510th played so far


Genre: Action
Platform: PC/Playstation 2/X-Box
Year of Release: 2004
Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games

It’s always nice to reach a Grand Theft Auto game, as it has always had a good core gameplay while the 3D games have slowly been hammering out some control issues – Grand Theft Auto Vice City was already a step up from Grand Theft Auto 3 – and I understand San Andreas is no exception – it’s amongst the best in the series.

I haven’t really played it, obviously, just seen bits of it, but having watched Peter play Grand Theft Auto V around its release, and that alone has given me enough interest in a large open world game, something to mess around in where possible.

Our Thoughts

Maybe I just haven’t quite gotten to grips with the Playstation 2 controller, but there were a few points in the game where the controls still seemed to work against me a bit. Not as much as before, but it felt like the game steered me towards them (as the “cool” features). The big blocker was probably a minigame where you need to make your pimped car ‘dance’, in a DDR style minigame which just doesn’t seem to work according to the instructions given. As it was part of a quest line to proceed, I got stuck here for one of my options.

The characters feel better developed in this game, with a more interesting cast in the gang surrounding you and while there are single joke characters, at least it feels like there’s more of an attempt to make that part of the world live around you.

And that feels like it’s the case in general. The world feels a bit more together and realistic.  I wouldn’t necessarily everything makes perfect sense, but as a game world (rather than a realistic one) it feels like it all integrates better.

The game still feels like is still harsh on loss – you still lose all your weapons when you do, for example, although there’s always a free gun nearby.  Save games are still restricted as well – only in your safe houses, and the game provides no checkpoints during missions, which, considering their length and sometimes uneven difficulty can get frustrating – you need to keep doing the same things, even if you’ve completed that tricky bike race five times before.

Final Thoughts

The game feels better, it looks better, the whole thing comes together more than before. I know Peter considers it the best of the series – that’s deservedly that so far, but I hope that the next few installment add the few gameplay enhancements I’m really hoping for.

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