There is something that has always made me so mad about GTA IV. And it has nothing to do with the actual gameplay.
The "Definition" setting on PC.
The "P filter", jokingly named "the paint filter" because of the P and how before PC even came out people were calling it that on consoles and it only looked bad there because it is so low resolution low quality gaming on consoles. Still funny even though it doesn't really look like painterly effects on PC, and more like:
Depth of field
Perhaps there is more, but these are the two most pertinent to this topic and the two that I feel like they think I am stupid about.
I've seen for years now people bash the filter - it does look dumb on consoles, yes it does look dumb at 720p on that kind of screen. But it is brilliant on the computer monitor.
People have talked about the "smudge filter messing things up" and all that -
But it's not true. With it turned off, you get no motion blur and depth of field - it looks great on computer monitors and helps to soften all but the worst of aliasing that comes along with this game due to all of its detail not found at this level in other games that let you see objects this far away.
The "P" button then, is part of the high definition experience - the post effects, the "realistic" depth of field and motion blur (and that is some SWEET motion blur in GTA IV, mods make both even better [through AA and/or new motion blur])
So why the hell do they call that setting in the menu "Definition"????
It is named only to appease the fans and their assumptions. It calls us stupid. And perhaps in some cases, rightfully so.
I do not understand the thinking that to remove part of the picture quality can be called "definition on"
It should be "DOF/Motion Blur" - and then people would keep it on and completely change the way they talk about it.
Since it's called "Definition", now you end up with people turning off the motion blur, actually missing out on the effects, getting a much jaggier experience, and it does still look good and crisp don't get me wrong, but it's very "game" and "sharp" and there is "no atmosphere" to the "air" at all with it turned off.
When you turn it on, you get that haze of moisture. It even changes the way rain looks. It seems like I can see rain better with it on than I can with it off, and it looks a crap ton more realistic. (I have to be with lights between niko and the camera to see rain drops without P turned on, but they don't have to between niko and the camera with P turned on, and they blur and seem more like real drops, or at least movie drops, than without, for example, there's more things this setting actually dumbs down)
They call it "definition" - people turn it on, and it ACTUALLY turns things OFF, the game runs slightly better, not enough to be worth turning the effects off off (definition ON) when you actually know what it is, but when you think it's truly a "definition" setting, you turn it on, game runs okay, you play, and you never realize that in reality, in some way shape or form, for whatever their motive was, they pooled wool over the eyes of those who didn't notice it's more than just a screen blur - it's depth of field and motion blur, it's timecycle altering effects, it's the actual definition to the game in terms of atmosphere, and they recommend turning it off, by calling it definition, and calling "on" "off" and calling "off" "on".
Definition off = your game has a proper atmosphere and things blur when you move fast.
You'd want P filter turned off for screenshots at speed, maybe even for taking video and then doing your own work to it afterward - but when playing the game, it was patronizing, ridiculous, and insulting for Rockstar to call this setting "definition" and pass it off like it really wasn't the "OFF" or "LOW" setting.
In other games this is called "Depth of Field: Off/On/High Quality" and "Motion Blur: On/Off"
They aren't jumbled together and lied about what they are. They figured it's easier to let people remain ignorant to the fact that this is a big part of the game's rendering result, and I suppose they had to, because if they admitted that out in the open, everyone would know the only reason it looks so bad and painterly on xbox is because it's a low resolution and old-now HD, and these effects look great on PC. Once someone turns it "On" and doesn't realize what they lose, they just notice it hasn't impacted their performance (some may even notice a bit better performance), they stick with it, and believe the lie.
Not everyone can see them, some people have really slow PC's and need to play at xbox resolution or even lower, I understand that. But don't lie to us about it Rockstar, tell the truth.
Edited by brian., 04 July 2013 - 06:05 PM.