Cheap Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( DVD-ROM ) (Software) (Windows 2000, Windows XP) Price
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It may not be a splashy leap forward, but Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in its own deep, dark way does just as much to move and revolutionize video games as its two predecessors, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As in previous installments, here you play as a thug with problems you must steal and shoot your way out of, but the problems this time are disconcertingly more realistic. You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ, a likeable criminal type who has just returned to his hometown, Los Santos (a fictionalized Los Angeles), to find that his mother has been murdered and that the police have framed him for another murder. Reunions with his friends and a troubled relationship with his brother set off a sprawling, complex plot line, taking place at first in the immediate Los Santos area but eventually spilling into San Fierro (based on San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas).
|You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ. |
This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel.
Where Vice City took its cues, with tongue firmly in cheek, from the 1980s television series Miami Vice, San Andreas is a sincere homage to early 1990s innercity gangster films like Menace 2 Society and Boyz N the Hood. This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel. If that effort hits a few flat notes (you would have to be totally desensitized not to wonder if it's OK to make entertainment out of driveby shootings), it may also mark the first step toward video games growing up. The first thing that fans of earlier GTA games will notice is the range of action is much wider now: Along with shooting, running, and driving, there's now swimming, eating, working out, shopping, and, yes, getting a haircut. All this means the game has a fairly steep learning curve. But, though the pick-up-and-play appeal of Grand Theft Auto III may be long gone, your access to the action becomes fairly transparent after a little practice. My only serious complaint is that, with the controller now crowded with such previously unheard-of functions like "Gang Active" and "Talk Positive," you can drive only with the left analog stick. A minor point, but it makes cars a lot more difficult to handle.
|Bicycles take on a surprisingly central role. |
It would be hard to surpass the variety of automobiles available in earlier games, and San Andreas wisely does not for the most part try to compete on that score. Instead, it's bicycles of all things that steal the show. The bikes' speed and flexibility are perfect for many of the missions, and there is something about cruising through the streets and basketball courts on a BMX that just feels right. If you play far enough into the game, you will also be rewarded with the chance to fly a number of aircraft, and flying is something Rockstar makes a greater effort to get right this time (welcome news for anyone who struggled with the planes and copters of the earlier games).
Lackluster Graphics--but a Real Feel
Graphics--never a huge priority for Rockstar--actually take a step backward from the luscious, tropical look of Vice City. Textures are rendered with only a cursory attention to detail, and contours are often blocky. It scarcely matters, though, because no matter how San Andreas looks, it feels real. This is due in no small part to voice work by an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Ice T, James Woods, Peter Fonda, and Outkast's Big Boy and a stellar soundtrack with tunes by Soundgarden, 2Pac, Public Enemy, and even a few country classics from the likes of Willie Nelson. But it's not just realistic, San Andreas is also vast, encompassing three big urban centers and huge swaths of rural land (complete with shotgun-toting farmers) between them. This vastness does mean, however, that there can be a lot of tedious driving to get to the missions, which, along with some awkward sequencing of the cut scenes (they are in places stacked one on top of the other), means that there is a bit too much downtime. But never mind the quibbles. Ladies and gentlemen, we have another classic on our hands. --David Stoesz
- Astonishingly vast game space
- Vivid character development
- Complex, engaging plot
- Enormous range of available actions
- Occasionally awkward game design
- You can no longer steer cars with the directional buttons
- Steep learning curve
What's Your Strategy?
Get mission strategies and detailed maps to achieve every objective with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Strategy Guide.
| PLATFORM: || Windows 2000, Windows XP |
| CATEGORY: || Software |
| MANUFACTURER: || Rockstar Games |
| ESRB RATING: || Adults Only |
| FEATURES: || DVD-ROM, Discover an immersive storyline filled with twists and turns, Take part in fast-paced and lawless driving, Experience all-new action that continues the hit Grand Theft Auto series, Encounter new thrills and wicked speeds that are just up the road, Traverse the state of San Andreas and take down anyone that gets in your way |
| MEDIA: || DVD-ROM |
| UPC: || 710425216947 |
Customer Review of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( DVD-ROM )
here is somethin' you can't understand...
Not really being into the original GTA III (and its birds-eye-view predecessors), I became unfortunately addicted to to San Andreas. The game play is absorbing and the storyline and cinematics are, despite the dated graphics, engaging. Maybe the most impressive aspect of the entire game is the impressive cinematic scene voice acting, which makes you forget about some of the jerky animations.
>The game play is free-ranging, but if you don't pursue the main storyline missions (which are linear, but multiple storylines let you pursue them in any priority) the gratuitous violence you can commit is ultimately unrewarding and difficult to get away with (as it should be). The moral criticisms of the game include being able to randomly assault innocent bystanders without repurcussions, but for the most part, there are repurcussions if nearby police see you doing so. My criticism would be that there are not enough repurcussions for street violence, because it would certainly make that aspect of the game more challenging. If you go on a rampage in a local store, the clerks don't try to call the police or evade. They instead just take a beating or a bullet. The AI of some of the rival gangs is a little clumsy too, as they will simply start shooting at you if they see your colors, despite the presence of squad cars or bike cops across the street. The cops in San Andreas are corrupt, but not that corrupt.
>GTA SA definitely feels like a ported title rather than a game developed for PC. Some of the interface and in-game menus are awkward and designed to be PS2 gamepad friendly. Saving the game is a bit of a pain as well, since you have to retreat to your "safe-house" to save everytime.
>A fun and engrossing game for adults, but let this be known: if you let your under-18 child play this game, you are an awful parent and deserve to have social services come and whisk your precious babies away. Aside from the violence, San Andreas is rife with profanity and innuendo, and is probably not really suitable for anyone under 40. There is no "safe" mode or low-gore level for this game like some other titles (while the game is overly violent, gore is minimal anyway).
Same GTA with some RPG touches
As one might suspect GTA: San Adreas has the classic anarchist fun with insane driving, guns galore and a lawless protagonist, and a linear storyline. Let's be honest though; nobody buys GTA to JUST play the mission part and in fact I have a hard time getting into the missions. In San Andreas there is an even larger area of gameplay and a few other cities to explore once you have advanced in the game (unless you want to cheat). The clear aspect that sets this game apart from the previous ones is the depth of gameplay. Haircuts and tattoos are available for purchase. You have various parts of your character that can be built up--fat, hunger, muscle, driving skill, weapon skill etc. Obviously when you get fat you need to run around and eat when hungry. The others are self explanatory.
>Some new and rather interesting vehicles ave been added to this game. The hydra, which is a harrier type jet, the stunt plane, an attack helicopter, a four wheeler, a parachute, and my favorite--the jetpack. Other than that the game is like each created before it from GTA 3 on. The graphics even on a fairly modern computer still leave much to be desired. Whatever engine they use is clearly the same as GTA 3. Animation on the other hand is very natural and realistic. Music from the radio stations is lackluster, but I believe it is possible to use your own music instead.
>As a computer game San Adreas' controls at the very least awkward because of the sheer number of actions that can be done. In the worst case scenario--the hydra--however using a keyboard to fly the plane is downright nerveracking. If you want to shoot something below you, be sure to compensate by a couple of seconds, not because it moves fast but because you need that time to angle the nose of the plane in that direction. I, myself use an xbox controller which has an adapter to use the USB port on the computer. Even with that it is not much better and you still need the D-pad to make decent turns. As you can tell this is my biggest qualm with the game.
>Overall Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a lot to offer if you don't have a regular gaming console but that is compensated by the clumsy keyboard controls. I would rate it a 7 out of 10.
This game is very fun you cam make belive your a gangstor and beat up people put is you do the police goes after you and is you fight back they will try to kill you or if you dond't fight back you will be busted and go to jail.
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