Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hits the road

Rockstar ships the crime-epic sequel, which will begin jacking gamers' wallets tomorrow.

After months of at times overwhelming hype, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has finally rolled out of the factory and is officially on its way to stores. The M-rated, crime-oriented, action adventure offering will be exclusive to the PlayStation 2 (until Q2 2005, anyway) and will retail for $49.99. The game will reach stores in Europe on October 29, 2004.

For those who have just awakened from a two-year coma, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the latest installment in the controversial crime-action series from Take-Two Interactive-owned Rockstar Games and developer Rockstar North (formerly DMA Designs Ltd.). GTA: San Andreas is heir to two of the best-selling games in history: Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Like its predecessors, San Andreas will concern a one-time criminal who's dragged back in to a life of crime. This time around, the protagonist is named Carl Johnson (voiced by up-and-coming rapper Young Maylay), a one-time gangbanger who left his 'hood in the Los Angeles clone "Los Santos" to play it straight in Liberty City, the setting of the original Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto III.

However, the death of Carl's mother brings him back to "LS," where his brother and other assorted ex-cohorts pull him back in to a Menace II Society-like existence of bullets and ballin'. Eventually, the action moves to the San Francisco-esque city of "San Fierro" and to the Las Vegas doppelganger "Las Venturas," where Johnson builds a criminal empire reminiscent of the one in the motion picture New Jack City. For more details on the game, check out GameSpot's extensive previous coverage.

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