GC 2008: Grand Theft Auto IV First Impressions

See how Liberty City is shaping up on the PC with our first look from Leipzig.

Grand Theft Auto made its original debut on the PC and, although Grand Theft Auto IV made a huge buzz when it appeared earlier this year on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it came as no surprise when Rockstar announced just a few weeks ago that a PC version was in the works. Since then the elusive publisher has remained tight-lipped on its most valuable franchise but opened the gates to the press for a first look of the game at Leipzig Games Convention 2008.

Niko's back, and he's taking over your PC whether you like it or not.

The question on our lips is, How do you make a near-flawless game even better? The folks at Rockstar think they know the answer to that. For a start, they've boosted the graphics in the PC version including increased draw distances, and a higher resolution (supporting up to 2560x1600 pixels). They've also added a replay editor, which allows you to view 30-second instant replays and then chop and edit them, add filters, and even combine them into a montage of clips to upload to a Web site of your choice, or to Rockstar's Social Club.

During the preview it was hinted that multiplayer, which supported 16 players on consoles, may include new modes and support for more players this time around. Our presenter was deliberately coy on the matter and didn't offer up any more information on this for now--other than confirming that players will be able to filter searches for online matches, allowing you to pick those that match your preferences.

We were shown one mission in our brief time with the game, Three Leaf Clover, which requires Niko to help his friend Packie with a bank robbery. We pick up at the beginning of the mission and after a brief cutscene, began a tour of Liberty City by car. Once Niko arrives at the bank with Packie and his Irish friends things derail in short time with a customer deciding to shoot one of the bank crew dead. After dispensing some shells in the customer's direction and taking off with the bank's money, Niko is forced to take care of the police waiting for him in the street. Gradually working his way through their ranks--almost like a scene from Heat--Niko and co. descend into a subway station and onto the tracks. After taking out wave after wave of Liberty City's finest, the crew fight their way out of the subway into an abandoned alley, where they regroup. Stealing a nearby SUV, the team hightails it back to Packie's Ma's house to divvy up the loot.

While the game is still a work in progress, Liberty City looked amazing as ever. Textures were sharp, animations looked clean, and environmental effects such as shadows, lighting, and water all looked top-notch. There were a few glitches when there was a lot of onscreen action, but by and large the engine looked pretty robust. The game was demoed on a giant plasma TV, and even at that size (60-plus inches) the game looked visually impressive. GTAIV will support Xbox 360 controllers in addition to keyboard and mouse, and the demonstration was done using a controller. Icons on the in-game menus reflected the button names and colours of a 360 controller, and if we hadn't seen a giant, glowing PC tower in the corner of the room, we might've suspected the demo was being run on an Xbox 360. We were told that at this late stage of development, Rockstar are spending the next three months tweaking and polishing the game for its PC launch.

Liberty City by twilight looks as beautiful as ever.

While Grand Theft Auto IV surpassed the expectations of many when it launched on consoles, we'll have to wait and see if the PC version can eclipse its lounge-room brethren. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more on the epic crime saga before its November release.

Written By

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....

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Discussion

98 comments
sekharpriyansu
sekharpriyansu

Can this run in nvidia geforce 8500,2.4 core 2 duo processor,4gb ram

hugociss
hugociss

i dont think my intel gma 945 chipset will be able to run such a great game... what a shame... even pacman 3d lags...

Vahitman
Vahitman

it must be a gift for my birthday at 18nov.! thank you Rockstar! i can't wait for the birthday!!

V692344
V692344

Hope it won't only support xbox 360 gamepad.I use logitech dual action gamepad.

N3ZiRi
N3ZiRi

neonvzla u took my wordz :D looks great on the pc !!

spluke963
spluke963

HELL YEAH! CANT WAIT TO PLAY THIS AT CHRISTMAS!

interpolation7
interpolation7

I cant wait to try this on my XBOX 1080. Sorry PC, i meant PC..

neonvzla
neonvzla

And as expected(and unsurprisingly) the PC version of a game is again superior to its consoles counterpart. Everything is right in the world. =D

KwasiAsiedu
KwasiAsiedu

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

KwasiAsiedu
KwasiAsiedu

I thought people would have just got it on the PS3 or Xbox 360. I did not think people could wait that long. I might consider getting it on PC if there is any extra content (although I have it on 360). The main interest I have with being on the PC would be people's mods that could really expand the game.

Mundos253
Mundos253

WOOT >!! I cant wait for this.. I knew they were going to release it for Pc it was just a matter of time...and I just pray they Port it correctly... This game could be 10x better then the console versions...all they have to do is listen to us and actually put in the features that we want.. to be honest.. I think they could do some upgrades to the facial features in the game... the faces just look at feel to dull to me.. like all they did was do a huge update to the last graphics engine... I think they should go off the Crytek Engine .. if they did that... that would make this game the best game ever made... put those graphics along with the physics engine it already has.. wooo... this game would be off the chain... seriously though... I have tons of idea's... I know for a fact.. If they came to me and asked me for some off the wall Crazy good idea's this game would be a master piece.. but hey one of these days.. you'll see my name in the Credit's.. I just have to get my foot in the door somewhere.. I just haven't been given a chance yet.. but hopefully soon my idea's will be born into the next off the wall game... you guys will see... maybe gamespot will read this and give me a chance to show them something :o) who knows... I'm just dieing to get some of these ideas off my head.. and into a 3D atmosphere... The day will eventually come..

Skyriderlink
Skyriderlink

They should add more texture and more effects.

tidurlagi
tidurlagi

Cant wait to shoot all people in Liberty City

blue_bay_02
blue_bay_02

Cant wait for this any longer !!!!! AAAARGH!!! Hurry up!!! still two months????!!!! Man i cant wait for the this game ......

cescyamanian
cescyamanian

C'mon!!! I can't wait no longer for that game. When will the GTA IV release?

nunyerbiz
nunyerbiz

I dont do all that much gaming anymore. While I still keep a decent video card in my PC for my casual gaming, I never bothered getting a PS3 or 360. I'm glad this one is making it's way to the PC.

-Mist-
-Mist-

Goddamn them multiplayer will be windows live for Christ sake!Worst!

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

Looks great, and I'm really excited to try out the PC multiplayer!

Diegog5
Diegog5

I bet that is going to have a lower rating than the consoles, because gamespot always does to pc titles like Oblivion. But with mods, it embarrasses the hell out of the consoles.

Ankh602
Ankh602

I can't wait to see the mods that come out for this game

ognen
ognen

I can't wait for this...

emmanglynn
emmanglynn

cant wait just tuned my pc up!!!!

emmanglynn
emmanglynn

Buzzin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 nice one for the heads up gamespot!!

Bigj687
Bigj687

I wish they'd release some system specs, and talk some more about the improved multiplayer

nmc18
nmc18

i hope it can run on my system.

LfunkeyA
LfunkeyA

to -KU- : uh yeah, it isn't near flawless for whiny people who like to spend their lives in a video game. however, it is near flawless for all those people who like to have a little fun every now and then.

-KU-
-KU-

It wasn't near flawless maybe in graphics and idea but not in expectations people expected more micro management or at least car design what the hell is this since they're starting from near scratch they could at least add car design in this one jeez!

alex_zander
alex_zander

going to download it from torrents and when it's in shops for good then i'll definitely buy it for that online multiplayer!

Versus3
Versus3

I... I... I wa... I wanna...

3249Mor
3249Mor

It rocks!I am waiting for it

CastorT
CastorT

Waiting for this baby

tropeak20
tropeak20

143 Grand TheFT aUTO!!!! wooot pc verSIon aTlas!!!

dark_being
dark_being

Going to pick this one up once available.

Games_pro
Games_pro

I hope to see just more than Higher resolution and greater draw distance, they should take full advantages of pc powers.

drunkboris
drunkboris

sweeeet. im glad rockstar didnt wait till next year to release this. by the time GTA:SA came out for pc, it was no longer relevant. GTA IV is still pretty fresh in everyones minds, and hopefully we'll see some more controversy come out of the the pc version, with modding and such. but i hate how microsoft is monopolizing the gamepad industry. that is seriously an issue that needs to be looked at on a legal level. why is it that GTA only supposts an xbox 360 controller? the stupid thing costs $60 and there are WAY better controllers out there from reputable companies such as Saitek and Logitech that are getting squeezed out of the market just because Microcrap paid Rockstar off to hardcode exclusive support for their crappy controller. and most people aren't even aware of the fact that assassin's creed, a game that plays way better with a controller, doesnt support the vibration function unless you have an xbox controller. that is bs. assassin's creed is not a microsoft game. its an ubisoft game. it should have full support for all manufacturers, not just the one that paid them off. its not right. its not legal. and it should be looked into. other than that, cant wait for GTAIV :D

meitham
meitham

It's the best game on the world

konradak
konradak

Sweet, now the PC dudes can enjoy this game :)

yatatabien
yatatabien

I hope this will work on my PC :P

benwrong
benwrong

to answer harwin143 of course this will run on an 8600gt. you just have to lower the graphic settings to play it though. probably the latest higher end cards like the radeon 4870 or the nvidea gtx series.

lucebuce
lucebuce

man, just hope its not too heavy :(