Grand Theft Auto V PC Impressions – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

After a year and a half of waiting, the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V is finally here. Some PC gamers are skeptical after the port disaster that was Grand Theft Auto IV. However, it's been nearly seven years since then, and GTA V is one of the highest-rated games of all-time. We couldn't say no to playing it.

After spending several hours in GTA V's PC version, below are some notes from our experience.

 


The Good

It's Grand Theft Auto V, alright. Rockstar hasn't butchered anything about this Game of the Year tier title. You still get to experience an epic story with great writing. The missions are varied and exciting. 

The Editor. Say hello to the defining feature of the PC version. Making user-made movies in-game is simple and fun. They're already blowing up YouTube, and it's only getting started.​



 

One example of GTA V's powerful Editor.

Pushing visuals to new heights. The level of detail in Los Santos has finally been given the hardware it deserves. This is one of those games where you'll regularly find yourself stopping to take a screenshot. Unlike on the console versions you can push the draw distance provided you have a powerful PC. This setting alone brings the world to life unlike ever before. Put simply, it's a contender for best-looking video game ever.

60 FPS isn't overrated. The benefits of playing an open-world game like this at a proper frame rate can't be overstated. Fluidity in open environments is a rare experience, and it's absolutely brilliant here.

It's much more optimized than GTA IV. While some users are experiencing issues with performance, this is Rockstar's best effort on PC to-date. It scales relatively well, allowing users with many levels of hardware to enjoy the game.

The VRAM usage bar. You can view how much virtual memory is being consumed by the game within the settings menu. This is remarkably handy for optimizing your settings.

Controller support is good. This was a console game first, after all.

 

The Bad

Installation issues. There are quite a few users out there who can't even properly install and play the game. That's a problem.

Crashes. They happen, and they really break up the fun.

 There are bugs, unfortunately.

Keyboard and mouse gameplay isn't so hot. It doesn't feel as fluid as I would hope. It's especially bad when you're flying aircraft. You're going to want to play this game with a controller.

First person still isn't good when driving. It wasn't good on PS4 and Xbox One, and it isn't good here. Car handling and the camera design just don't lend themselves to a good experience this way.

 

The Ugly

No mod support. That's right. One of the main appeals of any PC port has been squashed by Rockstar North. Although I expect modders to figure out how to circumvent this, it's going to require some serious work. For some, this alone may be a deal breaker.

Frame stuttering is no joke. Myself and many others have encountered stutter when driving fast, and it's annoying.

Overall, the PC port of GTA V is solid, but not perfect. It's the best way to enjoy one of gaming's finest action-adventure titles provided you have decent hardware.