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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2) artwork

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2) review


" How many of you out there enjoy a good kill’n? I know I do. In my spare time, I like to run people over, steal fighters from military bases to wreak havoc, and go hooker beat’n. Of course, if I really did this stuff I’d probably be strapped to a table getting a tube put in my arm. But, thankfully, that’s where Grand Theft Auto San Andreas comes in. Now you can enjoy all the fun of being a homicidal maniac without worrying about the long dirt nap. "



How many of you out there enjoy a good kill’n? I know I do. In my spare time, I like to run people over, steal fighters from military bases to wreak havoc, and go hooker beat’n. Of course, if I really did this stuff I’d probably be strapped to a table getting a tube put in my arm. But, thankfully, that’s where Grand Theft Auto San Andreas comes in. Now you can enjoy all the fun of being a homicidal maniac without worrying about the long dirt nap.

The GTA series has always been about “wow”. What I mean by that is when you first insert the disk into the PS2, your jaw drops to the floor like a sack of bricks. This is also very true of San Andreas. Three times larger than Vice City, San Andreas isn’t just a city, but a whole state. Besides the usual sprawling cities, your also given forests, deserts, mountains, and small country towns to explore.

But it doesn’t end there. Now more like an RPG, your character’s appearance and abilities can be modified. You can head to the gym and pack on the muscle, or you can indulge on your feminine side and shop till’ ya drop. You can even do your hair. I once had my guy so pimped out that he was actually beginning to resemble Donovan McNabb.

Another feature is the addition of oh so slightly better graphics. So now, rather than being a 1/10 on the graphic scale, they’re now a 4/10. Yay . This still minor flaw is what keeps San Andreas from being having god status on the rating scale. Yet even so, the minor detail is a welome change to the dull and drab looks of it’s former incarnations.

Next on the list of vast improvement lies in the fighting mechanics. Gone is the clunky interface from previous titles. The hand-to-hand combat system has been changed to allow different types of attacks such as kicks or stealth blows and the ability to block. You can even use some of these attacks in combination with a melee weapon. If that’s not enough, when using a gun type weapon, you can either use the lock on system or aim manually in third person.

The in car radio stations have returned aswell. Rockstar’s motto must have been “bigger, faster, stronger, better”, because even the music choices have grown rapidly out of proportion. Everyone is sure to find a radio station they’ll like. You’ve got rap, country, two rock stations, some freaky tribal stuff, and a few other things. The reason I say “a few other things” is because I still have yet to listen to every station available. There’s just so freaking much to listen too.

Of course, all of this is about as valuable as a hunk of bird poo without the gameplay. But once again, San Andreas delivers. The new missions are very immersive, and frightfully realistic. One minute you’re taking down gang members with your homies and the next your breaking into the secret military facility Area 69. I won’t spoil the story here, but let’s just say it makes the other games look like day time soaps.

Overall, San Andreas is a leviathan of a sequal. All must bow down to it’s supremacy. No other game out there gives you so much freedom, with so many options. Remember this one folks; because in ten years it will most definitely be hailed as a game that broke new ground for the industry. If you own a PS2 and haven’t bought it, then go get it. Now.

Rating: 9.9/10

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Community review by heroofthewinds (May 04, 2005)

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