As any ardent PC videogamer knows, the game you load onto your computer isn't necessarily as good as it can be. Whether time and cost constraints during production or the march of technological advancement, PC games are often open to improvement at the hands of the vast online communities that play them.

The controversial Grand Theft Auto series has long been a modder's favourite, with people across the world creating everything from new vehicles and characters to completely redesigning the game world.

A new mod for the most recent in the series, Grand Theft Auto 4, brings almost photo realism to the game by improving upon the already impressive four year old graphics.

The iCEnhancer patch isn't quite finished yet, but it will offer high resolution textures, amazing lighting effects (check out the sun flickering through the trees in the video below) and some seriously detailed car models, with real vehicles replacing the lookalikes currently in the game.

The artificial intelligence has also been worked on - computer-controlled characters now have the ability to commit crimes independantly of your own character - and if you feel so inclined, you can now carry... bodies. Better doing it in game than in real life, no?

Though not an official patch for the game, the word is that GTA4 developer Rockstar deliberately makes the game easy to modify and judging by the huge following the game has, it's a smart move commercially.

Though the next Grand Theft Auto game might be good few years from hitting the shelves, official and unofficial patches and modifications are a great way of extending the gameplay and improving the playing experience. Think of it in relation to the car modifying culture and you get the idea.

If you want to download a beta of the patch you can do so on the GTA4-Mods website, but in the meantime feast your eyes with the video below...

[iCEnhancer via Metro]