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As part of our coverage of the Leipzig Games Convention this year, we kick things off with impressions of the long-awaited PC edition of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. The Xbox 360 version was a masterpiece. We truly think it's still one of the best candidates for GotY 2008. The PC version was announced earlier this month. Rockstar also revealed a few, nifty new additions to the PC port, so things are looking good.
My balls are this big!
It's not your fault, it happens to a lot of men.
I'm sure you've already heard that Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC will run at a maximum resolution of an impressive 2560x1600 and from what we've seen at the show, the visuals look better than ever. The crisp, clean textures make this well-known action adventure look even more realistic that what we've witnessed on consoles. However, high resolution isn't the only visual improvement lined up. From what was shown, the game also features increased draw distance.
Another nice innovation is the handy replay editor gives you a chance to check out 30-second instant replays and edit them. As revealed, you can add filters and make dozens of combinations. Eventually, you'll be able to upload clips to Rockstar's Social Club (or a site of your preference).
The mission on display was the "Three Leaf Clover," featuring Niko and Packie's crew taking part in a bank robbery and attempting to escape swarms of cops afterwards (boy, I remember having a tough time with that one on the 360). Anyway, this particular segment of the game demonstrated just how much things have changed visually. Explosions appear a lot more convincing and the environment in general looks great. The best part is, the whole thing ran at a smooth framerate.
Nothing further has been revealed at this point. Rockstar did hint that players can expect new multiplayer modes and other significant improvements in that department. As you should know, the console editions allowed matches with up to 16 players, whereas the PC version is going to support a greater number of gamers. Sadly, they're still secretive about that one. They did add that PC players will be treated to better and easier searching and filtering to enter the kind of multiplayer game that's best suited for them.
Incidentally, they played the game using an X360 controller. The presentation wasn't without technical hitches, although the developer was quick to point out that GTA IV PC is still three whole months away from release, which gives them enough time to iron out these issues.
To wrap this up, we thing the PC variant of Grand Theft Auto IV is something PC gamers should definitely be on the lookout for this November (November 18 in the US and Nov. 21 in Europe). To find out more about the game itself, you may read our review of the Xbox 360 version.
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