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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What problems will you encounter?
I've just purchased this on steam because it was reduced and I'm writing a review here, because this is where I went myself to get some insight in to the game before purchasing it

First off, you need to be aware that a lot of the negative reviews posted here are from people that can't get the game to run without crashing, running very slowly or are morally...
Published 15 months ago by J Meaden

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Installation issues with Windows 8
The game is good. But the game is not compatible with Windows 8. Emailing customer support (take Two Interactive customer support) is of no use as they will not respond. Calling by phone will get quick response. But after explaining all my problems for Windows 8, they send me the solution for Windows XP & Windows 7! Doesn't look like they have standard answers for W8. I...
Published 4 months ago by Gopi


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What problems will you encounter?, 29 Mar 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
I've just purchased this on steam because it was reduced and I'm writing a review here, because this is where I went myself to get some insight in to the game before purchasing it

First off, you need to be aware that a lot of the negative reviews posted here are from people that can't get the game to run without crashing, running very slowly or are morally opposed to being forced to sign-up to MS LIVE. If you start to read through these reviews you will find that a lot of complaints about not getting it to run appear to be the fault of the author. People complaining the game wont run fast on their laptop with a crippled graphics card or that it wont run on their unpatched (probably pirated) copy of XP.

This is my system: Windows XP SP3, Intel i5 2.6Ghz 750 (this is an older i5 not latest), Nvidea GTX460, 4GB RAM. And this is my experience:

Install passed without problems
The first run of the game icon set off some installations of stuff (DirectX checks etc.). It all went fine.
The game then started to load and then crashed... (don't panic!)
I waited a few seconds and ran the desktop icon again and this time it worked fine (and has every time since)

Once in to the game's main menu this is where you start to hit some of the things other reviews complain about

First thing it is going to try to get you to do is join the social club. You DO NOT have to do this, just choose play offline and you can skip registering! You loose multiplier and being able to post videos for others to watch (I wasn't bothered about that).

The next thing it will try to do is get you to join MS LIVE. This is also optional and you can just click no to everything and start playing, however you will loose the ability to save the game...
So as I think most players will want to be able to save you are going to need an MS LIVE account.

If you follow the links given it will take you to an XBOX live premium sign-up page. WARNING this is a paid for subscription, DON'T REGISTER!!!
The design of the sign-up page may change by the time you read this, but you are looking for a small (almost hidden) text link which lets you sign up for a free (non-premium) account. On the page I was directed to it was down on the bottom right of the page.

if you already have a Hotmail account you automatically already have an MS Live account, but it will still want you to link it to a game account (only takes 5sec to do this). MS Live will then perform an update which requires the game to restart, but you should be all set after that.
So finally we are at the point you can actually play the game! It was a bit of an annoying process, but only took about 10mins to go through.

For me the game settings defaulted to 1920x1200, textures medium and anisotropic x4
The game seemed fine to me at these settings although I will probably try to tweak them later (I'm going to be upping the textures for sure). On these default settings the in-game benchmark tool returned 61fps, 47% CPU usage, 47% video memory usage.
Edit: I set textures to high and the fps went up to 64 :)

As you will have noticed from other reviews when players can actually get in to the game they love it, so I hope my review of getting in to the game helps you decide if you want to purchase it or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Installation issues with Windows 8, 1 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
The game is good. But the game is not compatible with Windows 8. Emailing customer support (take Two Interactive customer support) is of no use as they will not respond. Calling by phone will get quick response. But after explaining all my problems for Windows 8, they send me the solution for Windows XP & Windows 7! Doesn't look like they have standard answers for W8. I had to read through GTA Forums to get an answer and there is lot of information in the forums. Finally I could manage to run the game and as my computer do not have a Graphics card, the game's graphics quality was poor. If you are not a reasonably good computer geek and your computer do not have enough memory & graphics card, think twice before buying this game. Otherwise the game is good.
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343 of 422 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just in time for Christmas - it's a massive TURKEY!, 9 Dec 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
Note: Amazon Review requires at last one star, but this is actually a no-star product.

Rockstar have dropped the ball in the biggest possible way this time.

Since the very first GTA, I have looked forward to each new release with ever greater anticipation. No longer. GTA4 for PC is possibly the most cynical, botched, bloated, ill-conceived piece of junk since the Ford Edsel. The publisher will require a miracle to recover from this. To undo so many years of goodwill at one stroke will be (and deserves to be) a catastrophe for the company.

How it should happen.

1 Buy the game
2 Install it
3 Run it
4 Have many hours of fun

How GTA4 does it.

1 Buy it
2 Install it
3 Register online
4 Try to run - get BSOD
5 Try again - get cryptic error message (alpha code, no description)
6 Google message to discover it means the game won't run without XP SP3 (why couldn't the error say that?)
7 Download and install SP3, then reboot
8 Run it again
9 Create (unwanted and should be completely optional) logins and gamertags for both Windows Live and RS Social Club - after installing Windows Live software (and an immediate follow-on) update, then reboot again
10 Link the two tags - eventually, when both sites are available and accepting logons
11 Start playing - get woeful performance (OK, my PC isn't a great spec any more but it still ran Crysis perfectly well)
12 Get fatal crash that takes Windows out as well
13 Reboot, then go online to see if there are any tips or tricks to getting this monster to work even a little bit
14 Find, download and install slightly dodgy Nvidia beta driver which has been rushed out just for this game
15 Reboot one more time, then run it again. A marginal improvement but still not playable by any stretch of the imagination
16 Leave it for a day, then come back and try some more tricks
17 Run it, get about 5 minutes into the game (after waiting nearly that long for it to load) then get a different crash, again with a cryptic alpha code
18 Google the code, find out it is possibly caused by either the DRM (SecuRom) or faulty install disc with a corrupted .CAB file somewhere
19 Consider ordering RAM, CPU and GPU upgrades, then reconsider and write this review instead
20 [Tomorrow] Return the (so-called) product for a full refund

I'm not a game designer/programmer, but I have worked as a commercial software developer for over 20 years, so I have a rough idea about what makes a good piece of software and what doesn't. GTA4 has all the elements of bad software. It is unreliable, has a clumsy user interface, makes completely unreasonable demands of the user and system, is ill-concieved and atrociously implemented.

If you want my advice (and you wouldn't have read this far if you didn't) then avoid this like the plague. I will be returning my copy to Amazon, and I don't expect to be the only one.

Finally, unless they get on top of the situation in the next 2 weeks (i.e. before Christmas) I expect this to be the end of the line for the GTA franchise, and possibly Rockstar as well.

Update 1: The uninstall process ran perfectly and in just a few seconds. Perversely, it seems that they got that bit right...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but difficult to set up, 24 Feb 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
Bought this only recently and having played through several missions, it has given me more than enough entertainment for the value. It runs fairly well on my laptop (Acer M5-481TG with Intel i5-3317U 2.60GHz, 6GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GT640 graphics, Win7), only sometimes getting slightly jittery.
The installation process is still long and tedious, but after getting the online accounts set up (you'll need to create two accounts to play, for Rockstar and Microsoft) and the latest updates installed, it runs stable and without crashing. You'll need a bit of patience for all this, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but repetetive, 3 Sep 2012
By 
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
All the people who have been complaining that this is very hard to install properly are absolutely right. I got it about 2 years ago and got so mad that it didnt work I gave up. I recently tried again and got it working. I did this by going on the GTA website and following all the instructions. It realy is annoying the way they made this game.
Anyway so whats it like? The graphics and added details are exellent (e.g - you can shoot people through car windows, and jump out of vehicles - nice) the gameplay and controls are good although the camera is not as intuitive as previous games so I crashed more than usual and got busted just because I couldnt see what was happening. This is annoying but no massive problem. My main issue with 4 is the story is boring and the city is repetetive. The missions are all very similar and once youve done about 10 youve done them all. After completing it I realised theres no way this is as good as San Andreas. San andreas has better characters, a varied map and some original missions. It had atmousphere! This is generic and bland and while the realism is welcome I think its a shame they spent so much time on grphics and none on storyline and variation.
I did enjoy the game but its very long and after a point I was hurrying to finish it. I realy hope they concentrate more on story and variation with 5 because I wont be playing any more GTA games if they are like this. Its too much time out of my life so they need to be worth it! In short - GTA3 was amazing and blew me away. San andreas was a definate improvement and well worthy as a sequel. This was dissapointing and I feel quite an unimportant game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly converted XBox game, doesn't like Windows 7, 18 May 2012
By 
S. Paget "S. Paget" (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
I loved Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas, but this was just too frustrating to be any fun.

The game was not designed for Windows 7, and takes some tinkering to get it to work. I had to go into my deepest Windows settings and turn off some features to stop the game juddering and freezing at every turn. I don't expect to have to search forums for tips on how to get a game running. This isn't 1994 any more.

Even when I got it working, the cars are sluggish and the controls laggy.
Maybe the story is good. I wouldn't know, I didn't get that far. I do know that this doesn't look or act like a PC game should.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's still GTA at the end of the day., 5 Jun 2009
By 
D. A. JONES (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
I bought this for the PC a long time after its release, so I suspect many problems with bugs etyc have been resolved before I bought it for the PC.
I've played it for several hours during which time the only gameplay problem I've had is occasionally during the cutscenes (which are more often than not, rather amusing) some of the characters skin on their faces just doesn't appear. I get to see their little floating iris's in their eyes anf their jaw and teeth and then rest of their body, but no facial skin. I do have the latest video card driver for my HD 4830 card but none the less its not that a major issue.

The game itself is very GTA. It's a large open world (that opens further the further you get into it, as usual), full of opportunity to explore in the most weird of places. I love th relationship my character (Niko) has with his cousin, the humour makes me smile. As for the relationship with the girlfriend (Michelle) dull as ditch water, anyone know of a hot coffee addon for this? The general relationship with her seems to be 'take her somewhere she's enjoy' and 'take her home'. To be honest these lines are used with his cousin and other friends too and general means a boring trip around town somewhere which seems to pad the game between missions, but it pads it in a really dull way. When Niko drinks too much and is trying to walk, now that is funny. So far the missions have been pretty straight forward, sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to learn what you really have to do to get it right. I've gotta say previous GTA's have had better soundtracks. Even after hours of play I can't claim to like any of the radio stations much so often just turn it off.

I know many people have slated that once its installed you need to sign up for a Games For Windows account and a GTA Social Club account, which is true. But once that's done it logs you in whenever you play. What use these two accounts are in the real world (apart from an attempt of security on their part) and sharing videos, I have no idea.

If you liked previous GTAs and its 24.99 or less, I'd recommend it.
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79 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fail of the epic variety, 6 Dec 2008
By 
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
The game itself, apart from a couple of bugs (which will be worked out with patches!) is actually fine. Driving is a bit different than in the old GTA games. Other than the bugs (haven't encountered a single one, btw), it's fine. Somewhat.

However, there is one MAJOR thing that makes me recommend NOT to buy this game:

In order to save your progress you MUST sign into Windows LIVE. So, in order to save your game, you are forced to be online and to use a third party application! This is absolutely unacceptable and pure and utter garbage. I don't want LIVE, I don't need LIVE. I don't care about achievements. I only want to save the game! If you're playing the game offline, you can't save your progress. You are forced to go online and to sign up/into Windows LIVE. Absolutely ridiculous.

Now, when I decided not to save my progress and return to the game from the save menu... it wouldn't let me. Instead it started to lead me in circles through the "do you want to save" "you must be signed into Windows LIVE to save" "do you want to continue without saving" over and over again.

BTW, Windows LIVE also installs itself when you're installing the game. That's worse than any DRM (without DRM I can, at least, save the progress I've made in the game, without LIVE I can't do it in GTA4). And if you don't want/don't need LIVE, then you can't play the game without having to start over whenever you leave it (cause you can't save without LIVE).

And to think that Rockstar Games once made great things like Max Payne. Shame on them.

Windows LIVE has to go.

I've uninstalled the game and it will go back asap. I want my money back.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Painful Install - Killer PC Specs - But Still A Reasonable Game, 4 Dec 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
I'm not going to make an issue of the DRM on this game as, if you believe the devs, it has only been added to check you are not activating before release date (now passed) and that you have the DVD in the drive.

However Rockstar have not made the game particularly user friendly or accessible for the PC market. To start with, you have to install a utility called GTA Social Club which requires you to register details on the Rockstar website. This is the front end to start the game, so you cannot avoid the process. This is one of the first games to support the extension of Microsoft Live from the X-Box 360 to the PC. You must therefore have a "Live" account and the latest version of the software installed to start the game, even if you have no intention of using this facility either. I found that by default, the installer "embeds" Social Club so that whenever you start the PC, you get the GTA Social Club sign in box appear after it boots up. Now it appears this can be disabled but it is cheeky, invasive and presumptous that you want to run this software every time you start the PC.

This is one of the highest specced PC games released to date. At a time when very few games are optimised even for dual core processors, anything less than a Core 2 Quad will fail the recommended specification. It will run on so called lower spec machines but with the detail settings turned down. Some serious issues with optimisation therefore.

Once up and running, I found my PC (E8400 @3.00Ghz, 4Gb RAM, 8800GT 512Mb Graphics) could run at a setting of 1680 x 1050 (max res for my monitor) at medium settings. It doesn't actually look too bad. Much sharper and more detail/better viewing distance than the PS3 version I previously owned and reviewed. As with previous GTA's you can use both mouse/keyboard and the XBox 360 controller for movement. Keyboard assignments can be changed but this is a bit trickier as you now have to allow for the mobile phone. I prefer to use the arrow keys rather than WASD but Up arrow activates the phone so currently thinking how to re-configure.

I found the controls a bit trickier than on the PS3. Walking via the keyboard, Niko needs a rather large turning circle. Driving is still tricky due to the implementation of more realistic physics and I found even slowing right down I was swinging wide at corners. This does not bode well for some of the time limited driving or "chase me" style missions that come later in the game.

Gameplay appears to be identical to the earlier console versions, that is to say cut down from previous GTA's with your in game actions much more story driven. Yes, the friends and schmoozing via the mobile phone are all in there along with the in game internet.

At this initial stage I am not displeased with GTA IV on PC, once it's up and running. However two stars are coming off for Rockstar making us jump through hoops to install (and play) the game and the very poor optimisation of what should have been a straightforward PC port.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much faffing, not enough GTA!, 21 Jan 2009
By 
J. Keys (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) (CD-ROM)
Basically, this game is full stuff that is doesn't need and without what it does.

It's full of bugs upon purchase, and the patch (1.0.1.0) doesn't do much to help anything.
There are alot of known drop-out and crash errors that are still to be resolved. Even on PCs that should be able to handle its requirements just fine, and do so with other games of the same calibour.

Secondly, the instalation process is very long winded. You will need service pack 3 which is causing alot of awkwardness, but it's what to expected of more and more modern games.
The really dragging stuff is the Rockstar "Social club" and Windows LIVE procedures. After finally getting Social Club on (which seems useless to me, we can all find news online right?) you get onto the game to find you need to log-in to Windows LIVE and to do so you will need a Windows LIVE (or hotmail) account and CANNOT proceed with out it.

If you choose to skip the online connections you cannot load updates and i don't think it actually lets you save your game and will be forever bugged by the program asking you to log-in and warning of the concequences of not doing so!

Basicaaly, this IS a good game, but this PC version comes with so much Tat that it's hardly worth trying.

Maybe when the errors are finaly resolved with up to date patches, the Social Club/LIVE nonsense will be worth it, but don't hold your breath.

Untill then, look eleware.
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Grand Theft Auto IV (PC)
Grand Theft Auto IV (PC) by Take 2 Interactive (Windows Vista)
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