Vehicle mines once dropped can be hard to see at 800 x 600 resolution or below, so run the game at a higher resolution if your graphics card is able to. I run it at 1152 x 864. You should test it in singleplayer to make sure the game runs quite smoothly though.
It makes little difference if your monitor/video drivers stretch 640x480 to native resolution.
Higher resolutions do make it render more pixels. So the smoothness increases, even though the physical size on screen is the same. Also, if you are using LCD screens, picking the 'native resolution' helps a lot. It makes everything look both sharper and smoother than 'non-native' resolutions.
Keep in mind:
a- that the assumption here is that a gamer is playing on one screen, and that screen has a static physical dimension of lets say 17", and let's say it's a LCD.
b- that running GTA2 at 640x480 on a higher resolution screen means that either the GPU drivers or the monitor will stretch the image to the desired resolution.
c- that we can only test for the effects of having the graphics driver handle upscaling, as we obviously cannot take a screenshot of a 640x480 image stretched by the monitor to any resolution.
Proposition 1: running GTA2 at over 640x480 makes things sharper, clearer to see.
Proposition 2: running GTA2 at over 640x480 does not make things sharper because textures are just stretched.
Proposition 3: higher resolution means more pixels which always means sharper and smoother image.
Proposition 4: using the native resolution on LCD screens makes smooth things look smoother and sharper than at non-native resolutions.GTA2 run at 640x480 original imageGTA2 run at 640x480, above image resized to 1400x1050 in Gimp using nearest neighbour filterGTA2 run at 640x480, above image resized to 1400x1050 in Gimp using cubic filterGTA2 run at 1400x1050
Proposition 1 is true regarding vertical textures and shadows, but it's true for reasons different than what I think the author had in mind. Textures at oblique viewing angles are clearly sharper. There is no aliasing visible on vertical texture seams. Pay special attention to the corrugated texture on vertical wall faces between the pyramid stairs and the windows, as well as the sharp nails in each corner of the vertical concrete tiles above and below the windows. The car's shadow edge is free of aliasing in the high resolution screenshot, while at a stretched 640x480 the edge shows clear stepping. There is an insignificant difference to horizontal texture sharpness. The reason why this proposition is true is not, I think, related to GTA2. Rather, it is your (my) graphics drivers that perform anisotropic filtering which makes these vertical textures at oblique angles sharper than they would be if I just upscaled a 640x480 image.
Proposition 2 is true regarding horizontal textures, but not edges or textures being transformed by perspective.
Proposition 3 is not true, as simply resizing an image - increasing the pixel count - requires interpolation which reduces sharpness. It would be true if we assumed that by "smooth" Ben meant non-jagged but also blurred, and that "higher resolution" was attained using smooth interpolation instead of nearest neighbor interpolation.
Proposition 4. Theoretically, feeding an image to a monitor at that monitor's native resolution means that pixels will be represented on a 1:1 basis. Only LCD monitors have a native resolution, CRT screens can theoretically display in any resolution; in practice this is limited to the resolution supported by the graphics card. We can assume that most contemporary gamers use LCD screens. It's up to your computer to generate the output, and that output will be displayed exactly on the LCD screen if the resolutions match. If your computer sends output of a different resolution than your LCD screen supports, it's the screen's job to make the image fill the screen, which entails interpolation. Interpolation makes the image less sharp, more blurry. If you ran GTA2 at 640x480 fullscreen on a monitor using a resolution that is a multiple of 640x480 (1280x960, 1920x1440, etc), theoretically you could have a perfect representation, as pixels would just need to be multiplied. In practice, however, your LCD will still try and smooth the image out, meaning loss of clarity. In the end what resolution you ran GTA2 at would make little difference as far as interpolation is concerned, because both outcomes would be bad. In the former case, which does not happen in practice, you would end up with an image where 1 pixel at 640x480 would equal 4 pixels at 1280x960, which means a more jagged image. In the latter case, which does happen in practice, you get an image where 1 pixel at 640x480 would equal between 2 to 6 pixels (non-natural numbers) at whatever resolution you run it at, which means a blurry image.
Notice that the actual texture sharpness of the screenshot where GTA2 was run at 1400x1050 doesn't change. What does change, what is sharper, are the edges around the fonts, and around all things 'cut out'. If you just play GTA2 without recording video then a higher resolution is the way to go, you get an image sharper in some ways. If you record screencasts, run GTA2 at 960x720. People viewing your video will stretch it to fill their screens anyway, so forget about 1:1. Unless you want to and have the hardware to record smoothly at 1080p (1920x1080), then by all means do record at that resolution, but the costs outweigh the benefits.
I ran GTA2 in a 640x480 and 1400x1050 window using wine in Gentoo Linux. Your Windows result might differ, and, if my feelings are correct, for the worse.