Customer Review

126 of 146 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Pathetic Excuse for a Personal Computer Game, December 15, 2008
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto IV (Video Game)
Let me preface my review with a brief story: When GTA IV came out in May for consoles, I purchased a brand new PS3 just to play it. To this day it's the only game I own for my PS3, which sits largely unused but as a testament to Rockstar's masterpiece. I'm not much of a console gamer, but Sony and Rockstar made well over $500 from me on the release of GTA IV alone... but after seeing this incredible mess pushed out I do not think I'll ever purchase another Rockstar product.

I suppose it's also important to say I have not actually purchased GTA IV for PC, although I do have firsthand experience with this travesty. A good friend of mine called me over the weekend and asked if I wouldn't mind taking a look at his computer, because according to him, his rig was running GTA IV very slow. When I arrived I could hardly believe this product was from the same company I gave my money to.

Everything you read here is accurate. SecuROM, with or without "teeth," is always to the detriment of honest consumers and here it is in full effect. But not satisfied with that, Rockstar apparently made it possible to play the game if and only if you agree to Byzantine Windows Live and Rockstar Social Club contracts. That is frankly unacceptable by any standard. And to top it off, on a computer with a Quad-Core, two 8800 Ultras in SLI, and 8 (yes, eight) GB of RAM the game runs worse than it ever did on my PS3. And it looks about the same. For a game developer, the words "code optimization" mean very little to Rockstar.

Perhaps the most heinous injustice about this whole shameful affair is the warning included that, summarized, warns "... most current hardware will not be able to run this game at high settings." Unbelievable. When did releasing games, especially games which ran acceptably well on inferior consoles, incomplete with a requirement to spend hundreds more dollars on future hardware become acceptable? To me that is the lowest form of terrible work ethic and is the main reason I feel I cannot buy another Rockstar product ever again. Is it not enough to completely ruin a product by making the consumer sign away his privacy just to play it? When did Crysis, whose infamy cannot even measure up to this abomination, become the golden standard for a successful game release? If the market into which you're releasing your product is "unprepared" for the "requirements" of said product, then there is something wrong with your product, not the market.

But here Rockstar really shot itself in the foot because the game has already been proven to run, with over 10 million witnesses, on inferior hardware. I told my friend to get his money back and now I'm thinking of selling my PS3. The most successful PC games have always been the ones that are not laden with malware and actually run on consumers' PCs. PC gaming is in dire straits if the biggest developers think people actually want to have to deal with insurmountable mountains of red tape just to play a video game. It's a video game- nothing less, but especially nothing more. Playing GTA IV on PC is worth far less to me than the actual time it would take to accomplish said goal.

I consider myself a Grand Theft Auto fan. I played GTA IV an unhealthy amount over the summer. But merely seeing this stillbirth of a title that Rockstar threw onto PC gamers makes me realize I can live without. Do not purchase this under any circumstances. It is far cheaper, in terms of money and life lost in frustration, to buy a new console to play GTA IV. If you want a new PC game, I recommend the excellent Left 4 Dead or any other title by Valve. I beseech you not to give money to companies who treat their costumers like this.

Rockstar, you have released an utterly pathetic excuse for a personal computer game. I hate to say this is another nail in the proverbial coffin for PC gaming, but even I feel a little dismayed that almost every new title for computers is burdened with SecuROM, doesn't run well on hefty hardware, or is some unholy combination of the two. In short, Rockstar has taken everything that is "killing" PC gaming and mixed it into one completely miserable experience. Caveat emptor.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2008 5:21:43 PM PST
Bottom line: Rockstar Dan Houser promised the coders big bonuses if they got this out the door in time for christmas. So, no optimization routines at all. Almost a straight port. If you ever run some of the higher end chd mame roms, you know that even the fastest cpus wont run them well. Thats what we have optimization. Or as you put work ethic (on the part of the coders). Houser is the lowest form of SCUMBAG for raping the original fan base for this.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2008 11:53:04 PM PST
flyer says:
Wow. Came to Amazon after hearing that the GTA was out on PC. It's the only game I've played in recent years, and have been dying to try it since April. I've been following the missions on YouTube (GTAMissions), and was ready to buy tonight. Really excited.

I've read about the DRM and Windows Live nonsense in this review and several others, and I totally agree that Rockstar doesn't want or deserve my money. Also it seems that the way they've ported it GTAIV would run at a snail's pace on my machine. I'll wait and see if they fix their fick-ups, and until they do there ain't no fickin way my money will support the tactics they've chosen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 9:21:16 AM PST
Chef Sean says:
I love Rockstar's line about playing the game on high settings. Those settings are reserved for future hardware. You mean video cards that can run in sli and perform anti-aliasing? I can't wait for that far off technology to hit the shelves!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2009 1:09:44 PM PST
Josh says:
Exactly Sean. They talk about supporting future hardware but the fact is they don't support current technologies like SLI. That line was written by a PR rep to try and cover for the obvious fact that this game was not optimized or even finished being ported before it was released.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 12:28:55 PM PST
I have been a fan of the franchise for a long time. I played a couple GTA titles on the PC, then picked up San Andreas for PS2. (great game!)
My new computer will arrive in a week and I was very excited to buy this title, but after reading your review, forget it. Thank you for saving me the time and hassle!

Posted on May 24, 2010 12:37:23 AM PDT
B. McLain says:
Thanks for the review man, here we are two years later and I was going to buy I'm glad I read your review first. Thanks again for saving me the hassle.

Posted on May 14, 2014 8:58:57 AM PDT
Ian Hines says:
I agree. I can't play the PC version because of SecuROM. Total waste of money.

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 7:55:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 22, 2015 6:00:18 AM PDT]
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