PostHeaderIcon Mining for Mods: Grand Theft Auto IV




GTA IV CarICEnhancer is easy to install, and somewhat easy on the eyes

While Rockstar Games is taking its time with the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, PC gamers still have Grand Theft Auto IV to fall back on. Although the game is almost six years old, released back in 2008, modders have updated the visuals in various ways to help it keep up with the times. In particular, ICEnhancer mod mod has continued to impress with its upgrades to the game’s visuals.

Curious to see what our copy of GTA IV would look like with this mod, we decided to test it out using a PC equipped with an AMD Phenom II X4 965 processer, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, and 8GB of RAM.

In order to compare both versions, we made sure that the game’s settings were ramped up to the maximum and presented in 1080p, so that the original game could look as good as possible. But despite adjusting all the settings to their highest, GTA IV’s age shows. 

GTA IV Comparison 001

Click image for an animated GIF

We then proceeded to download the ICEnhancer mod, created by Hayssam Keilany, and installed it. For those wishing to install it, you will need a program like WinRAR to extract the files. As a precaution, we recommend you back up the original game before installing ICEnhancer just in case something goes wrong. Once the files had been unzipped, we copied them into our Steam version of GTA IV,  located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto IV\GTAIV and made sure to replace the original files. 

There are two versions of ICEnhancer: 1.0.4.0 and 1.0.7.0. If you do not know which version you have, then locate the GTAIV.exe file, right-click it, and go to “Details” to see what version of the game you’re running.

 

GTA IV Comparison 002

Click image for an animated GIF

Installing the mod was very simple but the results of the ICEnhancer mod was not what we expected. There is an improvement to GTA IV’s look, but it is not as overwhelming as we thought or have seen before. 

While testing, we made sure to compare the original and modded versions under similar light conditions when possible. By doing this, we noticed a big difference when it came to lighting. With ICEnhancer installed, the modded game was much brighter when compared to the original.

GTA IV Comparison 003

Click image for an animated GIF

As a result, the sky’s color was a bright blue, clouds looked more realistic, and it was easier to see everything around us in the immediate vicinity; in the distance, though, there was a slight blur or haze. Then we noticed smaller things such as the sidewalk’s pavement having a bit more detail in the modded version. The same for the roads, ICEnhancer gives it a bit more definition with a gravelly look. We also saw that the vegetaion looks sharper and more defined in some cases.

GTA IV Comparison 004

Click image for an animated GIF

The cars, though, really shine thanks to the mod. They look better and smoother, and are more detailed compared to the original game. Car windows are more reflective and transparent as well, and there’s a nice sheen to the car paint compared to the original version’s, which looks dull in comparison.  

GTA IV Car

Click image for an animated GIF

Unfortunately, the mod, like the game itself, is a resource hog. While trying to capture footage with FRAPs, our framerates dropped to around 15fps (as you’ll see that in the final segment of the video we recorded, below). These drastic drops occurred in areas with a lot of traffic or large bodies of water. We also experienced flickering from objects in the distance. 

So, we would advise you, obviously, to have a PC that can hold its own when running the ICEnhancer mod.

What do you think of the changes? Have you tried out the ICEnhancer mod? Let us know in the comments.

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