A demanding port of an excellent game, Grand Theft Auto IV PC is only worth a look from gamers that missed Niko's venture to America the first time around. See also: Grand Theft Auto IV on PS3 and Xbox 360 review.

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Let's step back for a moment and look at the facts: Grand Theft Auto IV has already sold more than eleven million copies worldwide on both Microsoft Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems, and with Crysis-esque system requirements weeding a good number of possible players out of the mix not to mention a hefty 15GB minimum hard drive installation, mandatory memberships to Windows Live and the Rockstar Social Club, a required update to your latest Windows service pack in both XP and Vista, and last but not least, an army of pre-mature errors, including the title's numerous hardware compatibility issues... well, the odds have certainly been stacked against Niko and friends.

While I realise that this isn't the conventional way for someone to start off an all-around positive review of a game, I just think that it's definitely worth getting the bulk of the bad out of the way before we move on to the good.

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For every step backwards or minuscule error that GTA IV PC raises, there's something there to satiate GTA fanatic's needs, from customizable controls, high-definition visuals, to hefty 32-player based multiplayer. Rockstar's kicked out all of the jams for their latest iteration of GTA IV, and while hugely successful at times and widely annoying at others, the PC port of this stellar title is still worth keeping an eye on for hardcore fans or first-time criminals.

NEXT PAGE: GTA IV, "Cousin!"

A demanding port of an excellent game, Grand Theft Auto IV PC is only worth a look from gamers that missed Niko's venture to America the first time around. See also: Grand Theft Auto IV on PS3 and Xbox 360 review.

Grand Theft Auto IV PC: "Cousin!"

Now, let's get one thing straight right off the bat: if you've owned a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV in the past, there's really no reason to pick up the PC version.

While everything that made Grand Theft Auto IV a blockbuster console hit is still here, there's hardly any new material, much less any that's worth writing home about.

Sure, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV's replay editor is a fun distraction, allowing players to capture and edit footage from their favorite high-speed escapades, but it doesn't nearly justify an entirely new purchase.

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Grand Theft Auto IV's multiplayer is also notable, beefing up the console count of 16 to 32 players, and while the online multiplayer's just as much of a blast as it's always been, there's always the inherent trouble of finding 31 willing players all dead-set on the same rules, maps, and modes as you.

Grand Theft Auto IV's story is just as impressive as it was on its console endeavours, bringing an incredible Hollywood-grade script and case to an outstanding cast of characters and locales.

Every mission, weapon and vehicle from the console versions remains completely intact in Grand Theft Auto IV PC, but with downright frustrating keyboard and mouse controls, car-jacking may seem like a bit more of chore than it used to.

If you're planning on picking up Niko's first foray into PC territory, my biggest recommendation would be the purchase of a well adjusted game controller to ride shotgun with you throughout Liberty City.

Gamepro.com

Grand Theft Auto IV: Specs

  • Microsoft Windows PC with 15GB hard disk space (requires Windows Live and Rockstar Social Club membership)
  • Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Elite
  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • broadband connection required for online elements
  • Microsoft Windows PC with 15GB hard disk space (requires Windows Live and Rockstar Social Club membership)
  • Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Elite
  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • broadband connection required for online elements

OUR VERDICT

While Grand Theft Auto IV remains an amazing title through and through, I can't help but recommend a console purchase over this PC port. While GTA IV PC retains much of the magic that made the game such a massive hit earlier this year, there's no overlooking the technical issues that weigh down this masterful game, from teeth-grinding slowdown to simply lazy controls. Still, even with its flaws, there's no missing the fact that this is the same Grand Theft Auto IV that so many gamers fell in love with the first time around, with every mission, character, and locale completely intact. Undoubtedly a system hog, that never stops GTA IV PC from delivering one of the finest cinematic action/adventure video game experiences to date.

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