Back in April I was bitching about how annoying GTA 4 was on PC.
Time has passed so modern science and technology advanced to a point where most of the crap things about the game can be fixed.
There is the GTA 4 Native Trainer which is an awesome piece of hack. It bypasses all the retarded Rockstar Social Club and GWL logins and skips the intro animations. It also allows the user to tweak an insane amount of stuff: spawn cars and characters, access to trainer functions, teleport, change weather and tons of other features.
It can do much more than just cheat: it can help the user customize the game experience. For example I went through all the cars in the alphabetical list and did one mission with each. (Well at least I tried. Racing with a station wagon was not very fun.)
By spawning ramps and other objects, one can do basic level editing, with super run, super jump and the gravity gun, one can play a superhero, so there are many things to mess with.
But there were official updates as well, so now it is possible to use any joystick or gamepad to control the game! (I wonder how difficult it was to enable DirectInput?)
And while there is still no way to customize the gamepad control layout, the excellent XBCD driver can work around that limitation: it can assign any button or axis to any button or axis. You can change the the number of buttons and the axis reported, map analog inputs to buttons or invert them. It supports profiles which you can switch on the fly. The official driver can’t hold a candle to XBCD.
So that the annoying stuff is out of the way, thanks to the hard working members of the community. Now I can truly enjoy this very well made game.