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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action Adventure

 

Publisher

Rockstar

 

Developer

Rockstar North

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q2 2005

 

 

- The best sandbox action game finally comes to the Xbox
- Packed with so many things to do, easily could take a few months to complete
- Co-op action doubles the game's gangsta gameplay
- Another great soundtrack (although some may find GTA: Vice City's better)

 

 

- There's no way to immediately restart missions if you fail
- Graphics engine showing its age

 

 

Review: Grand Theft Auto Double-Pack (Xbox)

Review: GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (360)

Review: GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City (PS3)

Review: Crackdown (360)

 

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<< Return to Page 1 of San Andreas Review >>

 

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One aggravation in the game is that it doesn't allow you to immediately restart a mission that you may have failed. No, you'll have to double back to the mission start point, and begin from there all over again. It's no wonder CJ is so full of rage and anger that he's only too happy to release with a vengeance on the residents of San Andreas.

GTA: San Andreas features so many types of gameplay. Is it a driving-shooter? A fighting-action game? While no one will ever say that San Andreas is the best

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driving game, or the best shooting game, or even the best action game, GTA: San Andreas is clearly one of the best games that just happens to combine elements from a broad spectrum of gaming genres.

Visually, the Xbox version of GTA: San Andreas is much prettier than its grittier PS2 counterpart for

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obvious hardware reasons. The PC version can supply a much more impressive visual performance than even the Xbox, but only with the proper bells and whistles in the hardware and graphics card arena. Still, no matter the platform, the GTA 
engine is starting to show its age, not holding up to the current standard of graphical prowess on either console or a PC. It's easily forgivable though, because with a worldscape so large that you are able to explore, it's debatable how developers could create a much improved game to look at without the cost of less room to roam.

Musically, GTA: San Andreas again outdoes the DJ with an enormous amount of tunes from a wide variety of tastes (rock, R&B, alternative, country, even talk radio) but with a definite heavy gangsta rap influence. Just like previous GTA installments, you can change the radio stations of any vehicle to whatever you want, with tons of humorous and risqué dialogue from the radio station "DJs" and commercials. Personally, I enjoyed the GTA: Vice City soundtrack more, but if you like rap, GTA: San Andreas may be more your musical flava.

 

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The graphics engine is finally showing its age. And GTA: San Andreas isn't the best driving game. Nor is it the best shooting-action game either. But the sum of all the parts put together under the 'hood of San Andreas along with the usual well-structured story, superb voice acting, and excellent soundtrack make for one of the most incredibly engrossing adventures on any system. Just make sure you're prepared for all the strong-language (especially the "n" word), gangsta-related killing and general "boyz in the bad 'hood" gameplay. If you're easily offended or are under the age of 18, you should not be playing GTA: San Andreas. Just don't get in the way of all us other Xbox gamers roaming the streets of San Andreas, or we're liable to cap you with our virtual gats.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com
(July 27, 2005)

 

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