Written on: 04/05/2007 by Cognition (90 reviews written)
More features than you'll ever need
Bigger map than you'll ever need
So much to do
Loads of glitches and imperfections
Unfortunate graphical overhaul
So, you think San Andreas is the best game ever made? Think again.
Yes, it is pretty great, but you can't overlook the obvious problems that this game has. For instance, when flying across the map at any speed, there is a major pop up issue. This is basically the fact that things don't appear early enough - trees can suddenly come at you, or even not appear at all - leaving you all blown up and having to load again once you plough nose first into something you can't see.
I also have a problem with the graphics. When San Andreas was released, the first thing I noticed is that the game has been given a major graphical overhaul - textures have been all compressed and cars have been made reflective (the latter being more of a good thing). However, having done this, Rockstar have made San Andreas feel very different from the other games in the GTA series.
Although the introduction of Carl, the new lead character, is appropriate to the time and place when and where San Andreas is set, I feel that he lacks something that the other GTA characters had, although I'm not quite sure what this is.
Now I'd like to say some more positive things about this game.
First and best of all, there have been tonnes of new and previously unseen features thrown at this game. Perhaps the best of these are :
- Breaking into houses and stealing things - this is useful for those times when you need some extra money. These R3 missions can only be done between 8pm and 6am (or something like that) and the van to do them can be found parked outside some flats just north of CJ's house in Los Santos.
- Mod your cars - you can now modify almost any vehicle in the game, although you can't tamper with motorbikes, airplanes or helicopters as far as I know. This is good for customising your cars to suit your character, and there are also different kinds of garages to be found around San Andreas including special low-rider and street racing ones.
- Fully customise your outfit - now you can go one stage further than you could in Vice City and completely customise what CJ wears. Throughout the game, you may find that you'll need to change your clothes to do certain missions and tasks, or to get certain girlfriends.
- Change your body index - go to the gym for a work out or eat all the pies; you can now gain or lose weight. CJ can build muscle, get fat, and even increase his stamina and ability to hold breath. All this together with your choice of clothes will also affect your sex appeal.
There are also some features that arn't so good. Some of these are :
- Having to eat - it can get annoying when you're in the middle of a mission and CJ get's hungry. Not eating for too long will eventually decrease muscle and eventually health.
- Motorways - look, it's clear to see that the AI just isn't up to the job. The cars can't handle themselves and every time you take a drive on one of these new freeways, it's almost certain that you'll end up smashed senseless. This can get especially annoying when you're in a car that you don't want damaged, or when you have to get somewhere in a hurry (the irony!)
So it would seem that Rockstar have put a lot of time into adding new features to San Andreas. I hear you asking "what's the problem in this?" Well, let me explain.
Basically, throwing everything at a game will not make it any better. It may make it bigger, but not better - and this is where San Andreas is let down slightly. I feel that too much time has been spent trying to build on to what was a good game, making it bigger than ever before, but actually missing some of the more simple things.
for example, instead of working on all of the interiors throughout the map that you'll never use, why didn't Rockstar fix the pop up issue that I explained at the beginning of the review?
So to conclude - San Andreas is a pretty great game but is one that could potentially have been better if it weren't for the few major problems.
I would recommend this game but you'll probably already have it. But if you don't, then you should. This is a game for every collection!
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