An ambitious game!
pandaramaster wrote this review on .
The story is always about the criminal side of life in GTA and San Andreas is no exception. You play as CJ and primarily you avenge your mother's death, take on a few gangs and build empires. The story is acted out brilliantly through great voice work and the script is awesome. The gameplay plays more or less in a similar fashion to the two previous titles, albeit with more stuff to see and do. It's a very entertaining game and sense of scale is phenomenal. You have a whole state to travel in with various small towns and cities to stop in and explore. Once again, the driving is sensational and the combat is improved somewhat, borrowing the targeting system seen in Manhunt. The game constantly throws new objectives and game mechanics with each new mission and this can lead to some confusion and makes the game a bit more complex. Also, the difficulty level isn't finely tuned either. One mission could be easy to complete and the next mission requires 10 attempts at it. Also, I'm afraid to say this. After a while, the game suffers from repetition. And it can be boring at times, travelling for miles with nothing to do but drive. Though the game does throw side missions and items to collect for infinite bullets, stuff like that. Once the scope of the new things wears off, it's familiar Grand Theft Auto territory.
Graphics were never a high point of any GTA game and San Andreas is no exception. There's pop up all over the place, slow down and the character models leave allot to be desired. However, the scope of towns and cities is great to look at and considering this is a PS2 game, it's a technical achievement from top to bottom.
This game is massive and will last you for years to come. The open-ended gameplay is limitless to your imagination. However, following the story mission isn't as open ended, as you would like it to be, following strict mission patterns. Collecting all the items, completing side missions and finding the humorous Easter eggs will add more to what is already a big game.
The sound is top notch, but the soundtrack is a little weak when you compare it to Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is the pinnacle of the Grand Theft Auto series. It lacks the great atmosphere of Vice City but more than makes up for it with new things to do. Though essentially, if you've played previous GTAs or anything in this genre you'll be in familiar grounds and the same flaws follow over. An okay combat system, suffers from repetition and tedious missions. It is a technical masterpiece though, but this is not my sort of thing and to be honest, I can't really get into these games. If you're a fan of GTA you have this game already. If you're new, it's a great starting point. If GTA is not your thing, then really it won't appeal to you. Buy it if you're a fan.