Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PC

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Also for: PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Combat Game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar North Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (US/GB/XX)
Released: 10 Jun 2005 (GB)
7 Jun 2005 (US)
Unknown (XX)
Ratings: BBFC 18, ESRB Mature 17+ (M)
No Accessories: No Accessories


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It's as reliable as yer birthday: that Rockstar’s GTA games will always sell well – more copies faster than any other game on the market with each iteration made. The release of last October’s GTA: San Andreas on PS2 was no exception - indeed it was months before anyone owning a PS2 was heard to talk about anything else. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, which is statistically unlikely, San Andreas is Rockstar North’s most impressive environment yet, a huge map which you can navigate by foot, pushbike, hotrod, passenger plane and parachute. Now jealous Xbox/PC owners get a look in, as the game finally comes to their platform.

It's been mooted that there's over 100 hours of gameplay in San Andreas: looking at the enclosed map and spending a few minutes finding your way around – the screen and the controls, natch – it's entirely believable. Beyond the surface there is such a lot to uncover/discover. Your character, CJ, initially clad in a white vest and blue jeans, is fresh out of jail and needs to fit into the early 1990's San Andreas lifestyle somehow. He can only do this by indulging in activities which may put him in danger of being caught by the fuzz again, or possibly being shot dead at point blank range for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, get a haircut, eat some food, keep yourself in shape, and try to earn some cash: pretty much the same as in Vice City, but with much more attention to detail, and a less cheesy soundtrack.

Some of the aforementioned additions to the gameplay provide an extra layer of depth to the well-established GTA formula, and at times San Andreas can resemble an RPG. There's not a statistic or experience leveller in sight, but there is a new emphasis on customisation and skill-building. Those gyms, dojos and expensive clothes shops aren't there just for show. Keeping yourself fed and watered - along with making an effort to present yourself well - is important. Women will find you more attractive, and men will give you respect, and maybe even fear you. If CJ is feeling weak, he simply needs some food. In fact, when hunger really strikes, the controller itself starts rumbling, and CJ's immediate mission will be to satisfy his appetite. For food, that is. Diet is important, and so is exercise. CJ'll do a lot of running around in San Andreas, and that's all good. Swimming is possible too – we found that out pretty darn quick by driving a car into the sea. The gym and the dojo are where the real fighting fit skills are learned, thereby increasing your rep.

The customisation in San Andreas doesn't end there, however. Vehicles can be modded at various garages, with new paint jobs, suspension-lowering, nitrous injection and more available. We haven't been able to determine yet whether any of the females can be customised with certain kinds of implants, botox and the like – we'll have to get back to you on that.

Buy it now for your machine, and all you’ll miss out on over PS2 owners is the crescendo of hype. The rest is all in there.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PC Artwork