The description is adapted from Wikipedia, but it was me anyway who wrote the original article.
Grand Theft Auto: United Russian Mod (Criminal Russia)
Grand Theft Auto: URM (CR) is a modification for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was started in 2004 by a group of people, located mainly in Russian Federation. This ambitious modifications is aimed at replacing the whole GTA world with a custom map, new vehicles and a new storyline. The development process is still ongoing at the moment. Two demo-versions are available at the moment. Tons of information can be found below - please find some time to have a quick look through it!
The correct name for the project at the moment is:
- GTA: United Russian Mod
- GTA: URM
- United Russian Mod
- Criminal Russia
but not GTA: CR or GTA: Criminal Russia. This is done to avoid the confusion with the original project, developed by a different team who had different ideas in mind. Likewise, the first demo of this project is GTA: CR and it should be referred to in such a way.
History and the effect
It all has started in 2004 when a person known as Labukh, Ukraine, set up a small team whos aim was to create a small Russian town for GTA Vice City. In notime the project became popular and many other people, considered as the best modellers on RuNet, joined the team. Unexpected success gave the developers faith, and the next important stage of the project was the decision to replace the whole map.
Summer 2006, GTA San Andreas came out for PC and that was another important stage. The team has decided to change the platform from VC to SA due to the large amount of new features, endless possibilities regarding the map and the weather conditions as well as many other things. Since then and until October 2007 the team worked hard to archive its ambitious targets.
During 3 years of development there were enough models produced to replace at least half of San Andreas map. However, the main problems that the team encountered was that many developers were too busy with their private life; did not find the project successful or were in deep conflict with the manager of the project, who, on a number of occasions, has expressed his concerns regarding Ukraine and Russia's today's and past relationship. Every time the developer left, the team lost its models, which sometime made up over the half of the map. One of the most discussed moments was when Predator, Lioshenka and GexoDiver left, almost at the same time, leaving the team with no map at all. Another problem was that at that stage there was no one in the team left who knew how to convert models into SA. The team had only couple of months to finish off the promised demo-version and they have successfully managed to do it, although not without some troubles. Developer ED, who has done most of the modelling for demo-version, has done the impossible, learned to import models and made a new town basically from scratch within the strict time limits.
It would be unwise not to mention that the team hasn't influenced the GTA modding community. For its 3-year old history the team had almost all well-known Russian modellers working for them, who, despite the fact they left, brought even more public attention to the project. The countries, where the modellers came from include, but are not limited to: Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Moldavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Armenia, UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria. The team has build the confidence and faith in itself and the project is considered as one of the most successful of all time together with GTA: Myriad Islands, GTA: United and GTA: Gostown. It is the only global Russian mod that has reached the successful demo-version stage.
Location and storyline
According to the project's spec the game was planned to take place in Russia and Ukraine with slight variations depending on the number of team members willing to participate. Timewise it was year 1991-1993 - the time, when CIS countries were at their worst stage ever regarding crime and corruption.
The map includes 3 large cities (a capital in Russia, a small city in Russia and yet smaller city in Ukraine); over 100 new missions, Russian vehicles (including aviation, railway transport and boats), new pedestrians and characters, new and improved Russian wireless stations.
The first beta was based on models by PYOS, Reinstal, Lioshenka and Vadikgg but was scrapped later. However, a promo video remains:
The beta-version was due to be released in Autumn, 2006, however it was released on the last day of 2006 as a New Year present for all its fans across the globe. As planned it included some map and vehicles changes. Second beta was due to be released in Spring 2007, but instead a number of patches were released for the original version which was proved to be very unstable and glitchy. Final version was expected to hit the Web at the end of 2007, which did not happen.
Below is the promo video of the first demo of the original CR.
The demo-version which received warmest greetings by CR fans included:
* Palomino Creek replaced with the town of Ehdovo (pronounced as Eh-doh-voh with the emphasis on the first syllable). It was called so by the name of the one of the developers - ED, who has done most of the work to finish the demo by the deadline.
* Many cars replaced by Russian ones
* Russian militia
* A Russian radio station
* New weapons
* New user interface, menu, loading screens, intro videos
* Auto-installation using a custom made installation wizard
Although the demo had a very successful start with over 90 000 downloads from the official site within a year, many users have expressed their concerns about the games performance; one of the issues was the usage of memory (around 120 Mb when launched and over 800 Mb 30 minutes later). The team has released few patches and a final demo-version which, unlike the original one, had radio, cars and town all in one package rather then three different archives.
The introduction video that came with the demo originally had a different soundtrack. It was influenced by Young Maylay's rap and was later replaced with the extract from Korobeiniki by OZMA on request by Labukh, but because the video was made for a different song, Korobeiniki ends on a half-note. The original video can be seen below:
After the first demo
October 2007 became the black month for all CR fans. It was officially announced that "GTA: Criminal Russia" is frozen until further notice and that "Full Beam" (lorry driver simulator) will be made instead. The new game uses its own engine and it was promised that after "Full Beam" the team will fix bugs and glitches, improve the engine and use it for a GTA-like game which will be also called Criminal Russia. At the moment it seems that they have done quite a lot of Full Beam, but the lack of information provided to fans is times less compared to the GTA: CR development. Many have accused the team of unfair treatment of the fans and the project seems to be rather unpopular.
New life, new people
It was announced by Labukh in the beginning of 2008 that it would be a shame if the mod was discontinued. After talks with Yegorchik, another modeller who was developing his own mod, he became the owner of GTA: CR brand. He started new city, but became known for a very slow production rate, ignoring people comments and wishes, also it was often mentioned that his models do not satisfy the standards set by the original CR. There are few more Russian modifications for GTA that had their topics on the same forum and in the Summer 2008 few of them have successfully agreed to work together. Yegorchik turned down any offers regarding the new joint project, explaining that he is capable of doing everything himself and claiming that his team has done quite a lot but doesn't want to show the screenshots. The United Russian Mod, as it became known, has gained lots of popularity worldwide since then, although unlike the original CR current team does not provide any non-Russian documentation.
On 14/07/2008 Labukh expressed concerns on the Russian forum about new Criminal Russia's development. He said, that after talks with the United Russian Mod developers he has decided to hand over original CR's models to them if the team maintains its steady progress.
On 29/07/2008 Labukh has handed over 200 Mb worth of old (but never seen before) CR models to the United Russian Mod, and added that more models will be given in the meantime.
In late July, 2008, Labukh officially announced that United Russian Mod will be released under the name of GTA: Criminal Russia, with Yegorchik's team being forced to join the development.
New CR includes people from many mods, such as GTA: Arzamas, GTA: Batyryovo, GTA: Lytkarino Stories, GTA: GTT, GTA: CR as well as some models from GTA: La Mystique de Russie. GTA: Kyshtym's leader who originally helped new CR with the high-quality madels of monuments and statues has left the team on 01/10/2008 due to the aggressive and overeating behaviour of one of the leading team members.
New map was released shortly. Some towns bear the real name of their prototypes with a few changed letters. Some are very common for Russia, and some can be translated into English e.g. Ozeriye - Laketown, Yuzhnyi - Southern city.
This is the map as of 03/05/2010
•The mod will take place in modern days (2006-2012)
•There will be roughly equal number of Russian and foreign cars, Russian aircrafts and boats
•All new wireless stations and probably peds` talk on the streets
•The new demo is expected in June 2010
•There is no set date when the mod will be finished
•There are no plans to convert it to VC or IV
•Although the URM team plans to re-create the Russian atmosphere, the main idea is to do what the members of the team want. Be surprised to see unusual vehicles, map locations and missions which have nothing to do with Russia
Below is a number of promo videos of the latest version (not available for public use yet):
Download demo CR v0.1.5
I think there is an English install thingy in the archive. And even if it isn't it does it all automatically for you, just keep clicking next.
Download URM demo 1
Link no longer available.
GTA:URM - United Russian Mod Installation Guide. May be a bit dated now, since it was written for the very first version.
•Download the archive.
•Run it. It should ask you for a folder to unpack, browse for a new folder on your Desktop to be safe.
•Once unzipped go to the folder and run SETUP. Click the button which reads " YCTAHOBKA "
•It will bring up a Map Cleaner window. Browse for a new installation of GTA: SA. Accept the default settings, click OK and then when prompted OK again.
•In the next window choose the right button (it should not say OTMEHA ). The installation will begin. Once it is done you can close any open windows and run the game as you usually would.
I have had problems with starting a new game, I had to download the save file and then it loaded correctly. Good luck, have fun.
Download URM demo 2
GTA:URM - United Russian Mod Installation Guide. I will update it in the meantime
•Download the exe.
•Make sure you have a clean install of a legitimate copy of SA,. European version installed in a location with no non-English symbols, special characters and spaces in the path.
•Run it. Choose a language.
•When you are asked to choose a path browse to the GTA SA install, but CHECK the path before clicking Next. There is a chance that the installer will add some crap at the end - just delete it.
•Keep clicking next until it is all finished.
I click the icon on the Desktop, but it brings up an infinite number of error messages.Navigate to the GTA SA folder and run Graph Changer manually. Then run gta_sa.exe
The game crashes halfway throughout the intro video.Go to the Settings and turn the effects quality to low OR/AND
Download and load a OR/AND
Do not press any keys while the intro plays.
I am on Vista/7 and the game doesn't run.You've been tricked by Microsoft into buying something you don't need, costs more and runs slower. Run the game in the Win98 compatibility mode.
The game crashes at any particular point.Set the effects quality in the settings to low OR/AND
Delete gta_sa.set file
OMG Itz all in sum weird lnguage!!11 lolNo, your message is. The game was designed in Russian, so if you come across something you don't get, simply try to reproduce it with Latin characters here and I will translate it for you.