The free version is basically the same as the retail version but the radio is stored on the hd and it doesn't have cd checks. I don't think they really optimised or fixed much at all. It still says v9.6 but it includes the nade exploit fix from v10.3. The official patch also won't work on this free version since it would ask for the cd. They didn't replace the DMA logo on the main menu like they did with GTA1. There's only two language choices in GTA2 Manager instead of the regular five choices.
The exe files are different and these files compare different:
For the mmp files, a space was removed from the descriptions, eg. "Residential 2 Player" is now "Residential 2Player". That doesn't effect multiplayer but different .SCR files means you can't play Residential level without sending the files to your opponent.
All the other data files are the same as the unpatched v9.6 GTA2 retail. It connects to retail v9.6 ok and it was synced for the 30 seconds that I tested but there is at least one problem, the nade/molotov exploit is fixed in this free version, so if a player does that in the retail version, the game will go out of sync.
Edited by S3KT0R, 02 January 2005 - 01:05 AM.