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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a sequel of the GTA series designed by the Rockstar North studio and released for PC in 2005. It’s an open world game with a third-person perspective which takes place in the fictional U.S. state of San Andreas that is basically a mixed prototype of the real Nevada and California states.
San Andreas is the fifth part of GTA where you play as Carl Johnson nicknamed SJ. You return after five years of the absence to the city of Los Santos because of your mother’s death. Right after the funerals you get a false accusation of murder and start trying to avoid any prosecution as well as take back all of your band’s territory.
Graphics — 4/5
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has nice graphics, environments and characters’ models, but they might seem a bit outdated on the PC. Even though the game is incredibly detailed and you will likely enjoy playing with three different prototypes of the real American cities: Los Santos - Los Angeles; San Fiero - San Francisco; Las Venturas - Las Vegas.
Backgrounds like mountains, fields, city streets, shops, hospitals and even scoreboards look amazingly realistic. The vehicles will also pleasantly surprise you because there are a lot of new models available and all of them are highly detailed and in overall look beautiful. Everything from bicycles, tractors, forklifts to water scooters and aircraft can be not only purchased but tuned as well.
The game’s characters look incredibly realistic, and the animation, as well as visuals, are good. So the set of individuals is quite believable and makes an excellent representation of the San Andreas graphics. However, poor textures can appear in some parts of the game which certainly ruins the good impression.
Also, the models in the game tend to be a little bit blocky, and there are some graphic issues caused by weather conditions. For example, the visibility becomes bad when it’s foggy, or the image gets blurry while it’s raining. It might happen because the graphics were primarily designed for the PlayStation, but the developers had plenty of time to adapt it for PC as well.
Gameplay — 5/5
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas you play as CJ who is a gang of Orange Grove Families. Your mother was the leader of this group, and after her death, you’re having a lot of defeats and losing your possessions. Your elder brother, Sweet, gets all the family gang's back to the city. So right after you arrive from Liberty City, you have to lead the band and find any ways to return your family’s authority back. To achieve that goal you will have to do a lot of missions and accept lots of challenges. Don’t skip videos during the game; they will help you to learn details of the gameplay and understand the storyline.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has some distinguishing features in the gameplay comparing to previous parts because here the points and skills appear. To complete missions you’ll have to train your hero and teach him some new things like driving cars, riding a bike, sailing on a boat, shooting, etc. All actions of your hero will have a direct impact on him. So if you feed him with a fast food only, he will get fat shortly or get slim if you make him go to the gym. There are six basic characteristics of your hero such as musculature, hunger, endurance, authority, fatness and attraction and all of them will affect CJ in different ways.
From the beginning of the game, you’ll need to open new locations such as garages, restaurants, gyms or shops because all of them can be available for you only after completing certain missions. Other cities and rural areas will also be blocked for you until you pick and finish a particular mission and if you go to the locked location, it will cause an unwanted attention of SWAT teams.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an open-world game, thus you can play the game in your way: pick the mandatory missions for unlocking the game’s cities and content, or play for own pleasure and complete some optional missions for extra cash or boosting the hero’s characteristics.
All the features from the recent games like putting out fires, dropping off taxi cab passengers, fighting crimes as a vigilante, driving emergency cars with injured people are still available in San Andreas. But there are some new interesting additions were included: missions with burglary, truck and train delivery and special schools that will teach you how to drive, fly or boat. You will find even more attractive options as you progress through the game, so I'll leave some intrigue.
Controls — 4.5/5
In overall, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PC has better combat controls with the mouse and keyboard and just suffers a bit with the driving. But because of these simplified controls, the fighting and the most of the actions seem to be pretty easy and might even get repetitive.
Of course, the control scheme for PC was designed considering playing with the mouse and keyboard, and this allows you to react quicker and aim more precisely compared to the console controllers. And this also might be the main reason for making the combat so insanely easy. All your main actions are crouching, aiming and shooting the enemies, and it definitely feels like not enough. The only thing that makes the combat more complicated is the environments around the city, because if you don’t pay attention to them, you’ll easily get to the unwanted area where it can be pretty hard to attack anybody.
However, driving with the keyboard is enjoyable. The controls are so sensitive that you won’t get hard time driving around. It's not as perfect as the stick controller, but it's still good enough. Thankfully, there are a lot of missions that require from you to have good or even excellent driving skills, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to test your driving art while crashing cars, running over people, hiding from the police, lead chases, etc. I don’t know any other game that would offer you such kind of driving experience.
Replay Value — 4/5
All those realistic cities, cool cars and exciting missions will make you busy for dozens of hours. Moreover, after completing all the mandatory missions, I bet you will want to try some additional ones. The gameplay is so entertaining, and the game itself is so much full of various content that it’s hard to stop yourself playing it.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has an excellent price of $15 and doesn’t have any in-game purchases. So you can just purchase it and start enjoying from the beginning thoroughly.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a classic PC game that everyone should experience at least once. The gameplay is incredibly entertaining, and the mission variety with outstanding content, visuals and soundtracks will surprise you and get your attention shortly. With this game, you will get hours of fun, and even after completing all of the main missions, you will still find a lot of interesting to discover.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an excellent open-world game that everyone should play because it gives an amazing driving experience which is hard to get in any other game.
Pros : Realistic characters;
Cons : graphics issues with weather changing;
combats are too simple;
Replay Value 4.0