Grand Theft Auto V PC Review – An IncGamers Exclusive

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They said it wasn’t possible. Sure they exist References in the code to a PC versionand GTA was a franchise that started on PC, and all the others GTA game has come to PC – but maybe, they feared, Grand Theft Auto V would not come to the PC. Maybe, just maybe, PC users would be left out in the cold.

We asked ourselves that too – until we called.

The man on the other end posed as the owner of Barry’s Bargain Basement Games, a stall that is set up at the local market every Sunday. He told us he had something we wanted to see. Something we would be willing to pay for through the nose. Something I quote was “too hot, too secret” to discuss over the phone. Something we would have to see for ourselves.

We got down there and…

gta 5 pc - 5

looks real

It’s correct. We have Grand Theft Auto V on the PC. We paid £3.50 for it (Barry wanted £5 but we persuaded him and got him to throw in a copy fifa 15 for free). We played it. We’re giving you our exclusive review before it even was announced.

sensitive

Barry’s copy of FIFA 15 looks oddly enticing.

Though I’ll be honest – early thoughts were may be that was not legal. The box art is kind of familiar, and, well… a floppy disk? I haven’t had one like this before in this computer. Still, we had to do some research at the very least, and after plugging in a floppy drive and getting the install up and running, we have to say that the install’s footprint is a pleasant surprise. These days, when all hard drives are full of 50GB of games, movies, and music, and folders called “Dad’s Spreadsheets” that, for some odd reason, are a full terabyte in size, the decision to keep this succinct and compressed at just 2MB is one pleasant decision.

Unfortunately, that was the only pleasant surprise in a game that otherwise feels like a massive throwback from the past GTA Title in almost every way.

gta 5 pc - 3

Yes: Every destroyed car looks the same. We hope this is an early pre-release code.

This is an amazingly lightweight port of Rockstar, which lacks even the most basic graphical options that 2013 PC gamers have come to expect. No anti-aliasing (Peter lost track of those horrible jags), a confusing decision to set the max resolution at 640 x 480, and not even a cursory choice of settings for textures, shadows, and the like. Where are the high resolution textures from Max Payne 3? Why is there no PhysX or SSAO or nice TressFX for Trevor’s hair? It’s incredibly disappointing. We just don’t know what they were thinking. Even the interface options are appalling, with nothing but keyboard controls. Not keyboard and mouse – just keyboard. Have you ever tried aiming accurately with the keyboard? Nightmare.

Modding helped a lot GTA IV’s sad PC release, but Rockstar left way too much work for the community here. We expect their first task will be to switch the game’s perspective back to full 3D, following the studio’s stunning decision to revert the PC version to a top-down view. Imagine how long This is last.

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A fast-paced GTA V style police chase for PC.

We are also very upset with the developer’s decision to package Grand Theft Auto V with a new launcher called “DOS”. It’s unnecessary bloat. Of course, every developer and publisher wants their own Steam-like portal, but that’s too much. It’s so simple right now that it still uses a text interface. With this DOS bullshit, how do you even add people to the friends list? Man, and we thought Rockstar Social Club was garbage.

Not that you’ll need to talk to your friends anyway, as the PC version doesn’t even seem to have included multiplayer. We’re sure it’ll be patched later, but it’s just another example of titles being rushed out before they’re done, hoping players will hold out until they’re fixed.

That’s not the only thing missing. The console versions appear to have the ability to switch between protagonists at any time, but with this PC port you’ll need to return to the main menu and switch characters from there. It’s frankly ridiculous that a system like the PC would be crippled in this way.

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Even the mini-games are just bizarre. Bowling is back, and there are plenty of other little extras – golf, for example – but there’s also the Hot Coffee-in-Waiting Strip poker game, which suffers from both appalling AI and poorly digitized photos of real women. Not even a hint of animation. Unbelievable.

Sam Fox Strip Poker

Hot stuff awaits those who can really, really squint.

Unhappy with what we discovered, we decided to compare the pre-release trailers to the actual game… and so on Aliens: Colonial Marines, the results were shocking. How could Rockstar think they could even get away with this? The following video illustrates our results:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD-A9u6F0M

The only part of this experience that we enjoyed was the decision to make every radio station in the game a retro radio station. Shocking work, rock star. Simply shocking. It is puzzling and hurtful that you continue to avoid the pc in this way.

However, we received this rating exclusively. So 10/10, PC Game of the Year 2013. Except… Rockstar didn’t exist for us. We bought it from a shady dirty guy who smelled like dog pee and old vegetables at the market. So 1/10!

Next week: Our test of the PC version of Red Dead Redemption.

Custer's revenge

(Right, enough nonexistent PC versions of Rockstar games – Ed)

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