Review by SaintKnight

"Too Difficult to Be Great"

I finally decided to pick up GTA: San Andreas since I'm such a fan of both the Genre and the Series, and I must say, it has been the cause of most of my stress for the past week.

Storyline: 9/10
You play Carl Johnson, a black guy that just returned to San Andreas from Liberty City, and the minute he gets back, the cops are already on him. Also, you have to make good again with your old friends. As with all games in the GTA Series, you make friends, enemies, and even some friends that become enemies, yet you end up working for all of them.

Sound: 9/10
This sound is great, including the Radio Stations. There are a few things that I noticed about the radio stations. 1) WCPR rotates its programs; in other words, you may hear one piece of news at one point and another piece of news at another point; furthermore, the news is based upon recent events, most of the time pertaining to missions that you've recently completed. Also, your User Track Station has commercials that pop-up from time to time; in addition, whenever you reload your game, it doesn't start at the same point every time (but that's pending your settings).
The sound effects suit everything that it is attached to, but I can't say the same for all of the voices. There are a few exceptions, and you'll see when you play.

Controls: 8/10
Controls are very customizable, but not customizable enough. At this point, I wish I could customize the controls for each type of vehicle.

Graphics: 10/10
This one is hard to say because everyone runs this game using different hardware, but from what I've seen, the graphics are phenomenal when compared to previous GTA series games. Damage to a vehicle are distributed according to whatever part is hit. Also, as with the PS2 Version (or so I hear), beyond the initial load after you start up your file, there are virtually no Load Times, and you can see that on the streets. You may be waiting for only a few seconds until a panel is drawn. Finally, everything is very well detailed; you won't be driving on the same crisp road all of the time; you'll also drive on road that looks like it needs to be paved over.

Gameplay: 9/10
The game has been improved by adding in the ability to personally develop your character. This includes being better with guns, building muscles, becoming too fat, and having your own clothing style. At certain points, these things may have to be at a certain level, even to proceed.
Aiming is more accurate as that you can't aim at someone that is hidden behind something. It becomes an annoyance at times, but it is tolerable.

Missions: 1/10
The core of the game, the missions, is where the game loses all of its points. The missions are very difficult, and they don't get any better as the game progresses. Also, most of the missions give you Respect but no money, which gives the feeling of being gypped and not making much progress towards other things, but the missions that do give money give quite a bit of money, if that assures you in any way. Unless you use the 100% Completion guide, you probably won't have a lot of money by the time you move onto the Badlands, the second area of the game. Also, in this game, you learn to save at the Save Point closest to the starting point of your mission, because if you skip a save and you fail, whether you survive or not, you'll be making a large trip back to where you need to be. Even if you succeed in a mission, you'll still have to go back to where you started the last mission from so that you can start your next mission. It occurs quite a bit and becomes quite infuriating.

If the Missions weren't so irritating, it would be worth a lot more. However, because the ways the missions are set up (difficult, unfulfilling, long distant), this game is just too much of a hassle to give it a higher score.

BUY or RENT or PASS: Rent
This game is worth picking up, but it'll probably cause you too much anger if you buy this thing. My suggestion, just rent it or borrow it from a friend, especially if you're a fan of the GTA series or GTA-type games.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/02/07

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