|Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas cover artwork
|Series||Grand Theft Auto|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Xbox 360|
|Release date||PlayStation 2|
NA26 October 2004
PAL29 October 2004
Windows and Xbox
NA7 June 2005
EU10 June 2005
Xbox 360 (Download)
NA20 October 2008
|Genre(s)||Third-person shooter, Action, Action-Adventure|
Download (Xbox 360)
|Input methods||Gamepad (PS2 and Xbox)|
Keyboard, mouse (PC)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in October 2004, two years after after predecessor Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and is the third 3D game in the series. It uses by far the largest map, scaling three cities, a large open countryside and a baron desert, and proved to be possibly the most successful game on the Playstation 2 of all time, and to most, the best Grand Theft Auto gameof all time, becoming a multi-Platinum game just like Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Like the other games in the Grand Theft Auto III era, the game used the RenderWare engine, and although its graphics were far from the best, it was regarded as such a great game because of its sandbox style.
It's set in 1992, and starts off in Los Santos, one of the three major cities in the San Andreas county. The storyline follows Carl Johnson, ex-gangster and member of the Grove Street Families through the typical "rags to riches" scenario in the largest set missions in the series. San Andreas has only ever been used once in the 3D world of Grand Theft Auto, although it was used in the first game, based on San Fierro (the second of the three major cities).
 Story Overview
Related article: List of missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
 Warning: Plot or ending details below!
Carl Johnson moved to Liberty City in 1987, but after five years living there he came home to Los Santos, only to find that his mother was killed in a drive-by shooting and the streets once controlled by the Grove Street Families had been the centre of huge gang wars in which the Ballas and the Los Santos Vagos has taken control. The Families had been reduced to virtually nothing, and on arrival in the city, Carl began to see for himself what had happened, when his own mother's funeral was attacked by rival gangs, and when he ran into his old foe Frank Tenpenny. For the first part of the story, Carl built up contacts around the city to trace the people responsible for his mother's death, and traced it back to a green Sabre owned by a rival gang, and with this the Families once more began to rise. Carl was arrested by Tenpenny and dumped in the middle of Red County, a large open countryside, and began doing work around there, and when he started working with The Truth, he was soon forced to move to San Fierro and take refuge in an abandoned garage which he had won the deeds to from Catalina. His work continued and he met new people, and his travels took him through the baron desert and into the lights of Las Venturas where he took part in a heist on Caligula's Palace. When Carl finally returned to Los Santos, riots had started in the streets, and the Families had once again lost control of their territory, so he began to start taking back control again, and went to tie up some loose ends at Big Smoke's factory, where he saw how much drugs had corrupted Smoke and ended up killing him, and immediately chasing Tenpenny through the streets who eventually came to an end on Grove Street, where he crashed his firetruck. Doing missions will also gain respect from other people for CJ, as will gaining territory (whilst losing territory loses respect).
 Carl Johnson
Carl Johnson is an African American man, who is part of a gang called the Grove Street Families in Los Santos and is known simply as CJ to his homies. Carl moved away from Los Santos to Liberty City in 1987, and returned to his home five years later to find that his mother is dead and his gang reduced to nothing. Not much is known about Carl before he moved to the east coast, and similarly, he has not been heard of since the events in 1992, so it is unknown whether he is still alive or if he is dead. It is known, however, that he moved to the east coast after the death of his other brother Brian Johnson, and spent his time in the east working for Joey Leone of the Leone family. CJ, unlike other protagonists in the Grand Theft Auto series is fully customizable; players can mix and match different clothes as they please (with the default style being a white tank top, blue jeans and sneakers), and can also customize his hair style, get him tattoos, change his weight (which also affects his fitness) and can take him to the gym to give him some muscle. Carl is also the first black protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series, and one of two in total (the other being Victor Vance).
 San Andreas
San Andreas is a state based on three major cities around the real-world San Andreas fault line. The cities are, in order of being unlocked, Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas) with a large open countryside known as the Badlands separating Los Santos and San Fierro, and a vast desert separating San Fierro from Las Venturas. Los Santos is home to the film studios, and the rich and famous people such as Madd Dogg, but as well as the glamour of Vinewood, there are also the less well off areas, such as Ganton, towards the east of the city where the gang activity is. North and west of this is Red County, which is inhabited by a few people in small towns, and also contains Mount Chilliad, the largest mountain in the county. On the west side of the map is San Fierro, which is a city which revolves a lot more around business, and is home to iconic landmarks such as the Big Prick and the Gant Bridge. To the north of the map is a large baron desert which consists of a few small towns, an abandoned airstrip and a military research facility, whilst the north-east of the map is home to Las Venturas, which is the lights and nightlife of the area, made up of dozens of casinos, some of which players can enter and gamble in.
There are a large range of characters in San Andreas, ranging from the gangsters on the streets of Los Santos, to the leaders in the lights and life of Las Venturas. The cast consists largely of rap musicians, due to the main focus of the game being on African American gangs in a stereotypical ghetto scenario, and on top of that, actors such as Frank Vincent also make an appearence. San Andreas was the first game in the series to use multiple characters from other games, bringing back such people as Salvatore Leone, Ken Rosenberg, Claude and Catalina. This allowed players to see what became of characters after the events of Vice City and what happened to some before the events of Grand Theft Auto III, and the use of returning characters was then also made in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, meaning that the storylines mixed and became more like a series than individual games (although no old characters returned in Grand Theft Auto IV). In San Andreas, Carl makes many friends, including Cesar Vialpando, but also loses some older friends, such as Ryder and Big Smoke.
San Andreas had the largest range of vehicles seen in Grand Theft Auto games to date, with a total of 188 different vehicles available. As well as the usual GTA vehicles, such as cars, vans, boats, helicopters and motorbikes, this game also introduced some new forms of transport. The most prominent new type of vehicle is airplanes, ranging from small private jets through to a large commercial passenger liner. Players must learn during the course of the game to fly by attending a school, and when they have obtained their pilots license, they have the ability to roam into any airport and fly any of the aircraft parked in there. As well as this, players can also steal a VTOL fighter jet in one mission and take it back to Verdant Meadows airstrip, where it will be available for them to use whenever they want, along with the jetpack. Other new additions include the freight trains which run around the county, police bikes, hovercraft, combine harvesters and the SWAT tanks and the FBI tanks, used in the riot missions towards the end of the storyline (they are not available otherwise). Driving in San Andreas more allows players to build up better driving skill stats, and similarly riding a bicycle will allow them to build up bike skill stats.
The weapons system works in the same way as in the previous games - there are twelve different categories of items, and CJ can only carry one of each type at any time. There is a large range of weapons available, many of which (these being handguns, shotguns, SMGs and assault rifles) have different levels of skill, and more skill allows for players to do more. For example, reaching top skill level with a sawn-off shotgun would allow CJ to dual wield and fire two at the same time. There are many new and inventive ways to take out people, including fire extinguishers, spray paint and indeed sex toys (dildos and vibrators).
The soundtrack of San Andreas is a costly one, made up of many well known artists of a large variety of genres to suit many different tastes. In alphabetical order, the radio stations and genres are listed below. For more details, click the names of the radio stations.
- Bounce FM - Funk
- CSR 103.9 - Swing
- K-DST - Classic Rock
- K-JAH West - Reggae
- K Rose - Country
- Master Sounds 98.3 - Funk, Soul
- Playback FM - East Coast, Classic Hip Hop
- Radio Los Santos - West Coast Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap
- Radio X - Rock, Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal
- SF-UR - House
- WCTR - Talk
 Game Launch
San Andreas is one of the most highly rated games of all time, being rated as almost perfect by virtually every professional reviewer, and has gone multi-platinum on the PlayStation 2, selling over twelve million units on the one console in just six months and is now the greatest selling PlayStation 2 game of all time.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is on offer on the Xbox Live Marketplace as an Xbox Original. It is not on offer in Australia.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the victim of lawsuits and accusations, as with its predecessors, with the normal cases where people claimed that the cause of some murders was obsession with Grand Theft Auto, however San Andreas was also the centre of attention in one of the largest video game controversy in modern times. A game modder found a way to reverse an engineered code on the disc which unlocked a hidden feature which Rockstar never intended for the public to see. Normally when girlfriends in the game invite CJ in for some coffee, a view is seen of the outside of the house, and moans are heard, however with the patch known as the "Hot Coffee" mod, players could engage in a sexual intercourse mini-game with the in-game girlfriend, but whilst this was fully clothed it gave the game nothing but bad publicity, and soon had the game removed from the shelves and re-rated as Adults Only by ESRB, the first and only game in the series ever to receive an AO rating.
 See also
100% Completion for San Andreas