In January 2020, a digital version of GTA IV went out of sale. Developers explained this by the lack of ability to generate new keys for the closed service Games for Windows – LIVE, but promised to return the game on sale in the third decade of March.
March 19, the happy owners of Steam versions of GTA IV or Episodes from Liberty City received on their account GTA IV: The Complete Edition. And March 24 began selling the full edition in Rockstar Games Launcher. So, what has changed? We start with the pros, because there are much more.
GTA IV has Teamed up With The Add-ons
For personal computers GTA IV and add-ons were most often sold as separate games. Even the so-called “full edition” from 1C and the version of the full edition in Steam contained essentially two games: GTA IV and the collection of Episodes from Liberty City. The ability to buy The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony separately was present only in Live Marketplace. The advantage of the EFLC collection was the availability of three additional radio stations.
But at the same time, there were two problems. First: if you had a fresh saving from the episodes, GTA IV instead of your saving just downloaded a new game. And you had to spend some time to go to the settings and run the right save. Second, you could not quickly switch between GTA IV and the right episode.
In GTA IV: The Complete Edition, which is now present in Steam and Rockstar Games Launcher, everything is different. Right in the main menu you can choose what you want to play: either in GTA IV, or in episodes. Saving is loaded adequately, there is also the possibility of quick switching between the main game and add-ons. Tired of cutting through the streets of Liberty City as Louis Lopez? You can go to GTA IV in 30 seconds and continue the story of Nico Bellick. Want to go from GTA IV to TLaD? It’ll take half a minute, too.
Many of you have surely more than once passed both GTA IV itself and its add-ons. To make your game special, we offer you to alternate missions of the original game and episodes in chronological order. After all, now you do not need to run another exe-file to go to the story of Johnny Klebitz or Luis Lopez.
New System of Achievements
Previously, achievements were opened through the Games for Windows – LIVE service. Since the updated version was cut from the game to the root, players were offered a great alternative. Especially for this purpose, the game added the Social Club, as well as introduced the achievements in Steam. Thanks to this, any player who bought GTA IV, will be able to safely open the achievements without additional suffering. In general, they open on the same principle as in GTA V.
In Steam you can track global statistics and see how much time it took to get through GTA IV: The Complete Edition. Networking achievements also went under the knife. In principle, the loss is small, as in the multiplayer GTA IV has long since no one plays.
You can see that the developers have really seriously worked on the patch during these two months. Many users say that the performance of the game has increased and it is more comfortable to play. We also noted that the game is generally more stable than version 184.108.40.206.
We would also like to note how responsibly the developers approached the details. The inscription “Social Club” pushed “LIVE” out of the main menu, the item “Network Game” disappeared from the phone menu. They were not even lazy to cut out the mention of the multiplayer from The Lost and Damned, when after the mission “This is War” you were told about the possibility of playing online. They removed the “Share” and “Online” tabs from the video editor.
For the sake of interest, we looked at the version of the file in the properties of GTAIV.exe. The original GTA IV had a version 220.127.116.11, episodes: 18.104.22.168, and the current version is denoted as 22.214.171.124. Old savers are fully compatible with version 126.96.36.199.
The GTA 4 Started To Take up Less Space
Nowadays, when games weigh 100-150 gigabytes, this plus looks like fun. But the fact remains: the full edition of GTA 4 weighs only 21.8 GB.
Saving in The Cloud
Together with Social Club and Rockstar Games Launcher, the game has a wonderful cloud saving feature. Now you don’t have to worry about safes: even if you delete a game or reinstall an operating system, they will always be stored in the Rockstar cloud. This is very convenient.
Activating the disc version in Rockstar Games Launcher
If you have a loaded disk with a licensed GTA IV, you can activate the key in Rockstar Games Launcher and the game will be added to the library of the lounge. Even if you have previously activated this key in Games for Windows – LIVE.
Okay, so the pros are sorted out. Still, there are disadvantages to the updated version.
Multiplayer Cut Out
In recent years, the online game in GTA IV was in a state of clinical death. Playing there were rare players who came mainly for the sake of interest. And multiplayer episodes died even earlier, even in 2012 it was very difficult to find a game session. So Rockstar decided not to spend their resources to ensure the multiplayer without Games for Windows – LIVE and just took it out of the game.
Of course, without team battles and racing can live. But along with them were lost and interesting tasks from Kenny Petrovich, as well as three not bad cooperative missions.
The radio situation is ambiguous. Since the original game and additions take files from the same game archive, the music on the radio stations combined. This has had a positive impact on Broker FM, Liberty Rock and L.C.H.C. Episode tracks are in perfect harmony with the standard tracklist. Very strange sounds Electro-Chok. And very interesting situation turned out with Vladivostok FM.
Two years ago the developers removed all tracks from it, except exclusive Liberty City Invasion. And so that the players wouldn’t have to add a dozen new tracks in Russian. Dance music from The Ballad of Gay Tony is playing together with them in full edition.
Can we consider it as a big disadvantage? Not really. Though it’s sad without such cult tracks as “Blood Group” and “Green-Eyed Taxi”, in general the situation is tolerable. The only thing I personally didn’t understand is why Rockstar couldn’t renew the license for “King Ring”? Still, that song even got into the official trailer of the game.
Many of the old songs were able to compensate with good songs, and the disappearance of Basta, Ranetok and Glucose would not upset anyone. We still recommend you to play an hour or two with the new tracklisting and share your impressions.
Self FM, Ram Jam and Vice City FM radio stations promise to return after a while, but they are not available at the moment.
Game Starts a Little Longer.
Due to Rockstar Games Launcher, the full edition runs a little longer than before. But this disadvantage completely compensates for the ability to quickly switch between the original game and its episodes.
The recently published full edition has definitely more pros than cons. Even after 12 years, Rockstar doesn’t forget one of its best games and ensures that players feel comfortable playing it. Many of the changes are really useful and important, and we all have a great reason to remember this part and it is a great pleasure to pass it again, refreshing your memory.