The PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV, which will be downloadable via Steam, comes out on Wednesday. The reviews embargo, however, must have lifted overnight in Europe as magazines there already have posted their reviews online. EuroGamer—the review written by one of the Rock, Paper, Shotgun gents—gives it a 9/10, calling the game groundbreaking and so on while acknowledging that it isn’t perfect. The lack of a mid-mission checkpoint feature is the main annoyance and big reason why they didn’t give it a 10/10. A fair point, I might add: oh, the number of expletives I’ve strung together because a car ran into mine as I was trying to flee the scene as part of a mission!
Specific to the PC version: 32-player multiplayer, an all-new radio station called Independence FM (your MP3s plus ready made commercials and in-game announcements), mouse and keyboard controls (or your Xbox 360 controller if you prefer), and a replay editor. It allows you to save your last 30 seconds (or so) of gameplay, then you can change camera angles, music, etc. to your liking. Expect YouTube to be filled with ’em.
But, if you’ve already played the Xbox 360/PS3 version, should you fork over another wad of cash to play the PC version? Judging by the review, I’d say no, you should be able to skip it without missing too much. A bump in graphical detail and some additional garnish isn’t enough to buy the game again.
Buying it for the first time, though, is a whole different story, one you should probably become familiar with.