Two days ago, we reported how a Clone DVD of Grand Theft Auto 4 got leaked to BitTorrent networks around the world. This release was downloaded by many pirates but they were refrained from playing as the game was protected by SecuROM Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. However, just after 2 days since the game’s official North American release, pirates have managed to release the first partially working crack for the game which bypasses the SecuROM DRM.
Up until now, there have been various releases of Grand Theft Auto 4 on both private and public torrent trackers, one click hosting sites as well as usenet newsgroups. Releases by groups THEPIRATEGAY, 0X0008 and ePEN15 but these were all Clone DVDs or contained non working cracks. The first working crack for GTA 4 comes from a group who identify themselves as CRACKING GODS. This was stolen by scene group LOBO and then PROPERed by FCUKTHESCENE (A P2P group).
Even if you decided to pirate the game, managed to get hold of a cracked copy, bypassed the activation and got the game to work does not mean that all your troubles are over. In a recent interview given to IGN UK, Rockstar dropped some interesting comments about cracked versions of GTA 4:
In the seemingly inevitable event that some dirty pirate manages to crack GTA IV PC and make it available, what are the advantages and disadvantages to using a legitimate copy over a pirated one?
Rockstar: Aside from the fact that warez are a great place to pick up a Trojan or key logger, using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience. These can range from comical to game-progress-halting changes.
It is apparent that Rockstar are talking about SecuROM (and FADE) triggers present in the game. Triggers are the part of DRM protection that is embedded into the game code (group HATRED once call this SecuROM ‘molesting’ the game code). These are triggered once a pirated copy is detected. In such cases, game will usually launch just fine but something that is critical to progress in-game would be disabled (best example would be scenario surrounding Mass Effect’s galaxy map).
Even with GTA 4 cracks by CRACKING GODS, LOBO and FCUKTHESCENE, it looks like triggers are still present in the executable. Pirates who used the crack to bypass the DRM protection (online activation + DVD check) ran into odd in game behavior such as vehicles accelerating without user command or shaky or wobbly camera (hence why we called the crack ‘partially’ working). Currently the only workarounds for these problems seem to be renaming a dll file, restarting the game and not connecting to internet (even these do not work sometimes). For a more permanent solution, pirates and those who don’t like the DRM on their systems will have to wait for a PROPER crack which has all triggers removed. That being said, the fact remains that there is now a cracked version of GTA 4 on the net and it is being downloaded by thousands of individuals as we speak.
UPDATE: PROPER released by ‘Wurstsuppe’. Along with instructions on how to use the release, he mentions the following in the .NFO:
NOTE: To solve the problem with the camera bug, turn down the resulution then restart the computer, and then it works, at least for 6 six friends of mine and me Notes to Rockstar: hehehe... so, you spent 200k on protection and now i owned you. hahahaha
UPDATE 2: GTA 4 Securom.Bypass.Launcher.UBER-PROPER-FeD0R is out. Technically it's not a crack but a fake launcher that merely bypasses SecuROM. Pirated versions used with this release does not seem to have the wobbly/drunk camera problems or other showstopper bugs triggered by the protection. Some users have reported framerate increases by 10-15FPS as well.
UPDATE 3: Razor1911 has cracked it. Read all about it here.
Please DO NOT post download links to cracks or key generators here.
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