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 after hearing that his mother has been murdered in a drive-by shooting. He is visited by Frank Tenpenny, the extremely corrupt leader of the LSPD CRASH unit, and framed for the murder of police officer Ralph Pendlebury, 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 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 that you can swim in the water.
- Among one of the largest open world games ever made, with CJ being able to travel to a total of three cities, Los Santos, Las Venturas, and San Fierro. The cities are also massive in size for its time.
- Tons and tons of missions, some with more unique styles of completing them such as a show-off with your customized vehicle, and sneaking to a rapper'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.
- 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 at a gym and improve his stamina and strength, and also change his fighting style by participating in the match in the gym. You can also change his appearance by going to a barber shop and changing his hair, going to a clothing shop and change his outfit, and also add tattoos on him in a tattoo shop.
- 861 credited voice actors, including Samuel L. Jackson and James Woods. This earned GTA: SA a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the game with the largest voice cast. This makes the voice of most of pedestrians unique. Some pedestrians can even have a conversation with CJ.
- Partaking in Gang Wars allows CJ to expand the Grove Street Families' turf.
- Gang Wars start with three waves. Surviving a wave can cause health and armor 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.
- 248 vehicles in the game (compared to GTA III which only had 60). You can also customize the vehicles by going in a certain garage, including changing the paint job, adding nitrous boosts and 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 safe house allows six in-game hours to fly by and removes all your wanted levels
- 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 also used to be the scrapped "Hot Coffee" minigame that could be re-added via mods.
- Up to 8 save slots available.
- A lot of bonus content and Easter eggs in the game that are hidden everywhere in the game.
- 100,000+ mods that you can use to customize your game. You can turn San Andreas into Anime World, or a first person shooter. You can also add new minigames and missions.
- The HD Remastered version released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is a shockingly bad port.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the best selling game for the PlayStation 2, selling over 27 million units.
Metacritic rated GTA: San Andreas 93/100 based on 47 reviewers.