Grand Theft Auto San Andreas PS2 Game Guide
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Guide to Grand Theft Auto San Andreas on the PlayStation 2
"After five years on the East coast, it was time to go home." said Carl Johnson as he boarded a plane from Liberty City. "Moms" was dead, murdered, and he had to go back. Back to the hood. Back to Grove Street. Back to the gang-banging, drug dealing and police corruption. And what a homecoming it turns out to be. Framed for the murder of a police officer and dumped off in rival gang territory, Carl "CJ" Johnson begins the latest installment in the Grand Theft Auto series - San Andreas.
The Grand Theft Auto series is an action packed game that is part third person shooter, part racing, part chasing, mission based, crime filled adventure for mature gamers. Developed by Rockstar games, Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular series ever made. Completing criminal missions while traversing the city in stolen vehicles is one of the tasks of Grand Theft Auto. Anything with wheels is an easy steal. All the while, the police are hot on your tail as you try to avoid arrest. You have a multitude of weapons available to help you commit these crimes from baseball bats to guns to explosives and more. Characters you meet will offer you jobs and help you in your quest to become a hardened, career criminal. The higher you climb in the criminal underworld, the more respect you earn. The more respect you have, the more powerful you become. Completing missions, committing crimes and many other things will earn you cash. Money allows you to buy more weapons, purchase property and increase your influence. In the world of Grand Theft Auto, crime does pay. The use of graphic violence, adult situations, sexual innuendos, drug usage and foul language has warranted the ESRB mature rating.
The fifth in the series, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has it all. Rockstar has outdone itself this time with quite possibly the best game ever made. You could spend months playing and not see everything. The scope and size of this game are absolutely phenomenal. From the urban blight of Los Santos to the eclectic style of San Fierro, from the glitz and glam of Las Venturas to the rustic and rural Red & Flint Counties, from the heights of Mount Chillad to the deserts of Bone County, this game is a world of it's own.
Taking back the streets and earning respect while tracking down the details of his mother's murder is the story behind San Andreas. Coming home to help his brother Sweet and his sister Kendl bury their mother is just the start. Constantly dogged by corrupt police and dismayed by the state of his childhood friends, CJ fights to control a city that is out of control and to restore the Grove Street family. Along the way he deals with crooked cops, the Chinese mafia, organized crime figures, secret government agents, conspiracy theory hippies and all sorts of shady characters.
The freedom to follow your own path during gameplay is what makes San Andreas so special. Whether you play the main storyline missions, get involved in a side mission or just roam the streets in free play is up to you. Following the main story leads to different areas of San Andreas and eventually unlocks the entire state. You'll deal with corrupt police Officer Tenpenny and his cohort Officer Pulaski, the men who framed you for murder, open an auto modding garage in San Fierro with Cesar, a former gang-banger from the hood, align yourself with Wu Zi Mu, a Chinese businessman who is setting up gambling operations with the mafia and you'll even get involved with the covert world of secret government agent Mike Torino, performing his dirty little deeds to help release your brother Sweet from the clutches of the law. There are many other characters intertwined in this gripping story and epic adventure that winds it's way through the cities and streets of San Andreas.
All the classic side missions are back from San Andreas' predecessors (taxi, vigilante, street racing, rampages etc.) as well as some new ones (home invasion/robbery, dating simulations, pimping, turf wars and more). The power to recruit gang members to help you control your turf and confront rival gangs is a new feature. Another new feature is the long awaited ability to swim and with San Andreas surrounded by water and teeming with rivers and bays, you'll no longer drown for taking a dip. Dating various women in different parts of town is a pleasant distraction and brings into play many of the smaller side missions and character modifications that are newly available to this game. Display your talent dancing in the clubs, hit the gym for fight training and physical fitness or blow all your hard work eating pizza and fast food are just a few examples. There is even a two player cooperative mode in some areas of the game. The assortment of side excursions is as diverse as the game.
The variety of vehicles is once again staggering. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, helicopters and even bicycles this time. The more experience you gain using different vehicles the better you become. Pedal around San Andreas on a bicycle for long enough and you'll be able to bunny hop over oncoming traffic. Evade the police, mow down pedestrians or just cruise the streets in a range of autos including sports cars, convertibles, pick-up trucks, vans, limos, buses, tanks and the always available beaters. Motorcycles offer the freedom and danger of racing top speed on two wheels where you are one collision away from being launched through the air. There are even schools where you can learn to master your controls and eventually earn a pilot's license. Once the skies are yours, your destinations are unlimited. A few of the new additions include fighter jets, police motorcycles, semi tractor trailers, and get this... a jet pack. You can even base jump off mountains and tall buildings using a parachute.
The personal style and appearance of the character CJ can also be modified. Work out in the gym to build muscle or grow a fat pot belly from too much fast food. Your success with the ladies depends on it. The women in San Andreas like a variety of men and you'll have to change your appearance to win their heart. The barber shops and tattoo parlors around town offer you the chance the adapt your personal grooming. Get tattoos, grow a mohawk, wear a goatee or sport some bling. Personal style is always important and the clothing shops allow you to dress for success. Wear your gang colors for respect, dress with style for the ladies or wear what makes you look cool. The options are unlimited.
Voice acted by a slew of Hollywood's finest including Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods, Peter Fonda, David Cross and the late Chris Penn, to name a few, San Andreas is one of the most talent filled ever. Chris "Young Maylay" Bellard turns in a brilliant performance in the lead role. There are even cameo roles in the radio airwaves by Patton Oswalt, Charlie Murphy and Wil Wheaton.
Music is always a top feature of Grand Theft Auto and the San Andreas soundtrack is exceptional. Rap, classic hip hop, funk, reggae, classic rock, country and alternative rock are all included as well as the the satirical talk radio classics. Artists of note include Snoop Dogg, NWA, Dr. Dre, Public Enemy, Gun's N Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Depeche Mode, The Who, Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Statler Brothers, Kool & the Gang, Black Uhuru, Boy II Men, Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots. Music is so prevalent in this game even some of the featured characters are voiced by real life rappers Ice T as "Madd Dogg" and MC Eiht as "Ryder". Over 100 original artists featured on a variety of radio stations means there is something for everyone tastes.
There is so much to do in San Andreas, it's a wonder how anyone could ever complete it. Rockstar has taken the best of Grand Theft Auto and raised it to a new level. The graphics have been improved and with no more load screens between cities, the visual experience is seamless. The depth of characters makes the storyline compelling and keeps you engrossed thoughout the entire game. With a well rounded soundtrack and a talent rich cast, this game is unrivalled in star power. The scale and the landscape is truly amazing and it is very easy to lose yourself in the world of San Andreas. After all, isn't that why we play games? To lose ourselves in another world?
Click here to view our 13 Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in-game screenshot slideshow
Click here to view our 13 Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in-game screenshot slideshow
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