Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is part of the Grand Theft Auto series of video games and released on the PlayStation 2 in 2004 and Windows and Xbox in 2005. It was ported to mobile devices, Xbox Live and PSN (though it was removed in 2014 from Xbox Live and PSN). The game was re-released for the Xbox 360 to mark its ten year anniversary.
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 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 Rocks
- This is the first game in the series where you can swim in the water.
- One of the largest open-world games ever made, with CJ being able to travel around the state of San Andreas. The cities are also massive by mid-2000s standards.
- 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. Netting $10,000 from burglaries will allow CJ to sprint infinitely.
- In addition to money, completing missions also nets CJ respect, which allows him to form a small army of up to seven gang members.
- Great graphics and environments for its time.
- 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 Sawed-off Shotgun, even allow him to dual-wield the weapons after reaching the maximum level of skill.
- You can make CJ work out at a gym and improve his stamina and strength(you can't do this while the riot is happening later on in the game), and also change his fighting style by participating in boxing matches. You can also customize his appearance by going to a barber shop and changing his hairstyle, going to a clothing shop and changing his outfit, and also give him tattoos in a tattoo parlor.
- Memorable voice acting, with over 861 credited voice actors.
- Partaking in Gang Wars allows CJ to expand the Grove Street Families' turf.
- Gang Wars start with three waves. Surviving a wave will cause health and armor refills to appear. After completing all three waves, you take over the territory if the Grove Street Families don't already own it.
- Awesome music on the radio. You can even add your own music in the PC version, and in the Xbox version of the game, you can choose a station on the radio which plays the music on the hard disk.
- 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.
- While CJ automatically aims his guns towards the nearest target, he can also manually aim as well. This enables CJ to aim at a car's gas tank and blow it up with a single bullet.
- Saving a game in a safehouse allows six in-game hours to fly by and resets your wanted level. You can even purchase safehouses like in Vice City.
- A lot of playable content and minigames. For example, there's a Racing minigame, a Casino minigame, a Snooker minigame and a Dancing minigame, there are even min-video games where you can play in the game, yes, video games in a game. There's also the scrapped "Hot Coffee" minigame that was re-enabled by Dutch modder "PatrickW".
- Up to 8 save slots are available.
- 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, if CJ eats too much, he will puke and lose all the health he recovered.
- A lot of bonus content and Easter eggs in the game that are hidden everywhere in the game, such as "There are no Easter Eggs here. Go away." on the Gant Bridge.
- Awesome theme song.
- You can establish a relationship with up to six girls. If you gain 100% relationship status with any of the girls, you get an outfit related to said girl.
- There are 250 pickup items.
- 100 tags: Rewards Molotov Cocktail, AK-47, Sawn-off Shotgun and TEC 9 delivered to the kitchen at the Johnson House;
- Grove Street gang members will start to carry Desert Eagles, SMGs and knives instead of the usual pistol and TEC 9.
- 50 Snapshots: The reward is four weapon spawns becoming available at the Doherty Garage; namely the Micro Uzi, Grenades, Pump Action Shotgun, and Sniper Rifle, and the player will be awarded a bonus of $100,000.
- 50 Horseshoes: Rewards the player with $100,000. In addition, four weapons spawn in front of The Four Dragons Casino on the south end of The Strip: An MP5, Satchel Charges, a SPAS 12 and an M4.
- 50 Oysters: Rewards the player a $100,000 reward, maximum lung capacity, and a perk where the player can begin dating new girlfriends regardless of the player character's appearance or sex appeal.
- 100 tags: Rewards Molotov Cocktail, AK-47, Sawn-off Shotgun and TEC 9 delivered to the kitchen at the Johnson House;
- You can take airports or trains from city to city, saving your time from driving or flying to the city.
- Great storyline.
- Odd job missions are still here and are really rewarding. There are even two new odd job missions:
- Paramedic: the player's total health is increased to its maximum (Complete Level 12)
- Vigilante: Maximum Armor Increased by 50% (Complete Level 12)
- Firefighter: $1,3450 and fire immunity (Complete Level 12).
- Taxi Driver: All taxis gain unlimited nitrous and boost jump ability (50 fares)
- Pimping: That consists of driving prostitutes to meet their clients. (Reward: Once ten consecutive sessions have been completed, Carl will receive sex with prostitutes for free, with prostitutes paying Carl instead.)
- Freight Train: Transporting freight around the state in a Brown Streak or a Freight under a time limit. (Reward: $50,000 for the completion of both levels and free train rides. (To be precise, Carl has the option of riding in a passenger car of a Brown Streak rather than jacking the engine, which is the option prior to completing the mission.))
- 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 either gold, silver or bronze medals in all tests.
- Bike School:
- All Bronze - Freeway
- All Silver - FCR-900
- All Gold - NRG-500
- Boat School:
- All Bronze - Marquis
- All Silver - Squalo
- All Gold - Jetmax
- Driving School:
- All Bronze - Super GT
- All Silver - Bullet
- All Gold - Hotknife with a custom license plate reading "GOLD"
- Flight School:
- All Bronze - Rustler
- All Silver - Stunt Plane
- All Gold - Hunter
- Bike School:
- You can now move while crouched.
- When 100% is achieved, the following rewards are given.
- Infinite ammo. (The player still needs to reload though, unlike the infinite ammunition cheat).
- Double vehicle strength for any vehicle the player drives.
- Hydra on the roof of Sweet's house.
- Rhino under the bridge going above Ganton.
- The protagonist of the game, Carl "CJ" Johnson, is a memorable, badass and likable character.
- 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!", "Ah shit, here we go again. Worst place in the world." "Oohhhhh, my dawg!" "Grove Street. Home. At least it was before I fucked everything up." "You picked the wrong house, fool!", "Ding ding ding ding ding! Good answer, Carl!" "Ryder n*gga!" "Carl, you motherfucking piece of shit gangbanging cocksucker!" "At a funeral?" "Spinny spinny woo woo woo!", "Quick! Think of a yellow, rubber duck!" "Mission Passed! Respect +" "Curse you Berkley. Curse Youuuuuuuu!" "Grove Street mamas suck my dick!" "N*gga, what the fuck is this bullshit?" and "Kung foo ninja style!"
- Claude makes an appearance in two missions, appearing nine years younger than his GTA III self.
- There's a mission where you go to GTA III's Liberty City, to kill the Forelli goons in Saint Mark's Bistro.
- Heaven, the interior world, is one of the best hidden universes in all of GTA. It includes 154 interiors, half of them are unused.
- 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 criticism of the infamous DRIV3R game.
- The CGW is a garbage port. The Steam version has a lot of issues too. Thankfully, the PS4 version averted this by porting the PS2 version of the game instead. As for the Steam and Rockstar Games Launcher versions, you can use this downgrader guide to make the port better.
- The PC version has missing features and graphics, such as rotor blur, lens flares and the orange sky in the PS2 version. Thankfully, SilentPatch and SkyGFX do add these features back in.
- There's an infamous game-breaking glitch that makes the mission where you have to stop Madd Dogg from committing suicide unwinnable. This happens if any cheats affecting pedestrian behavior are activated prior to the mission, Madd Dogg will jump to his death after the cutscene. What's worse is that the glitch cannot be deactivated. Fortunately, there's an online tool that fixes the glitch and GTA SnP also fixes the glitch if it's detected.
- There are some extremely difficult missions for beginners, such as the notorious "Supply Lines...", in which CJ has to destroy a fleet of couriers with an RC plane which has horribly difficult controls and is constantly losing fuel. Even worse, the PS2 version has a bug where the fuel bar decreases faster than on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS4 versions.
- It can partially be remedied by only throttling when necessary.
- 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.
- Some of the on-screen subtitles don't match the spoken dialogue.
- It has some mouse issues on newer versions of Windows, and they cannot be fixed without installing a patch.
- (Original Xbox only) Players used to the controls on III and Vice City will have to get used to different controls, drive by shooting is B, while punching and shooting is with B.
- If you go into debt (negative money integers) in Las Venturas by gambling, you will receive a call from a loan shark that you owe him money. If you ignore him, he will call again to remind you that his debt collectors will be visiting you soon if you are still in the area. These debt collectors are very strong and wield AK-47s and Uzis, meaning you will get a cheap kill from them whenever they drive by in their black Vincent. Ironically, they will also drop a good amount of money, which you can pay your debt with.
- The Japanese PS2 original release was harder and made the Ballas stronger than they are in other releases around the world (because of Sony’s tightened regulations due to 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. Thankfully, in 2011 (?), Take-Two's re-release brought the international version to Japan.
- Link to WENth100's guide on special vehicles: https://crappygames.miraheze.org/wiki/Blog:Off-Topic%E2%80%94Special_Vehicles_in_GTA_San_Andreas
- (Found by Glitchmaster) If you flip your car over after completing the final task of the mission: "Yay-Ka-Boom-Boom", you will have a permanent location corona on the map near your garage in San Fierro, that luckily can be fixed with GTASNP's save editor.
- Sometimes, you can see cars drive backwards, which is a problem that carried over from Vice City.
- 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). The same thing applies with the FBI Truck, its model is shown in the guide and its sex appeal percentage but it is not in the game unless you mod it.
- 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. It does have an icon, but if you are on console versions, when you grab it, it's just a placeholder weapon for the knife.
- CJ will sing a random song if you remain idle (Young Turks, Nutting But a G Thang)
- There's a ton of unused dialogue.See here and here for those.
- Instead of releasing a San Andreas Stories as a prequel, 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.
- 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 but later they changed their mind and forgot to remove it from the game, which spawned the Hot Coffee controversy.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas received universal acclaim, and is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time. On Metacritic, GTA: San Andreas has a metascore of 95/100 based on 80 reviews for the PlayStation 2 version, and a 93/100 for the PC and Xbox versions.