By AndrewB 1 Comments
In an unprecedented turn of events, Valve, the makers and keepers of the popular PC game download service Steam, are now accepting refund requests for Grand Theft Auto IV. Yes... GTAIV. There's been controversy aboud surrounding the PC release since it hit its Steam release earlier this week; mostly widespread complaints of poor performance on PCs that can even run Crysis respectably.
Those affected can send Valve an e-mail (the full details and steps to be taken can be found over at Voodoo Extreme) and request their money back.
I am fortunate enough to have avoided this problem, though I admit I can awfully close to pulling the trigger and buying Grand Theft Auto IV via Steam just the other day. I'll also say that there is little doubt that the retail version of the game will also be plagued by the same issues, and I'm sure that the problem is not with Steam itself. So for those who purchase retial, my heart goes out to you. You'll have to deal with whatever return policy your place of purchase offers (I know most of the places I've bought from in the past won't take returns on open games, and open PC games, in particular, due to the ease of piracy).
That said, if you choose to stick with your copy for whatever reason, you'll still have a couple of options. A beta patch has been released by Nvidia (you can download it from their site) that supposedly helps. I'm sure Rockstar themselves will be quick with a patch of their own, though I wish I could remind them of the dying art of "releasing a game when it's finished." I'll admit that I was expecting GTAIV it have unusually high system requirements, much like the PC release of Assassin's Creed, but that game just flat-out does not have the graphical prowess of a "Crysis" to where it would be pushing your system harder than that powerhouse. It runs solidly enough on the Xbox 360's hardware, so I can only assume this is another case of poor optimization and/or lazy porting.
(Update: In my hastiness to post this admittedly day-old news, I forgot to mention that Valve has not actually given the go-ahead to anyone and everyone with an issue. They have, however, set precedent by offering their requested refunds to a handful of Steam users who e-mailed them.)