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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
1224 - Grand Theft Auto. San Andreas - 10 - 26-10-2004 - Action Adventure.jpg
"After five years on the East Coast, it was time to go home."
Carl Johnson
Protagonist(s): Carl "CJ" Johnson
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Rating(s): ACB: RC (original), MA15+ (rerelease)
BBFC: 18
CERO: Z
ESRB: AO (original), M (rerelease)
PEGI: 18
Platform(s):
Release:
October 26, 2004
PlayStation 2
NA: October 26, 2004
PAL: October 29, 2004
JP: January 25, 2007

Microsoft Windows, Xbox
NA: June 7, 2005
EU: June 10, 2005

Mac OS X
WW: November 12, 2010
iOS
WW: December 12, 2013
Android
WW: December 19, 2013
Windows Phone
WW: January 27, 2014
Fire OS
WW: May 15, 2014
Xbox 360
WW: October 26, 2014
PlayStation 3
WW: December 1, 2015
Engine: RenderWare
Developer(s): Rockstar North
War Drum Studios (mobile/X360/PS3)
Publisher(s): WW: Rockstar Games
JP: Capcom (PS2)
Country: United Kingdom
United States
Series: Grand Theft Auto
Predecessor: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Successor: Grand Theft Auto Advance


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games for the PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire OS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Plot

Taking place in 1992, the game focuses on a professional criminal named Carl "CJ" Johnson returning home to Los Santos, San Andreas after his brother Sean "Sweet" Johnson informs him that their mother has been murdered in a drive-by shooting. He is soon visited by Frank Tenpenny, the extremely corrupt leader of the LSPD C.R.A.S.H. unit, and framed for the murder of police officer Ralph Pendelbury, with Tenpenny forcing CJ to do his dirty work for him. In addition, CJ's gang, the Grove Street Families, is on the losing end of a gang war with their sworn enemies, the Ballas. CJ must now find a way to defeat Tenpenny and restore his gang to its former glory.

Why It Is King

  1. Made some improvements over the previous entries.
    • This is the first game in the series where you can swim in the water.
    • You can now move while crouched and in addition preform dodge rolls.
    • The console versions have hugely improved camera controls equivalent to the PC version, as the camera can now be freely rotated on the move without having to stop and switch to a first-person view to turn it.
  2. One of the largest open-world games ever made, with Carl being able to travel around the state of San Andreas complete with it's own forests, mountains and rural towns. The cities and environments are also massive by mid-2000s standards.
  3. Great-looking artstyle that is based around 1990s Los Angeles and films such Boyz n' The Hood and Menace II Society, and features real-life problems that were happening at the time as major plot points, especially the crack pandemic.
  4. Tons and tons of missions, some with more unique styles of completing them such as a show-off with a customized lowrider, and sneaking into rapper Madd Dogg's house to steal his rhyme book, which requires a small amount of stealth to avoid alerting his bodyguards.
  5. In addition to money, completing missions also nets CJ respect, which allows him to form a small army of up to seven gang members.
  6. Great graphics and environments for its time.
  7. The game adds RPG elements to improve stats, such as health, stamina, strength, lung capacity and weapon skills. Increasing CJ's skill with weapons will make him be able to shoot more accurately, fire more rapidly, move while shooting, and for some types of pistols, SMGs and the Sawn-off Shotgun, even allow him to dual-wield the weapons after reaching the maximum level of skill.
  8. Memorable voice acting, with over 861 credited voice actors.
  9. Partaking in Gang Wars allows CJ to expand the Grove Street Families' turf and gain revenue when CJ returns to his home Grove Street.
  10. Awesome music on the radio. You can even add your own music in the PC version; on the Xbox version you can choose a station on the radio which plays the music on the hard disk.
  11. 174 vehicles in the game (compared to GTA III which only had 55 and Vice City which had 101). You can also customize the vehicles by going into certain garages, where you can change the paint job, apply nitro boosts and add hydraulics that you can actually control. With the vehicles expanded also comes newer types like Jets, Monster trucks and tractors being introduced.
  12. While CJ automatically aims his guns towards the nearest target, he can also manually aim allowing him to headshot easily with any gun. This also enables CJ to aim at a car's gas tank and blow it up with a single bullet.
  13. There are also challenges and races, which include: a marathon consisting of atheletic challenges, shooting ranges or derbies in stadiums.
  14. You can purchase safehouses like in Vice City and can do asset missions that when completed gives you the asset instead of purchasing it and then doing the mission like in Vice City.
  15. A lot of playable content and minigames. For example, there's a racing minigame, a Casino, Snooker and even a Dancing minigame, there are even min-video games where you can play in the game.
  16. The Import/Export is still here and the player receives money for every vehicle delivered and how much you get depends on the vehicle's condition. You unlock the vehicles you collect for purchase as you complete the list.
  17. Unlike other games in the series, you can heal yourself by eating and/or drinking; you can eat in restaurants, drink soda, and eat at food stands. However, CJ will puke and lose all the health he recovered upon eating too much.
  18. Lots more character customisation options available in this game. There are many clothing and accessories CJ can wear in the fashion stores across the state and even better is that the shirts, trousers and shoes are now seperate from each other. Wearing certain clothing combinations will also gain some effects like wearing green will earn respect from Grove street or fancy clothing give you more attraction.
  19. Awesome theme song.
  20. You can establish a relationship with up to six girls. If you gain 100% relationship status with any of them, you get an outfit related to that girl and a benefit as well like having to not lose weapons upon arrest.
  21. There are 250 pickup items with rewards included. Collecting all the items in a single set will grant you something special with examples being more cash, Grove gangs carrying better weapons or having weapons spawn in certain locations.
  22. You can take planes or trains from city to city, saving your time from driving or flying to the city.
  23. Great storyline about a former gangster coming back to his hometown to reestablish his old gang's reputation only to get wrapped up in a series of scandals involving corrupt police officers.
  24. The game itself is a bitter deconstruction of Best Friend and True Companions.
  25. Odd job missions are still here and are really rewarding. There are even three new odd job missions: Burglaries which involve sneaking into houses and stealing possessions with a truck, Pimping which lets you pick up prostitutes to their clients or the simpler valet job that tasks you to park cars.
  26. There are 4 schools you can go to: Bike, Driving, Flight, and Boat. The schools operate on a medal basis. There are specific vehicle rewards that can be obtained if the player has reached particular medal requirements in all tests.
  27. The protagonist of the game, Carl "CJ" Johnson, is a memorable, badass and likable character.
  28. The whole game has a lot of memorable (or memeable) quotes such as Big Smoke's order, "All we had to do, was follow the damn train, CJ!", and "Ah shit, here we go again. Worst place in the world."
  29. Some characters from previous GTA games make an appearance to further tie the game to these installments. This includes Catalina, Salvatore Leone, Ken Rosenburg, and Claude, who makes an appearance in two missions, appearing nine years younger than his GTA III self.
  30. There's a mission where you go to GTA III's Liberty City, to kill the Forelli goons in Saint Mark's Bistro.
  31. Once again, Rockstar mocking GTA competitors with cruel humor. One poster in Los Santos says "True Grime", making fun of the True Crime series. Another example being the bodyguard in "Madd Dogg's Rhymes" where he mocks the infamous Driver 3 game.
  32. This is the longest game in the GTA franchise to date with 100+ missions.
  33. Before they introduced the famous Swing Glitch in Grand Theft Auto IV there's even a funny glitch that if you put the wheels of the Monster Truck over the hood of pedestrian's vehicle, the vehicle will sent to fly away or sometimes grow even more bigger and gets stuck in the street.

Bad Qualities

  1. Despite having great graphics, some 3D models didn't age well like the vehicles as they have a glossy look which doesn't match the rest of the game's artstyle and thus stands out.
  2. Being the worst offender when it comes to porting/remastering on various platforms, each of its ports have some problems.
    • The "HD Remastered" version released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is a garbage port. The Steam and Rockstar Games Launcher versions have a lot of issues too. Thankfully, the PS4 version averted this by porting the PS2 version of the game instead (Though removed in 2021 and replaced with the "definitive" edition sadly). As for the Steam and RGL versions, you can use this downgrader guide to make the port better.
      • And of course, the Definitive edition. The Switch, PC and Console port infamous with the uglier graphics, disastrous amounts of glitches and lack of other general improvements (even cutting some features) to make it defined enough.
    • The PC version has some issues and inferior aspects.
      • This version has some missing features and graphics, such as rotor blur, lens flares and the orange sky at sunset (some people like it, others don't) from the PS2 version. Thankfully, SilentPatch and SkyGFX can restore these features.
      • It has some mouse issues on newer versions of Windows, and they cannot be fixed without installing a patch.
      • The patch that removed the Hot Coffee minigame from the PC version also completely removed mod support (as if it was the Hot Coffee mod itself). Fortunately, there's a downgrader available that reverts the game to its original form, re-enabling mod support as well as adding some new community bug fixes.
      • The HUD and map icons have minor graphical issues due to being compressed and corrupted from the PS2 version, with loss of color and missing pixels being common.
    • The Xbox version, being much closer to the PC version, has a few of its same issues along with some unique ones.
      • Controls are clunky due to the controllers lacking shoulder buttons. While having triggers for adjusting vehicle speed is a big improvement over the PS2s pressure sensitive buttons, the lack of shoulder buttons and having to use white and black buttons instead for looking left, right, or behind in cars or turning aircraft, as well as switching targets during combat is a big downgrade. This can be fixed by using an adapter and hooking up an Xbox 360 controller where the white and black button controls are mapped properly to the shoulder buttons, or playing it on the 360.
      • Areas and objects occasionally take longer than usual to load, mostly when moving at high speeds or flying. This is especially dangerous when flying at low altitudes as you can crash into invisible tall trees or they can pop up right in front of you and waste you.
      • Although not as bad as some other backwards compatible titles, this version does have issues when played on the 360 like random graphics artifacts and sound issues, like gunfire noise sounding off and lip desync during cutscenes. Trying to play it on the Xbox One will instead download the so called remastered version.
      • The HUD and map icon graphical issues are even worse in this version compared to PC, with some icons looking broken due to missing many pixels from compression.
      • Players used to the controls on III and Vice City will have to get used to different controls: drive-by shooting, on-foot shooting and punching all use the B button.
    • The PS2 version also has issues, mainly due to it's weaker hardware compared to the other ports.
      • Loading times are long, the game takes around a minute to start up, 5-10 seconds to start a mission, and 5-10 seconds to enter interiors of buildings. Apart from the start up, the loading times are either very short or instantaneous on the Xbox and PC versions.
      • The framerate is laggy, it randomly lags when there's too much action occurring on screen or moving at high speeds and passing cars.
      • Several miscellaneous objects like many trees, static wrecks, sidewalk rubbish, and most fire hydrants are missing to improve performance.
      • Custom radio is missing from the Xbox and PC versions.
      • Audio mix quality is a little lower due to using Dolby Pro Logic II instead of Dolby Digital on the other versions.
      • No accurate shadows. Instead, it uses the same box and blob shadows from its predecessors.
    • The PS2, Xbox, and original PC versions have a very annoying motion blur when moving at high speeds in cars. Thankfully there are mods to remove this on PC and it is already absent in the mobile-based ports.
    • Two player mode on the PS2 and Xbox versions isn't very good as it either uses an annoying aerial camera or uses only player 1's camera instead of split screen, and players cannot move more than a short distance away from each other as the game will stop them until they get closer again or the mode will cancel.
  3. There's an infamous game-breaking glitch that makes the mission where you have to stop Madd Dogg from committing suicide unwinnable.
  4. Like the predecessors, San Andreas missions has some rather notoriously difficult missions like Supply Lines which you control a drone to kill vehicles but is hard to aim when flying with a limited fuel supply, or Wrong Side of the Tracks infamous for being a early game difficulty spike due to the fast train that you must constantly be in pace and precisely positioned for Big Smoke to shoot the Vagos made worse by the fact that Smoke's aim is bad and the gangsters have too much health.
  5. Fuel tanks are a mixed blessing, while they can make destroying vehicles much faster, they can also be easily hit by accident, especially during drive-bys, and result in deaths or mission failures.
  6. The Japanese PS2 original release was harder and made the Ballas stronger than they are in other releases worldwide (because of CERO and Sony's tightened regulations due to the Hot Coffee scandal, they demanded Rockstar to make over 60 changes), to the point of the Ballas having influence across the entire state of San Andreas rather than just Los Santos.
  7. Girlfriends can be annoying sometimes and have to be taken on successful dates frequently to avoid the relationship deteriorating.
    • Similarly, gang territories must be protected often to prevent the territory from weakening and your respect lowering. This is sometimes annoying when the gang raids occur when your at a great distance from Los Santos or when exploring.
  8. The flying controls for the planes and Hydra are slippery and makes it hard to control them when trying to tilt the vehicles in any direction as the player can easily lose control and crash.
  9. Catalina is an extremely annoying and unlikable character as she constantly berates CJ any chance she gets and is a misandrist.
  10. While the AI works well, it breaks down in some areas making it worse than in its previous installments. For Example: certain ally NPCs like gang members not listen to commands, stand idly or sometimes get out your car, or that sometimes in gang wars the enemy AI cannot correctly pathfind toward the player and become stuck particularly on fences.
  11. Some historial inacurracies like the Pokémon easter egg on the Juguetes Regalos gift shops (Pokémon was created in 1996 which is four years after the game takes place) and the Bullet is based on the 2005-2006 Ford GT despite said car not being made until 2002 (ten years after the game takes place) instead of being based on the 1960s Ford GT40.

Trivia

  • Like the previous two Grand Theft Auto games, San Andreas features several well-known Hollywood actors, musicians, and other celebrities as voice actors, in both main and minor roles.
  • According to the BradyGames original PS2 guide, which looks like a final beta release of the game according to the screenshots, the Adrenaline pill was going to be in the game, but scrapped (though you can use this feature by a cheat code).
  • A skateboard was supposed to be a melee weapon, but ultimately scrapped. It is still in the game, you need to do the interior world glitch to access an unused apartment.
  • CJ will sing a random song if you remain idle (Young Turks, Nutting But a G Thang)
  • There's a ton of unused dialogue in this game.
  • Instead of releasing a third entry in the Stories sub-series as a prequel for San Andreas, Rockstar released a mini-movie called "The Introduction" which tells the events leading up to the death of Beverly Johnson, and reveals some plot elements, such as Big Smoke being (indirectly) responsible for the death of CJ, Sweet, and Kendl's mother, eliminating the need of a Stories prequel, and overall seemingly finishing the sub-series with only the Liberty City and Vice City Stories games.
  • There are special license plates, such as "EA SUCKS" (continuing Rockstar's tradition to insult their rivals), "GOLD", and "CHUNKY".
  • When the game was being developed, it was originally going to be an 'AO Adults Only' rated game due of the Hot Coffee Mini-Game, but later Rockstar changed their mind, yet didn't decide to delete the files for it all together, which resulted in the controversy happening.
  • When CJ sees Smoke and Ryder betraying him, he only reacts about Smoke; the reason for that was because Ryder was never meant to be a traitor but his voice actor quit during mid development so they had to make him a traitor and kill the character.
  • Heaven, the interior world, is one of the best hidden universes in all of GTA. It includes 154 interiors (half of them are unused).

Reception

Upon its release, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was met with universal acclaim. It received an average review score of 95/100, according to review aggregator Metacritic, tying for the fifth-highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history.[1][2][3] In fact, it's arguably the best game in the series." San Andreas also received an A rating from the 1UP.com network and a 10/10 score from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Common praises were made about the game's open-endedness, the size of the state of San Andreas, and the engaging storyline and voice acting. Most criticisms of the game stemmed from graphical mishaps, poor character models, and low-resolution textures, as well as various control issues, particularly with auto-aiming at enemies. Some critics commented that while much new content had been added to San Andreas, little of it had been refined or implemented well.

Nevertheless, since its release, San Andreas has been regarded as one of the greatest games of all time, placing at number 27 in Edge's Top 100 Games to Play Today. Edge declared that the game remains "the ultimate expression of freedom, before next-gen reined it all back in". In 2015, the game placed 8th on USgamer's The 15 Best Games Since 2000 list.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sold 2.06 million units within six days of release in the United States. In the United Kingdom, it sold an estimated 677,000 copies and grossed about £24 million within two days, and sold over 1 million copies in nine days. It was the top-selling game of 2004, with 5.1 million copies sold in the United States, and over 1.75 million in the United Kingdom.

By March 2005, the game had sold over 12 million units for the PlayStation 2 alone, making it the highest-selling game for PlayStation 2.[4] The game received a "Diamond" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 1 million copies in the United Kingdom. As of 26 March 2008, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had sold 21.5 million units, according to Take-Two Interactive. The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition lists it as the most successful PlayStation 2 game, with 17.33 million copies sold for that console alone from the total of 21.5 million in all formats.

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