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Action Adventure






Rockstar North



M (Mature)



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: Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

Review: Stranglehold (360)

Review: The Godfather: The Don's Edition (PS3)

Review: Red Faction: Guerrilla (360)



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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Score: 9.3 / 10


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Xbox owners can finally break out the forty's and gather up some ho's with the biggest, baddest Grand Theft Auto game yet, San Andreas moving on in to the Xbox gaming 'hood. PS2 owners had an eight-month jump on all the bad boyz action in the state of San Andreas, but GTA: San Andreas finally gets paroled onto the Xbox, and proves worth the wait, because this is the most comprehensive, large-scale




- Xbox Game Reviews

- Action Game Reviews

- Games Published by Rockstar

GTA ever, with plenty of the amazing GTA sandbox-style anti-hero gameplay that the series has invented. Without a doubt, Xbox gamers will be just as arrested as their PS2 counterparts by the stellar, most-definitely Matured-rated (and now, because of some "Hot Coffee", Adult Only-rated) gaming adventure that GTA: San Andreas is.


For its story, GTA leaves the beaches of Vice City and flies across country to the streets and 'hoods of the state of San Andreas, with a Hollywood-and-Los Angeles looking cityscape called Los Santos and straight-out-of-Compton-style street gangs as the main characters. GTA: San Andreas doesn't just keep it in the streets of Los Santos, either. This is a huge game environment, and you'll be able to go to San Francisco-like San Fierro and GTA: San Andreas' version of the "Sin City" of Las Vegas, Las Venturas. There is an incredibly large amount of terrain to cover during your GTA: San Andreas adventures, much more than ever have been seen in a GTA title before, and it's not outrageous to suggest that you could play this game for 75-100 hours to be able to fully explore each and every corner of San Andreas while completing each mission and mini-game available (not counting the "Hot Coffee" sex mini-game, which is embedded into the M-rated version's coding but is inaccessible to the gamer as a playable mini-game).

Think the movie "Boyz N the Hood" and you've got a pretty good idea of who's who in San Andreas. While GTA: Vice City was all about the 80's, GTA: San Andreas takes place in the early 90's. Carl "CJ" Johnson's the game's main character, a just-released-from-prison gangbanger that returns home after a five-year stay at the Liberty City pen to find that his brother and mother have been killed. Not exactly the homecoming he had hoped for. Making matters worse, a couple of crooked cops, Tenpenny and Pulaski, are holding a murder charge over his head so he'll do their bidding (although it's one of the murders in the game Johnson didn't actually commit). Tenpenny and Pulaski, by the way, feature stellar voice acting performances by Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Penn, who obviously used some of their Tarantino experience to bring the two dirty cops to Hollywood-worthy life. Voice acting in general is movie-quality.


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So CJ's under the thumb of some dirty 5-0, but it's when he reunites with his former gangbanging buddies that CJ reverts back to his gangsta ways, and GTA: San Andreas becomes the ultimate kill-fest starring the typical Rockstar anti-hero, spewing profanity and bullets at every corner. CJ just ain't bad; he's a bad mutha to the bone. There are 100 or so missions to play, spanning the entire state of San Andreas. Gameplay is not just restricted to the missions, however. Just like previous GTA titles, there are plenty of mini-games to play, and many involve vehicular mayhem, including the ambulance, vigilante, and taxi mini-games.

You can hook up with a girlfriend (who enjoys gangbanging a little too much) and can visit the corner gym to buff up in another mini-game. As usual, you can simply drive around and just enjoy the radio playing in your low-rider, or any other vehicle you can 'jack from the streets. There's even a co-op mode that doubles that gangbanging pleasure. That's what makes not just GTA: San Andreas but all the GTA titles so fun: it's a sandbox game that literally allows you to play a massive world any which way you please.

<< Continue to Page 2 of San Andreas Review >>


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