Review by BBallman7
"Everyone's favorite guilty pleasure, now with more hood."
What can I say about San Andreas that hasn't already been said a thousand times. Well first off, this is my favorite GTA. GTA3 was definitely the most groundbreaking, but to me nothing can compare to the expansiveness of San Andreas. With a huge world, that could take countless hours to completely explore, big enough that hundreds of people spent days looking for an ever elusive, but non existing, bigfoot, and it took over a week for everyone to agree that virtually every part of San Andreas had been explored. There are countless surprises in GTA, some were meant to be found, like hidden ghost towns and plane crashes in the middle of the city, some were glitches, like the respawning ghost cars, and some were never supposed to be found at all, *coughHotCoffeecough*.
Even without the story and guns, violence, and over all controversy, the sheer size of the map and countless things to do gives this game an amazing replay value. Then add street races, going on random rampages, taking your gang into enemy territory to get what is rightfully yours, and you have an amazing game, and that's before you even start talking about the actual game.
This time R* dropped the mafia theme, and replaced it with a more urban theme. For whatever reason, this upset a lot of people, but as someone who lives in a city, this seemed much more realistic to me than the mafia versions, and I personally enjoyed this one more.
San Andreas is similar to all the all the other GTA's in the sense that it has the same foundation. When someone's initial shows up on the map, you can go to them and they'll give you a mission, which you'll be rewarded with money, and in San Andreas, Respect. With money you can buy guns, and with guns you beat more missions, the circle of life.
San Andreas has quite a few new features as well, you actually buy clothes in this game, and not like VC where you just switch uniforms, you can mix and match everything you have purchassed however you want. So you can have tattoos, bandanas, and you can wear your gang colors. There's also a cheap sim-like system, where you have to eat and work out to keep in shape. It's a nice feature at first, but it becomes more of a chore later in the game. You also get better at shooting each type of gun the more you use it, which is a nice feature. Another great thing is that the targeting system has been revamped, so it's not as horrible as it used to be.
The story is pretty simple, you go back to your own hood because your mother died, and you want to find out who killed her, but you also want to help your old gang take over the territory that they used to own.
There's a few other small additions here and there, mostly mini game type things, such as gambling, and basketball. You can also finally ride bikes, but mostly everything else is things you've seen before.
The game isn't perfect though, I know with such a huge world graphics are tough, and the world is beautiful, just driving throught the country is an amazing site, but I'd love to see some better looking characters in the future. A.I. has also always been a problem with G.T.A., although they are much better now, especially with the addition of drive-by's, but the enemies always seem too stupid, as do your allies, who seem to have a set path, and if something screws it up, then there's a good chance that it'll glitch.
But all in all, these complaints are barely noticeable at best, and don't really take away from the fun, and the amount of time you'll spend on this game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/07
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (US, 10/26/04)
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