Grand Theft Auto 4 Mod Nears Photorealism (Video)
Here’s a lightweight (~3 meg) mod for Grand Theft Auto 4 that ramps the graphics processing into overdrive — seriously, there’s a chance your video card will catch fire. It contains new shaders and lighting effects that can cause overheating on certain Nvidia cards; namely, the GF8800, high-end cards from the GF2xx series, and most of the GF4xx and GF5xx series.
If you experience artifacting, bugs, inexplicable slowdowns, blue screens, nausea, or explosive diarrhea, discontinue use immediately.
You’ve been warned.
The mod includes improved lighting effects that are adaptive to the day/night cycle as well as weather conditions, be they sunny, cloudy, or rainy. Lens flares add that new Hollywood camera feel, depth of field makes distance objects appear out of focus, and what appears to be HDR lighting — or at least some form of adaptive lighting — prevents overly bright areas from “whiting out.”
To install this mod, follow these steps:
NOTE: Back up any files that you will be asked to replace.
- Download iCEnhancer v1.2.
- Open iCEnhancer12.rar and extract the contents to your desktop or a temporary folder.
- Open the folder “iCEnhancerData” and select all of its contents — including the folders.
- Copy the contents of the folder.
- Navigate to your GTA 4 installation folder (/Rockstar Games/Grand Theft Auto IV).
- Paste the copied files and folders. If you are asked whether you wish to replace any files, select Yes.
- Optional: To install the enhanced lens flare effect, right-click on the iCEnhancerLensFlare.rar and select “Extract Here,” replacing any files, as necessary.
- Optional: To install the enhanced light shafts effect, right-click on the iCEnhancerLightShafts.rar and select “Extract Here,” replacing any files, as necessary.
Unfortunately, the mod doesn’t work well with the latest patches for GTA 4. For an optimum experience, GTA 4 patch 126.96.36.199 is required.
Check out this video showcasing the new effects in action:
Now that you’ve been enticed by this drool-inducing video, you may be tempted to run this mod, heedless of the aforementioned warnings. A good cooling system should prevent any overheating, but I’d recommend using software to monitor your GPU temperatures if you’re running any of the Nvidia cards listed above.
As (partially) explained in the video, this mod does not include the road textures or the car models — you can’t possibly expect that all to fit in a 3 meg package. Most of those high-poly car models can be downloaded here.
This mod is about the effects that make that footage look like a car commercial — the night sequence, in particular, could have been taken straight from TV. If you felt the footage was strangely reminiscent of the 2009 Star Trek movie, those are the lens flares at work — though this mod doesn’t use them at the same seizure-inducing rates.