Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Review
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - the fifth part of the GTA series that was developed by the British studio Rockstar North and released by the American international company Rockstar Games in 2004. But only in 2013-2014, the game was finally ready for mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Fire OS.
In this fifth part of GTA, you play as Carl Johnson with the nickname SJ, who returns to the city of Los Santos after living five years in Liberty City to bury his mother. But upon returning, CJ gets involved in a criminal story that begins with a false accusation of murder and ends with the enemy gang’s attempt to take over all the CJ’s territory.
You might notice from the beginning that the game's graphics, environments, and character models are a bit outdated, but even though all of the visuals look amazing. There are three cities in the game, and all of them are prototypes of the real American cities: Los Santos - Los Angeles; San Fiero - San Francisco; Las Venturas - Las Vegas.
You can feel that the game’s visuals are on top when you see all those mountains, fields, forests, meadows, small villages and even desserts that present in the game. In the fifth part, you’ll also find so many new types of vehicles: from bicycles (regular, mountain and BMX) to aircraft. There are tractors, forklifts, water scooters and almost everything that you can imagine. All transport can be tuned as well.
Draw distances in the game feel realistic, framerates are smooth, character models seem a little sharper than they did on consoles like the PlayStation. But the game has a few lags with the graphics. For instance, when there is a fog visibility is extremely poor, or when it’s raining the image becomes blurry, and when you rush at high speed, the image can unfocus. However, the smooth animation of the characters will surprise you pleasantly.
As I mentioned above, you play as CJ - a gang of Orange Grove Families. Your mother was the head of this group, and after she died, you’re suffering one defeat after another and losing all your possessions. Your big brother, Sweet, is trying to get all the gang's affairs back in place. Immediately after your arrival from Liberty City, you have to look for different ways how to return your band’s authority back. But to do that you’ll need to face with lots of missions and challenges. You’ll watch videos during the game, learn details and gradually understand the storyline.
The distinguishing features of the fifth part are points and skills that finally appear in the game. You need to train CJ and make him learn new things like riding a bike, sailing on a boat, fly helicopters, shoot with two hands and on the move, etc. RPG-style stats present everywhere in the game, and your actions have a direct impact on your character. For instance, you'll get fat if you eat a lot of fast food or get buff if you spend a lot of time at the gym. But there are six basic characteristics: hunger, authority, endurance, musculature, fatness and attraction.
Instead of digital lives in percentage, you will see indicators like in RPG. These indicators are not called “health” anymore. They show a level of a regular hunger which is a big plus since now you do not need to run everywhere and look for the health. You can simply have lunch at any fast food restaurant and get all the indicators full again.
Authority is crucial in this game because depending on this characteristic people will shoot at you at every step either run away before they even see you. There is a map in the game that also depends on respect that you’re getting after completing missions. In the beginning, you will see just a few hospitals, stadiums and the airport on the map. There also will be territories that belong to a certain band and are marked on the map into matching colors. The color of your group of 5 people is green; the color of your sworn enemies Ballas is purple. There is another enemy group - Vagos and their color is yellow.
What can you do to raise your authority? First of all - getting more money. Secondly - take over new territories. Thirdly - buy cars, guns and everything the most expensive.
If you eat a lot of fatty foods, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. and do not exercise in the gym, you will become FAT and your authority will gradually fall. As a result, your skills like riding a bike gets lost. So you should choose between eating a burger or having respect from others.
Each city has a gym where you can train on a bike or a treadmill, which increases your stamina or use dumbbells and barbells, which will build your muscles. Also, the muscles are highly visible on the body and enhance your attractiveness.
This indicator obviously affects on how you will be treated by girls and mostly depends on your clothes and the body condition. For clothes, you can pick up any styles and colors and change them easily. There are a lot of shops in the game, so you’ll always have a choice. Shops also range by prices from garbage ones to French boutiques. Haircut and tattoos affect your attractiveness as well. To realize how many details this game has you should know that tattoos can be even reduced. However, it’s not cheap.
This indicator affects how long you can run sprint or ride a BMX at high speed for example. And you’ll need to improve your skills to complete all the game’s missions. So there is no way to skip the fast-food eating, doing tons of exercises or attempting to get more authority. Otherwise, your game will be finished shortly.
In this part of GTA, the developers have added the ability to climb, swim and even dive without sinking. You can also use different types of equipment such as a jetpack for example. The driving skills of your hero are also successfully corrected. It’s not difficult to manage a motorcycle anymore. You won’t fall out on the asphalt, and your bike won’t roll down from the high cliff directly under the train because from now CJ is much harder to knock out of his saddle.
The game’s mobile controls are pretty flexible. You can use the drawn buttons, the joystick, or the familiar "swap." It is even allowed to change the icons location on the screen. Moreover, the game will not annoy you with occasional slowdowns, glitches or hangs.
Replay Value 4.5/5
With all those realistic cities, countrysides and deserts in-between, it’ll take you dozens of hours to explore every mission and side activity, all while listening to multiple radio stations filled with classic playlists of licensed music. So GTA San Andreas will keep you busy for weeks or even longer.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas costs $6.99 and doesn’t have any in-game purchases.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a classic game that any serious gamer should experience at least once. The storyline is extremely entertaining, and the mission variety with outstanding soundtracks will hold up your attention for a long time. For $6.99, you'll get hours of fun and even after the main story ends and you complete all of the missions, you still can find something to do to occupy your time.Collapse
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a refreshing open-world experience that every serious player should have.
Pros : excellent optimization;
checkpoints on missions;
Cons : blurry graphics in poor weather conditions;
the graphics feel outdated;
Replay Value 4.5