Main Character - Carl "CJ" Johnson **1

Video Game developer Rockstar Games have raised the bars when it comes to violence, sex, controversy, graphics, and bad a** motherf****** characters with its extremely popular Grand Theft Auto Franchise. The latest installment  – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been highly anticipated by fans of the series ever since Rockstar  Games announced the game a while back.  I have gotten the chance to play and review the new game and in my opinion the people at Rockstar Games have created a masterpiece. But before I continue about the new, let me quickly discuss the history of the Series.

Originally the first two installments Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2 was presented in the top down view and was available on PC/Windows, PlayStation, Game Boy Colour (GTA) and PC/Windows, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Colour (GTA 2.) The story/game play was made up of levels that required the player to perform a series of objectives that required some sort of crime. The further you go the more points you archived and the harder the levels got.

GTA

Top Down View: GTA **2

Moving on to the next two installments Grand Theft Auto: 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City were released on the next generation of game platforms the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Thanks to the new and improved technology the Grand Theft Auto series converted from the top down view into the 3D gaming Category. The story/Game play improved now added elements of a third person shooter and driving game. The biggest update was the games have now turned into a open world sandbox map which allowed players to move across a large city that you could beat up pedestrians, drive cars off huge jumps and plenty more side games.

GTA 3

3D View: GTA 3 **3

Finally Moving on to the bigger news my review – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

GTA SA Box Art **4

  • Official Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Website
  • Developers: Rockstar North
  • Publishers: Rockstar Games & Capcom (Japan)
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Open World
  • ESRB Rating: Mature 17+ PLEASE NOTE THAT TITLES RATED M (MATURE) CONTAINS CONTENT THAT MAY BE SUITABLE FOR PERSONS AGES 17 AND OLDER. TITLES IN THIS CATEGORY MAY CONTAIN BLOOD AND GORE, SEXUAL CONTENT, STRONG LANGUAGE, INTENSE VIOLENCE.

This Installment of the series features the largest map featured in any Grand Theft Auto game. San Andreas is fictional state that combines three major cities based on real life cities; Los Santos representing Los Angeles, San Fierro representing San Francisco, and Las Venturas which represents Las Vegas.

MAP of San Andreas **5

The main character you play is named Carl “CJ” Johnson and at the start of the game explains that CJ is returning home to Los Santos arriving from Liberty City. CJ is returning home after being away for five year because his mom recently passed away. Upon arrival CJ is stopped by two police officers Frank Tempenny and Eddie Pulaski who are actually played by Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Penn. The officers have crossed paths with CJ in the past and are very corrupted. CJ then returns to his home in Los Santos and runs into family and friends. CJ’s older brother Sweet Johnson is surprised to see CJ returning and accuses him for the death of mom and the abandonment of their neighborhood gang also known as the Grove Street Family. Now Cj’s objective is to earn the respect of his brother by joining the Grove Street Gang to rebuilt their neighborhood by fighting rival gangs by stealing guns and killing in order to get back lost territories.


Through out the as game you assist the corrupt officers for several jobs and fight rival gangs by invading their neighborhoods with your fellow gang members, the story keeps getting intense and you are assigned more tasks. You meet your neighbor OG Loc and assist his music career goals from becoming as a weak fake gangster by reuning the music career of OG Loc’s rival Madd Dogg. Once you earn enough respect from the Grove Street Family your objective is to find out who killed CJ’s mom.

Gang Drive-by Shooting **6

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also features a huge soundtrack from the time era the game is based when your cruising around in a vehicle with the radio on.  You have 11 different radio stations to choose from; RadioX, K-JAH, RADIO LOS SANTOS,  WTCR are just a few that feature different genres, talk shows, news, and end even commercials. Rick James, Boyz 2 Men, KISS, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Bog Daddy Kane, Public Enemy, 2Pac, Cypress Hill, Guns-N-Roses are a small portion of artist featured on the games soundtrack.

 

What makes this game stand out compared to the other Grand Theft Auto games is it customization. You can get a haircut, tattoos, shop for a new out fit, hit the gym, car tuning and even grab bite which all these are required to move up in the game. If you go to the gym and gain all muscle your stamina while running becomes short.

Gym - Dumbells **7

Workout - Benchpress **8

Tattoo **9

Barbers - Haircut **10

Overall I love this new chapter to the Grand Theft Auto Series. The Story is the best part making you feel like your living in the 90’s in the west coast in the era when Dr. Dre and Snopp Dogg were signed to Death Row Records. There is about 30 hours of story game play, small side missions taking the role of the fire/medical/police services, and unlimited hours of time spent just cruising around the city getting in trouble to see how long you can last before the police catch you.

The Good: Huge map, lots to discover, long story mode, custom character development, great dialogue/script, fun side missions.

The Bad: 2 player mode could be better (slows down frame rate)

Rating: 9.5/10 – Excellent

Images:

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