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What was wrong with the port of GTA IV on the PC?

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DaRkL3AD3R
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#31

Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:19 PM

The problem is the view distance sliders. People with medium to high end rigs see any graphics settings and are so used to cranking everything up that they expect to be able to use 100 view and detail distance. This was never how the game was intended to be played however and all the 3D models were built for much lower settings, like 20 or lower.

 

Cranking these things up puts an incredibly heavy toll on your CPU and it will bottleneck even middle grade GPU's because of it. Other than this one issue though, the game wasn't really a bad port at all.


Ewok626
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#32

Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:20 PM

The problem was at the time of release it required hardware that a lot of people didn't have like a quad core cpu and a 1+gb video card. Also everyone wanted to max the view distance when the consoles are equal to about 10-15 out of 100. I was running gta iv on my laptop just fine, it is not the worst port as people make it out to be.

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CharmingCharlie
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#33

Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:18 PM

I am probably going to get a lot of flack for this but all this selective Amnesia from some in this thread is pretty breathtaking.  I still remember when GTA 4 was launched on the PC and the thing was a mess.   If you consider that the PC has seen GTA 1, 2, GTA 3, GTA VC and GTA SA none of those were bad enough for Rockstar to start up an official account on GTAforums to help people get their game working.  Nope but GTA 4 was such a mess for a huge number of people that Rockstar set up an official account on here to try and "help".

 

I still remember the first screenshot of GTA 4 on here from a user that got the game.  It was basically Niko in a blank untextured city because the textures were not loading properly.  He was one of the lucky ones a load more just got an EFC10 error.

 

Once things had settled down people started to tweak GTA 4 to get it running but nearly everyone had to resort to entering command lines into a text file to get the game working.  The last time I had to piss about with commands in a text file to get a game working was in the early 90's.  Even then I had problems at the time I was running a Q6600 + 8800GTS and 8gbs of RAM but could only get a playable framerate on settings BELOW console equivalent settings.  Now at the time that was a pretty beefy machine and should have had no problem playing a console port at 60fps (other console ports ran on the machine at 60fps) yet with GTA 4 I was getting single digit framerates.

 

Then shortly after it was released people started to feel there was something "not quite" right about Liberty City on the PC.  It didn't take us long to discover Rockstar had not bothered to put any of the background asset animations into the PC version.  You know all those fancy billboards at star junction they didn't work on the PC till Patch 2.  Oh then there is the small matter that Rockstar forgot the f*cking moon till Patch 4.  Then if memory serves patch 2 removed huge chunks of street assets, overnight PC gamers saw all the hotdog stands and various other roadside assets disappear and not return till they were patched in again.  Another patch (think it was 5) screwed up the road markings so your car tires would merge with the road markings.  I think it took till patch 6 for Niko to get a shadow whilst he rode a motorbike.

 

Then of course there were the problems with GFWL which is Rockstars fault because they CHOOSE to use GFWL despite many many PC gamers literally begging them not to use GFWL.  I of course refer to a period just after launch when no one could play GTA 4 (on or offline) for two weeks because of a GFWL update broke something in GTA 4.  Now 6 years later we are facing the fact we will lose GTA 4 online because GFWL is closing down.  If only Rockstar had actually listened to their customers in the first place eh.

 

Now obviously today's PC's can run GTA 4 at an "acceptable" framerate (though my i5 + 670 cannot maintain a 60fps framerate with all settings maxxed) and the DRM is still causing problems for some 8 years later plus there are still numerous bugs in the game specifically the final mission and problems with spamming the space bar to get into the helicopter.  Yes the game runs ok today because PC hardware got a lot better (most decent gaming PC's are at least 10 - 12 times more powerful than the 360/PS3).

 

Now will GTA 5 be the same ? who knows but Rockstars history tells us that the odds are good that GTA 5 will be a f*cking mess on the PC.

 

TL;DR GTA 4 was a mess from launch, most patches made things worse and it ended with Rockstar literally abandoning GTA 4 to it's fate and the only thing that improved matters was the inevitable march of PC tech to make up for Rockstars incompetence.

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PaddyM
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#34

Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:28 PM Edited by PaddyM, 21 June 2014 - 01:27 PM.

We're going on 6 years since it was released, and despite numerous patches and multiple hardware upgrades, the game still runs like I'm at about 70% of the minimum system requirements. It runs well at times, and then it will inevitably require a reboot to correct the memory leaks and general choppiness, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what triggers these issues in any given session. I could never quite get a handle on how best to run the game; every combination of settings and commands and tweaks I tried seemed to make little difference. I've never had this problem with any other game, certainly not for 5 or 6 years.

 

Many people in this thread are saying they had no trouble with IV, or only had trouble when they owned a low-spec PC, but this just proves the point even further - the optimisation is so bad that it only worked well on a very specific set of hardware configurations, a Holy Grail which most of us could never find. A well-optimised game would have the opposite effect, in that it would run well for most people, with only a few suffering persistent performance issues.

 

GFWL is marginally less intrusive and pig-headed than uPlay, but it's very much of the same needless, hateful ilk. The Rockstar Social Club was patched out of the game eventually, which was a pleasant surprise, but before that it was yet another cumbersome, unwieldy, and unwanted chunk of DRM injected into a game which was already dripping with it. The serial number, the online activation of a limited number of keys (and DEactivation! You couldn't even UNinstall the game without permission!) and being forced to keep the game disc in the drive to play it, all driven by the lovely SecuRom, wasn't enough apparently. On top of that, we had to install GFWL, create an account to use it, and then do the same with the Rockstar Social Club, handing over hefty chunks of personal information to two "services" no one in their right mind would opt into, and logging into both of these services at least once each before being allowed to play the game. To get from installing the game to actually seeing the main menu, you'd need to take the day off f*ckin' work. Pirates have to contend with precisely zero of these issues.

 

Playing IV takes real patience, it's an almost vocational pursuit. The enjoyment I get from the game is just barely ahead of the frustration I experience with both the performance issues and being treated like a despised criminal for having the temerity to actually pay for the game.

 

This is why I'm holding off on ordering GTA V. I know MP3 was well-optimised, but I've really had enough of making all of these personal compromises just to play a video game (admittedly uPlay has done the most damage to my mental health in that respect). If the reviewers start mentioning the same kind of sh*t that IV had, be it insane amounts of DRM and/or pervasive performance issues, I'm saving my cash.

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sparky66
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#35

Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:33 PM Edited by sparky66, 20 June 2014 - 05:35 PM.

IV on pc ran absolutely perfectly for me, I bought an Xbox controller for my PC because of the awkward PC controls, but I have used that on a ton of other games so it was a useful purchase, I would have bought one sooner or later as a lot of PC games are now geared towards game pads. Let's face it, driving with triggers and sticks is far better than 'on or off' keyboard buttons.

Having said that I bought it in a steam sale about a year after release, so all the initial bugs had been patched by then.

Games for windows live pissed me off though, it seemed unnecessary and kept messing about when I tried to start the game, claiming no internet connection even when both steam and rockstar social club had connected fine. It's also the only game I ever bought which required it, don't know why rockstar felt it was necessary, especially with steam and the social club, it meant I had to sign into three different services to play online!

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#36

Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:14 PM

Here we go...
 
sh*tty Mouse movement, making aiming very f*cking hard.
 
Bad Optimized (not as bad as Watch_Downgrs, but for the time it was released, it's the same situation...)
 
Games For Windows Live ruinning the multiplayer, it'll be shut down next month, making it unplayable.
 
Too much DRMs (Steam, Rockstar Social Club and GFWL).
 
Memory issues, you need to type a ton of sh*t on the game shortcut to play it as it's meant to be played.
 
Huge fps drops at night and rainning.

But the storyline is worth it, and it's on promotion on steam right now :)

On a new PC, I never have any FPS problems, I never had problems with mouse movement, in fact, I find aiming way easier than on consoles, I don't really care about DRMS, I can agree with memory issues, but only poor optmisation is the problem, everything else is fine.

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#37

Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:24 PM

Damn, GTA IV for PC is a nightmare, multiplayer, missing textures, shadows, framerates... etc.

I don't want this again, even I don't want to think about it, GOD PLEASE!!!

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#38

Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:59 PM

Didn't see anything wrong with IV port.

_MK_
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#39

Posted 20 June 2014 - 07:05 PM Edited by MKIIIX, 20 June 2014 - 07:05 PM.

Definitely on my shame list,i mean the game is unplayable if it wasnt for all the Mods/Enb and still it has a sh*tload of problems,after all its just a x360 copy nothing to blame there.


Lisha
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#40

Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:04 PM Edited by Lisha, 20 June 2014 - 09:06 PM.

Also going with poor optimisation.

 

Also, the game looked like utter arse without graphics mods. The lack of AA was horrible. I also hated modding the game. The whole scripthook sh*t and the game version incompatibilities was really annoying. I hope R* has made modding the game less laborious this time around. They do seem to encourage modding, like their YT channel liking and favouriting a lot of videos with tons of modded content so I'm fairly hopeful.


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#41

Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:06 PM

I found GTA IV annoying at first because of having to do a lot to get it set up for me and two other people who use my computer.  Since each of the other users had their own logins I had to enter the GTA IV Product Key for each of their accounts to allow them to play it and save their own games. There was also the Social Club and Games for Windows Live accounts that had to be set up for each of us.

I changed my mind when I found how other games have made the process even worse. For example with Need for Speed Most Wanted I have to create an account with Origin and link it to the game. Since I can only have one account linked to the game there is only one set of saved games. That sucks.

Does anyone know if logins on GTA V on the PC is going to be the same? Are logins the same on all platforms?


Skreedi
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#42

Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:21 PM

The problem is the view distance sliders. People with medium to high end rigs see any graphics settings and are so used to cranking everything up that they expect to be able to use 100 view and detail distance. This was never how the game was intended to be played however and all the 3D models were built for much lower settings, like 20 or lower.

 

Cranking these things up puts an incredibly heavy toll on your CPU and it will bottleneck even middle grade GPU's because of it. Other than this one issue though, the game wasn't really a bad port at all.

 

I forgot to mention that, I was playing with those sliders, indeed but first tests, after fresh install were on stock sliders set by game itself.


lol232
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#43

Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:23 PM Edited by lol232, 20 June 2014 - 11:23 PM.

Also going with poor optimisation.
 
Also, the game looked like utter arse without graphics mods. The lack of AA was horrible. I also hated modding the game. The whole scripthook sh*t and the game version incompatibilities was really annoying. I hope R* has made modding the game less laborious this time around. They do seem to encourage modding, like their YT channel liking and favouriting a lot of videos with tons of modded content so I'm fairly hopeful.

I beg to differ, the game looked brilliant, lack of AA wasn't a problem for me, all I really did was set the AA to maximum in the Graphic drivers option and done, everything was perfectly sharp.
Honestly, graphics were brilliant, and very impressive for 2008.

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#44

Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:37 PM

The main problem I found was that they didn't take advantage of the power of PC. They just redid code from the PS3/XB360 to make it work on PC, rather than actually making it a game that would look and feel better. But all the problems with it were worth the great feeling that I had when I shot Dimitri between the eyes in the bay of the Platypus, I'm guessing it's late enough to not use spoilers right?


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#45

Posted 21 June 2014 - 12:06 AM Edited by Xerukal, 21 June 2014 - 12:06 AM.

I'm playing through the game again right now. Just finished Blood Brothers.

 

I have to say, the only really big thing that's wrong with it is the optimization. And also the mouse movement could use some work. 

 

It does run like total f*cking arse on a GTX 560 Ti and AMD Phenom II Quad Core 3.2 GHz, though. I mean, my PC is pretty low-end by today's standards. But a nice GPU from 2011 coupled with a quad core shouldn't be having the choppiness I have. Heck, even TBOGT and TLAD run better. It's just IV that's giving me this problem. 

 

After Max Payne 3 however, I'm sure that the only way to go is up. Even if MP3 wasn't a massive OWG with an insanely detailed map, the advancements made with the RAGE engine should not go unappreciated. 

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#46

Posted 21 June 2014 - 12:08 AM Edited by Vicetopia, 21 June 2014 - 12:09 AM.

I am probably going to get a lot of flack for this but all this selective Amnesia from some in this thread is pretty breathtaking.

 

Nice to see you're still around.  :p

And I don't think too many people suffer from amnesia.  GTA 4 was one of the worst PC ports of all time, and even today it's still pretty terrible.  Its reputation speaks for itself regardless of what people think.


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#47

Posted 21 June 2014 - 01:32 AM Edited by fefenc, 21 June 2014 - 01:34 AM.

I'm undecided which one is the worst port for PCs from all the time, Devil May Cry 3 or GTA IV :S

 

Srsly, sometimes Devil May Cry 3 is unplayable when a battle starts, FPS goes down from 60 to 6, and the game has poor textures, arghh, this is the first PC game I've seen that's graphically inferior to consoles...

 

GTA IV has nice textures too, but it becomes unlayable for me when it's raining or at night, it's worse when both's happening even at 800x600 with almost everything maxed out :S


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#48

Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:27 AM

o c'mon this is gta5 thread not gta4,

also this is 2014 not 2008,

and you still discuss about gta4 port was bad, really?

i though dat was very old topic to be discussed

you know, get a better pc, is that so hard?

really?


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#49

Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:39 AM

Excessive DRM and diabolical optimization were the biggest problems. Rockstar, it would seem has learnt form this though with much better optimization for the PC versions of both LA Noire and Max Payne 3 so we should have a much better experience with GTA V.  


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#50

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:07 AM

o c'mon this is gta5 thread not gta4,

also this is 2014 not 2008,

and you still discuss about gta4 port was bad, really?

i though dat was very old topic to be discussed

you know, get a better pc, is that so hard?

really?

I started this thread because I wanted a base from which to judge GTA V for the PC when it comes out. Once we see what was wrong with the GTA IV PC port we will then be able to make a more informed comparison with the GTA V PC port. Only then will we know if Rockstar has learned their lesson and done it right this time. I am optimistic because the XBOne and the PS4 are using similar enough hardware to a regular PC that there won't be any excuse this time.

 

BTW, we probably have at least a month or two before anything more definitive comes out about the GTA V for the PC anyways. We may as well take the time to be a little bit retrospective. It sure beats arguing what the GTA V for the PC port will or won't be because all this is just guessing anyways.

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Xerukal
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#51

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:28 AM

PC version of V is not a port. 

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#52

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:38 AM Edited by xreppiz, 21 June 2014 - 05:43 AM.

there is no such thing as "unoptimized game"

it just a myth said by kids around the internet who doesn't have a good rig

i can play all games just fine on my pc, i have a pretty good pc.

 

quality of graphic & framerates it's up to the Developers who made the games

 

each games has a different quality of graphic & framerates that has been considered by the developer

if you play some games that has better/more quality of graphic & framerates than the other games, those other games doesn't mean it's "unoptimized game"

 

j3LMAIh.jpg


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#53

Posted 21 June 2014 - 07:03 AM

there is no such thing as "unoptimized game"

it just a myth said by kids around the internet who doesn't have a good rig

i can play all games just fine on my pc, i have a pretty good pc.

 

quality of graphic & framerates it's up to the Developers who made the games

 

each games has a different quality of graphic & framerates that has been considered by the developer

if you play some games that has better/more quality of graphic & framerates than the other games, those other games doesn't mean it's "unoptimized game"

 

j3LMAIh.jpg

 

Myth, eh? So how can people with a rig that can run BF4 at Ultra, ran GTA IV like a dog? Face it, the game isn't quite optimized for x86.

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SNIT01
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#54

Posted 21 June 2014 - 09:00 AM

there is no such thing as "unoptimized game"

it just a myth said by kids around the internet who doesn't have a good rig

i can play all games just fine on my pc, i have a pretty good pc.

 

quality of graphic & framerates it's up to the Developers who made the games

 

each games has a different quality of graphic & framerates that has been considered by the developer

if you play some games that has better/more quality of graphic & framerates than the other games, those other games doesn't mean it's "unoptimized game"

 

j3LMAIh.jpg

 

As a student studying software engineering, I can safely say that you are wrong and are an idiot for having such outlandishly stupid opinions.

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#55

Posted 21 June 2014 - 01:23 PM Edited by zacmobob, 21 June 2014 - 01:24 PM.

there is no such thing as "unoptimized game"

it just a myth said by kids around the internet who doesn't have a good rig

i can play all games just fine on my pc, i have a pretty good pc.

 

quality of graphic & framerates it's up to the Developers who made the games

 

each games has a different quality of graphic & framerates that has been considered by the developer

if you play some games that has better/more quality of graphic & framerates than the other games, those other games doesn't mean it's "unoptimized game"

 

j3LMAIh.jpg

 

Stop talking please. A quick look at task manager will show you it is unoptimized.

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#56

Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:27 PM Edited by Erpetter, 21 June 2014 - 03:28 PM.

Most of the problems related to IV and EFLC on pc are there because the game executable creates huge memory leaks.

 

You'd have to use the -memrestrict parameter to restrict the memory from leaking. Also on 32-bit Windows versions you need to use the 3GB-switch to stop the texture pop in. On older rigs memory leaking would eventually end up with a crash saying "out of memory", while on newer rigs with more RAM, the game will start to use huge amounts of it over time and eventually might start to lose fps.

 

On my older rig (Intel Q6600, 4GB RAM and 9800GT 1GB) I could reach 24-30 fps average on medium high settings (with some mods and vsync) and my current rig (Intel i7-4770k, 8GB RAM and GTX770 2GB) runs it about an average of 50 fps on maximum settings (with mods and vsync).

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Twilight Sky
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#57

Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:41 PM

That game Oblivion is like the all time career leader in memory leaks.


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#58

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:04 PM

It was nowhere near as bad as most people attempt to make out. If you've been a PC gamer for more than 10 minutes, you realise that sometimes optimisation can come down to the user. People in this thread are crying about having to use additional shortcut parameters... really? Well, boo-f*cking-hoo. If that's the worst that you have to go through then you'll be doing alright.

 

GTAIV suffered from GFWL, nothing more.


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#59

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:13 PM

Optimization was and still is the biggest issue of GTA IV, without a doubt. I remember when I played the game for the first time on the console of a friend of mine. It was a PS3, if I remember correctly. There were some serious performance drops that happened out of nowhere for no apparent reason- other games, though, worked perfectly fine back then. It was far worse on PC, however. I remember all the articles I had read in December 2008 about how IV was completely unplayable due to the horribly unstable framerate, the crashes and errors that happened either during the installation or when you started the game for the frst time, and so forth. I think it was 2009 when I finally got the game for my PC which had the following specifications: AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz, 2GB DDR2 RAM and ATI Radeon HD4350 512MB. The graphic-card was very low-end but most games ran fairly good with the 1024x768 monitor I had back then. Though, I upgraded to a Full-HD monitor not too long after, which I'm still using to this day.

My point: the game ran absolutely sh*te, to be quite frankly. I remember I had put many hours into trying everything to get the game to run. I installed the newest patch that was available at the time, tried tens of different commandlines that didn't change anything, but nothing had worked. Which really disapppointed me, because it was literally the only game I had problems with. As if that wasn't enough, the DRMs made it far worse. Games for Windows Live was one of the reasons why the game didn't work in the first place. For a while, I was blaming the Social Club for all the trouble with getting IV to run, but it didn't take long until I realized the problem was more due to Microsoft's DRM and the game itself. When I got GTA IV for PC, there was already a patch out or two, or the second one was about to release, I don't know anymore. It was one of the patches that made it possible for me to get past the Social Club and/or GfWL window that appeared when you started the game.

I was finally able to play the game, but the frame rate was awful to put it simply. According to the in-game benchmark, IV ran with about 12 frames per second at average, and you have to consider that the scenes in the benchmark of the vanilla game aren't that demanding- at least compared to the scenes of the in-game benchmarks in The Lost and Damned and The ballad of Gay Tony. However, I was so eager to finally play the game that I didn't care about it and played through the entire story with that framerate. The results improved vastly by the time I got my GTX460 in very early 2011, but it still was far from perfect- medium settings were about the best I could get, since I still had only 2GB RAM and an ancient dual-core processor. I upgraded to an i5 4670k and 8GB RAM in September and the results improved further obviously, but the game still runs worse than a lot of new games that are visually far more impressive while maintaining a far more stable framerate.

And even today, there are still some minor issues with IV. The last mission works sometimes and the other times it doesn't, but I don't care anymore. I played Max Payne 3 and I'm able tun it with all settings at high with 40 frames per second, although my GPU is over three years old. I'm positive that they learned their lesson a long time ago, and that GTAV will be a fully polished and well optimized game that will look gorgeous. It will more than likely blow Watch Dogs away, both in terms of graphics and optimization.
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#60

Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

Until you've played GTA IV 1.0 to 1.0.3.0 you can't really get an idea of what a mess it was. It was bad.
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