Letís get straight to the point, San Andreas is the biggest game this year, possibly ever, and many would argue thatís itís also the best game this year; possibly ever. For your £35 odd, youíre getting an absolutely enormous amount of play time, and from a simple value perspective, this is almost unsurpassable. Itís the most important PS2 exclusive title of recent times, and it just about lives up to the gargantuan hype it generated.
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We canít and wonít pretend that we donít love San Andreas dearly, itís an awesome, amazing, brilliantly fantastic game; but it is fundamentally GTA 3.3 and not GTA 4 or 5; and for those reasons there are some issues worthy of complaint. A game of this scale and with such an ambitious premise is inherently going to build itself up for a take down. Itís a bit like if the Messiah returned, but had bad acne and ginger hair. Itís a thing of revolutionary goodness, but there are certain niggles that you canít help but take issue with.
Realistically, anyone who has more than a passing interest in the GTA series and a PS2 is already likely to have acquired this game: and if not, thatís probably only because they couldnít find a copy. So rather than explaining what makes GTA so darn good and what you should expect from a game you have (or should have) already purchased/tattooed onto your Christmas list, we thought weíd highlight the problems that prevent this from being a perfect game. Just getting into that Scrooge spiritÖ
Perhaps itís a personal thing, but in taking on this premise, Rockstar has taken on the responsibility of making an all-time dream come true. As far back as we can remember we have, quite genuinely, always wanted to be gangsters, and weíve got the bandanas, badly scrawled tags and well-rehearsed, intricately-choreographed handshakes to prove it. Having also studied the deep cultural history of west coast gangsta rap and the gang-banging it so subtly portrays, we feel the world of San Andreas is the manifestation of that daydream world: generated in geography lessons squandered during our adolescence(s). In the knowledge that this game represents the closest thing to a realisation of that vision that we will ever enjoy, we do really have to don our backward-facing caps of super cynicism and keep it real, homie.