Taking inspiration from the West Coast after two East Coast-set games, the map of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” stands out even now. Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas are all a blast to explore, and the game cleverly familiarizes the player with the new locations over time with its mission structure.
Lead protagonist CJ is fully customizable, ranging from altering his wardrobe to beefing up his stats at the gym. CJ’s appearance will even shape his behavior, changing how he carries himself in public and adding another innovation to the series.
Missions are designed extremely well and produce a good variety, but some of the missions feel practically impossible. Not only that, but failing a mission causes the player to drive all the way back to the starting point. This can break up the pacing, which is unfortunate because “San Andreas” has some excellent missions.
Even so, the story and characters in “San Andreas” are rock solid. CJ is great; his snarky comebacks mesh well with other figures, like the always-uptight Officer Tenpenny. Voice acting is a big factor in making these characters so memorable. Christopher Bellard, Clifton Powell, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Woods all bring their A-game in bringing the huge personalities of “San Andreas” to life. These aspects alone make “San Andreas” one of the most replayable entries in the series.
- Release Date: Oct. 26, 2004
- Available On: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360
- Genre: Action-adventure, Sandbox
- Game Modes: Single-player,