1) Yes, you can install everything, radio stations and all. It's an official option in the installer. However, audio still -WANTS- to stream from the second CD unless you use a no-CD patch, which is odd.
2) They have rebuilt the game from the ground up, but the structural supports are still the same, if that makes sense. The occlusion-culling ("don't draw what you can't see") makes a HUGE difference in performance. With the machine in my sig, running at 1280*1024*32, all AA/AF to maximum levels and draw distance maxed out, I've never seen the framerate drop below 60. Typically it hovers at 70-90.
Edit: Turning off the frame limiter does create graphics problems, though. You 'outrun the textures', as I say. You'll be running at such a 'high' FPS that the low-level detail levels are all you see until you stop and wait a few seconds (5-10) for the high-detail textures to fade back in.
Did I mention that things like concrete posts are part of the high-level details that don't show up at ALL in low-detail? That caused quite the messy crash at one point. Thought the road was clear...BAM! Pole faded in about 2 seconds after my flaming car landed. /Edit
The cars are different, they handle differently, etc, just like GTA3. The weapons work pretty much like GTA3. Helicopters and motorcycles are a hell of a lot of fun and very well implemented, and the new animations seem more fluid. Overall, the city seems more 'alive', with random things going on (more frequent gang shootouts, the AI in cars will run people over, stop, get out and gawk, if you block the street with your car for more than a minute or two, some drivers will just smash on through, if you jack a car and then walk away from it, the original driver may get back in and take off...)
The better damage system adds a lot, too. Being able to snipe people out of their cars, or beat off a locked door with a baseball bat, or blowing out the tires of a car that's chasing you is a nice touch.
Did I mention the variety of missions and vast amounts of voice acting?
IMO, GTA:VC comes across as what GTA3 could've been. It's certainly the best incarnation in the series thus far.
XP 2100+, 160 gigs storage, 52x burner, R9700 Pro, 512 megs PC-2700, custom watercooled system, user frittering it all away with Commander Keen...=)
This comment was edited on May 12, 11:12.