony says:

    Finally! A reason to reinstall GTA IV.

  28. EBass says:

    I actually really liked GTA4, I guess my experience wasn’t soured due to playing it on my brothers X-Box and then picking it up on the PC for a fiver when I upgraded and they’d patched it up. Definatly gonna pick these up, I really didn’t like San Andreas’ car crash of different silly ideas. I thought GTA4 was a step in the right direction, and its actually a very impressive game. Some of the procedurly generated animation is top drawer.

  29. Forceflow says:

    Literally the day after I gave up on GTA4 for good and uninstalled the whole mumbo-jumbo.

    I’m not sitting through that dreaded installation and painfully buggy updating again. No way josé.

  30. RagingLion says:

    Yeh! Not having played GTA4 yet, even, having bought it over Christmas in a Steam sale has paid off. This sounds all highly satisfactory.

  31. EBass says:

    Er you know when I said I hadn’t had any problems? I meant BEFORE this patch stopped me launching the game.

  32. LionsPhil says:

    “You log in on a web interface.”

    That’s not removed. That’s just moved to being a crappy browser-based interface.

    • The_B says:

      The need to login has a reason – mainly the replays/video editor and multiplayer – and thus remains, but the application itself is gone. The web window disappears once you’ve entered your details and I don’t see any mention of it within the processes, so it’s all entirely handled within the game client itself. So the Rockstar Social Club application = gone.

  33. stone says:

    I’m buyin’. Never actually thought they’d bring this to the PC, so thank you very much Rockstar. Don’t take this for granted, kids. Let’s face the fact that GTA as a brand and also GTAIV is a great game. Come on – some technical issues on the PC is everyday. Cheer up :)

    Now – let’s see. New patch. Doubleclick. Install. Hum-de-dum.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Die in a fire.

    • DMJ says:

      @stone: Roll for save vs. Troll: Passed.

      Phew. Now I can go on about my business.

    • Wulf says:

      Yes, I realise this is a troll but I’m going to take it at face value to spread some old-fashioned common sense.

      A developer releases a game in a sorry state, now back in my day if a game was in the mes this one was in you’d just overlook it for a few weeks until a patch came along, if you had to wait a year and a half for that patch then you really shouldn’t buy the game out of principle. And we all know they’re only making this weak offering now in order to get us to buy the DLC. The horrible DRM and GFWL is still there, after all, it wasn’t just Social Club that caused problems.

      So as a PC gamer with respect for both myself and my platform, I won’t be touching this. Teaching developers that it’s okay to wait a year and a half to release a patch is not cool, and really, if you’re all for teaching them that just so you can have some fun then you’re a part of the problem, because this isn’t really all that different from the Ubisoft DRM situation.

      The only vote you can make is with your money. You either buy or you don’t buy. I’m really hoping people won’t bend over and take it in the bum by buying.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @stone’s post
      Is there something wrong that a troll post sounds totally normal and reasonable to me?

      but… some people like it in the bum…

  34. stone says:

    Didn’t work for you, did it?

  35. Shadrach says:

    Oooh, this is nice news indeed, I was planning to remove GTAIV completely before getting the episodes but now I’ll probably just keep it installed. Not sure if my HD can take another zillion GBs of game though :p

    GJ rockstar.

    @Gorgeras you are a bad person :(

  36. Jabberslops says:

    I would just like to inform those of you who insist on not buying GTA4 for PC because of Games for Windows Live that you can bypass it with with community released files. GFWL is a serious dog with computer resources when running in the background and by using Xliveless with GTA4 (or whatever GFWL remover you prefer) you not only avoid GFWL but also gain FPS (there is also a GFWL remover for Fallout 3 but I forgot what it was called. It helped give me about 10-15 FPS.) You can also gain FPS by using a crack to avoid using RGSC but with this new patch you no longer need to obviously.

    More about Xliveless here link to

    When using an GFWL remover you will have:

    No Games for Windows Live.
    Higher FPS because GFWL is not running in the background.
    Most likely unable to play The lost and Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony until a new remover is released to remove GFWL for those.
    Able to move game saves between computers without any restrictions on who can use those saves.
    Unable to play online, or If you can play online you will be greeted by cheaters using modified files or trainers.

    When not using a remover you will have:

    Able to play The lost and Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony until a new remover is released to remove GFWL.
    Lower FPS because GFWL is running.
    Stupidly restricted game saves so you can only play saves from your own account if you move to another computer.
    If you play online you will be greeted by cheaters using modified files or trainers.

    Don’t bother playing GTA4 online, it’s not worth your time. Play Multi Theft Auto San Andreas instead if you have GTA San Andreas for PC. link to

  37. terry says:

    Man, I wish they’d patch in checkpoints. Failing a mission (which I do a lot because I’m crap) and trying to get back on with it is a chore because the replay button inevitably puts me on the other side of the city again and hey ho, another fucking ten minutes of driving the same goddamn roads (muttering “I hate this fucking mission”) I drove in the first place does a lot to put me off. You’d think with all the fab engine improvements they worked out theyd’ve realised the gameplay systems needed some work.

  38. brkl says:

    “The Moon has been implemented”

    Yup, too little, too late. Bought this for my brother as the shittiest birthday present.

  39. General Guba says:

    But I wanted the moon on a stick!

  40. the wiseass says:

    Now if only they’d remove GFWL too :P

  41. GetOutOfHereStalker says:

    is GTA4 worth playing now?

  42. Player1 says:

    I have seen GTA IV on a really good PC and it s**cked in comparison to the console versions. That’s why I keep playing GTA: San Andreas with the fantastic Multi Theft Auto Modification, which is tons of fun.

    • Wulf says:

      I have to agree, San Andreas is better in just about every possible way.

      And, in my personal opinion, Saints Row 2 trumps every Grand Theft Auto game, ever.

      GTA never had sea monsters.

  43. Grape Flavor says:

    Oh whatever. Such a bunch of whiners. If some stupid login and a few bugs is enough to make it not “worth it” to play GTA, you never really liked GTA in the first place. If it runs too slow, update your computer or turn down the settings. I’m sure it’s less “optimized” on the PC but such is PC gaming and PC ports, this is nothing new folks.

    Rockstar was nice enough to make a PC version, and on top of that, it pretty much works. Let’s try to be a little less ungrateful. Hopefully the problems will be ironed out next go-round, this is their first RAGE game on PC. Cut them some slack, if they were really such a bunch of lazy assholes they wouldn’t still be patching the game this far after release, would they.

    Then again I’ve never had to experience GFWL yet, so maybe I’ll change my tune, but aside from setting my computer on fire, I can’t imagine it’s bad enough to justify all these posts trashing GTA4.

    • GetOutOfHereStalker says:

      if they were better at making games they wouldn’t have to patch it so far after release.

    • Skinlo says:

      Valve still patches their games 2/3 years after relase. Yet for them, people call it good service, rather than the game being shite.

      At least Rockstar are bothering to. Most developers don’t even bother.

    • Wulf says:

      @Grape Flavour (Sorry, I refuse to use American spellings.)

      For me, it was a mix of: Shitty DRM, Games for Windows Live, the Social Club, a really poorly ported build, and a boring game to begin with.

      If it were my choice I would’ve ranked Grand Theft Auto IV as somewhere around the 60% mark, and that’s based on playing it on a console, if it was the PC version I’d likely have knocked 10% off that because Rockstar need to hire some decent coders.

      I picked Saints Row 2 instead, because it’s a genuinely fun game, which GTA IV is not.


      Are you being intellectually dishonest or do you honestly not realise? Oh well, I’ll spell it out…

      Valve tend to release day one patches, and then they patch frequently after that, they respond to bugs quickly and they’re always on the ball. Here’s the difference: Note that GTA IV’s shadows are poorly optimised, Valve would’ve had that fixed within the first week of release. It took Rockstar a year and a half to finally getting around to fixing it (and only then because they wanted to sell DLC).

      If Rockstar were patching their game on even a fortnightly basis, I could buy some comparison with Valve. As it is, comparing them to Valve is a joke made in very poor taste.

    • wyrmsine says:

      What Wulf said.

      Also, “pretty much works” is not worth the price I paid for it. In my experience with this game, it actually translated into “incredibly frustrating and buggy”.

      San Andreas? That actually worked, and I’ve bought it twice. Rockstar gets no more of my money until they release another product like that. It would also be nice if it didn’t come bundled with mandatory failware.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Well, if you don’t like the core game you’re out of luck then. I think for most the appeal of the core game should be enough to overcome the annoyances. But if you don’t like the core game I guess it’s just poopy frosting on a shit cake. Pardon the metaphor.

      It’s funny you should mention Saint’s Row 2. I assume you’re talking about the console version, the PC version was critically panned for performance and technical problems even worse than GTA IV. Maybe they’ve been fixed, if not I can’t compare – haven’t owned a (non-handheld) console since the N64. :)

      Yeah, hopefully the next GTA will be ported better. There’s really no excuse if the next one is very buggy because they’ll have had plenty of experience and tools to make it work by now. We’re probably still screwed on the failware though…

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Well, if you don’t like the core game you’re out of luck then. I think for most people it should be enough to overcome the annoyances. But if you don’t like the core game I guess it’s just poopy frosting on a shit cake. Pardon the metaphor.

      It’s funny you should mention Saint’s Row 2. I assume you’re talking about the console version, the PC version was critically panned for performance and technical problems worse than GTA IV. Maybe its been fixed since then, if not I couldn’t compare as I haven’t owned a (non-handheld) console since the N64. :)

      Hopefully the next version of GTA is coded better. There’s really no excuse next time because they already have the experience and tools to make a RAGE game work on PC. I think with the failware we might be screwed though… but maybe GFWL will get better.

    • Grape Flavor says:


      I post, get an error message, nothing shows up, so I start all over and post again: sucess!
      WAY after the fact, the comment system regurgitates up the original post from god knows where. Ridiculous.

    • Soobe says:

      “It took Rockstar a year and a half to finally getting around to fixing it (and only then because they wanted to sell DLC”

      Are you being intellectually dishonest? They patch a game so the new content runs better. Wow, how dare they.

  44. Eric says:

    This will sync very nicely with the $10 purchase of Episodes From Liberty City that my Best Buy certificates are allowing me to do tonight. Weekend plans confirmed.

    GTA IV PC ran like a dog compared to what it should have, but was still a terrific game if you could make it run at all. And most of us who *did* buy it still have it, since it’s not like you can trade away or re-sell PC games these days. ;) So I’m looking forward to revisiting it with a new coat of paint.

  45. clive dunn says:

    Loved the series so much i got this when it came out, even though i only had a laptop at the time. Wtf was i thinking that it would run on that?! (the game ran but all i could see was my character model and the cars; absolutly no background whatsoever. But godammit it ran!)

    Now i’ve got a quad core and a 5770 and sweet jesus does this game run well; whacked all the settings way up and always over 30fps, even in the middle of a 10 cop-car pile up rocket massacre. My brother has the same graphics card but still runs a dual core and it struggles a lot when all the shit is going down. Seems the cores are the key here.
    Multiplayer wise, me and my bro had a lot of fun on it, often just the two of us dicking about. I seem to recall a Tom Francis article extolling the delights of dicking about with a freind. Just cruising about looking for stuff to try, weird jumps and races punctuated by cop massacres.
    Infact our biggest complaint was that it didn’t keep a tally of the amount of cops taken down per session. We tried counting but soon lost count.
    Oh and don’t forget making movies. Pretty cool bit of kit if you’ve got some imagination and time (and patience).
    All in all i’d say GTAIV is a modern PC classic, as long as you can forgive it for it’s faults. (and get the fucker to run)

  46. Wulf says:

    My opinion:

    GTA IV is a fairly boring game, I played it on a console which wasn’t without any of the problems and I found it exceedingly dull. The PC version was plagued with issues, including nasty DRM, GFWL, the Social Club, and generally a poorly coded port which gave it no end of rendering problems. Some of this was fixed over a year later in order to sell some DLC. But at the core of it, fix it as much as they like, it’s still a terribly boring game.

    If you’re looking for a sandbox game, try Saints Row 2 instead, it’s really fun and so, so much better, in every possible, conceivable way. It’s actually fun, it’s silly, it makes me laugh, and it just excels at everything it does. There’s just so much it lets you do, and the missions are less linear too, the approach to the entire game is, there’s a far greater sense of freedom present. The only thing you lose out on is that it’s perhaps not quite as graphically whizzbang.

    If you have Saints Row 2 and not GTA IV, there’s no point on picking it up now. It’s seriously boring. It has the most wooden and dull story you could imagine, they should’ve just done another one of their faux 80’s game instead. But for me, Saints Row 2 is the new old GTA, whereas GTA itself has gone off in dull directions.

    And yeah, I am happy to earn Volition another sale, because I almost invariably end up loving everything they do. Same goes for Red Faction: Guerilla.

    • the wiseass says:

      Saints Row 2 on the PC had the worst controls ever. I seriously had to deinstall this game after 30 minutes or so. Escaping the prison and beating up some strippers at the local strip-club would have been fun if not for the shoddy controls ruining everything.

    • RedFred says:

      @ above post: Society has failed us. One should never struggle to beat up some prosties.

  47. muza says:

    I get EFC20 error with patch 6,need help

  48. V. Tchitcherine. says:

    GTA IV even after a year of off-on-again playing remains among my favourite games and one of the best achievements in creating a living, vibrant world. For the first time in a GTA-game I truly cared and was fascinated by the characters, their emotions and motivations. The game is unoptimised, but incomparably better than the truly abhorrent PC-porting of Saint’s Row 2 and unlike THQ which did not deign to even address the most obvious or egregious problems with any support, Rockstar have now released six patches of continually improving quality.

    What amazes me about the game is the extraordinary detail and refinement in everything, for instance, the vehicle physics are better than most games specifically about driving. There is a never-ending satisfaction to sliding around a corner at speed in beautiful car and perfectly aligning into the next straight… Just Cause 2 had to utilise a 747, harrier jet, ridiculous explosions and terminal velocities to broach a similar satisfaction and that became surprisingly repetitive, surprisingly quickly. I mean all of the cars feel quite distinct and each has their own specific nuances and feeling. The gunplay in the game is better than any other I’ve experienced, partly because of the wonderful sound-design of the weapons but also the procedurally-generated animations which are without peer (Red Dead Redemption seems to best it however, just look at the muscles of the horses).

    To those who argue the humour and vitality is gone, one only need to watch the in-game television to witness some of the funniest programming of any medium, The Las Venturas Poker Challenge is one of the best parodies of disproportionate ‘athletics’ commentary ever. The radio is wonderful as ever though I pine for more and I notice there is also alot more subtle social commentary, an example is where two prospective gubernatorial candidates list their policy positions though both have an incoherent mix of conservative and business-whoring positions with liberal pretences showing how little choice there is in a two-party democracy. But it wasn’t something explicitly stated and there is still wonderfully executed over-the-top humour.

    I’m excited for the Episodes, but even more excited for what the future holds for GTA, Red Dead Redemption is an instant purchase if it ever comes out for the PC.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @V. Tchitcherine
      I am really hoping RDR makes it to the PC, what I’ve seen of it so far looks fantastic. I am hopeful because remember, GTA IV wasn’t even announced for PC until well after the console game launched. I don’t really mind waiting, but this is one console game I would hate to miss.

    • V. Tchitcherine. says:

      @Grape Flavor

      The scale of the game is incredible, apparently more than twice the size of San Andreas. The gameplay is also more emergent than any GTA game has attempted, allegedly you can massacre entire towns and then watch wagon-trains roll into town two days later with vigilante posses who will track you down for your brutality. I’m really excited and yes whilst there’s no announced PC-port and we can expect one within half-a-year or so… it’s still too long a wait.

    • Wormcult says:

      “What amazes me about the game is the extraordinary detail and refinement in everything, for instance, the vehicle physics are better than most games specifically about driving.”

      I’ve been saying that to people for years. It’s really nice to finally bump into someone else who feels this way.

  49. Rath says:

    What with the next EIHL season still being four or five months away, I’ve been breaking out NHL 2K9 on a near daily basis to get my ice hockey fix, but the re-playing of the main story of GTA IV has been providing a welcome diversion from when that starts to get a bit samey. It may not have the outright, balls to the wall craziness of San Andreas, but it succeeds in many areas. For example, the lack of planes means I don’t have to suffer the godawful flight controls that caused me to turn away from the PC version of S-A and buy the Xbox version and still take a fucking age to get through the goddamned flight school. Also, the characters are pretty well written. In IV, you know who the friends and enemies are, due to them either being generally likable, or, well, Dimitri, Vlad and Mikhail. In S-A, Sweet was supposed to be someone worthy of your respect but succeeded only in coming off as an utter tool. If there’s a criticism I have of IV, it’s the goddamned auto lock-on with certain weapons. If I want to shoot one of those bloody pigeons, I end up having the pistol lock on to a pedestrian on the other side of the street.

    As for the expansions, Lost And Damned was like playing through an episode of Sons Of Anarchy. Hell, both even have characters called Clay in them. link to

    Ballad Of Gay Tony has a mission early on that simply hands you a P90 and several hundred rounds. That’s right, a P90. I was grinning so broadly I nearly split a lip.

    And now back to, an endless source of mirth.

  50. TheSquarePear says:

    Even with this link to

    Hope som of the great modders will be able to make the game moddable after the patch