Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
|Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
|Release date:||June 7, 2006|
|Series:||Grand Theft Auto Series|
|Platforms:||Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a sandbox-style action-adventure computer and video game developed by Rockstar North. It is the third 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise and fifth original game overall. Originally released for the PlayStation 2 in October 2004, the game has since been ported to the Xbox and Microsoft Windows, and has received wide acclaim and high sales figures on all three platforms. San Andreas was preceded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and is succeeded by Grand Theft Auto IV.
Set in late 1992, the game revolves around the main character, Carl "CJ" Johnson returning home from Liberty City to Los Santos after learning of his mother's murder. CJ finds his family and his old gang, the Grove Street Families, in disarray. Over the course of the game, CJ gradually unravels the plot behind his mother's murder while reestablishing his gang and exploring his own business ventures.
After living in Liberty City for five years, Carl "CJ" Johnson returns home to Los Santos for his mother's funeral. There, he finds his family and gang, the Grove Street Families, in disarray. While ironing out issues with his fellow gang members and fighting enemy gangs for territory within the city, Carl begins to bring the Grove Street Families back to prominence. However, with the Families on the cusp of retaking control of Los Santos, he discovers that his best friends, Big Smoke and Ryder, are working with the crooked Officer Frank Tenpenny and Grove Street's rival gang, the Ballas. Smoke and Ryder set a trap and help the Ballas ambush Sweet, Carl's brother. Tenpenny sends the police to arrest Sweet and kidnap Carl, whom Tenpenny ditches in the distant rural countryside. Carl, realizing Tenpenny is his only hope of staying out of jail or getting Sweet released, continues to run the cop's crooked errands, in the process killing or discrediting people involved in building a criminal case against Tenpenny.
Carl steadily befriends new allies, among them blind Chinese Triad leader and businessman Wu Zi Mu, an old hippie called The Truth, and Cesar Vialpando, a Hispanic gang member who, like Carl, has been betrayed by his old friends. Carl and his friends open a garage in San Fierro while they wait for an opportunity to return to Los Santos. After finding and killing Ryder, Carl becomes immersed in the affairs of a shady government agent, Mike Toreno, who implies that he will release Sweet if Carl helps him with his covert operations. Then, Carl works alongside Wu Zi Mu to promote the growth of a new casino in the mafia-run Las Venturas. Consequently, Carl enjoys newfound wealth and eventually returns to Los Santos. Toreno makes good on his earlier promise to release Sweet, but much to Carl's surprise, his brother wants no part of Carl's new lifestyle. Sweet insists on returning to the hood and working to reestablish the GSF rather than rest on the laurels of Carl's success.
Tenpenny goes to trial for several felonies, but the charges are dropped for lack of evidence, as all the prosecution's witnesses are either missing or dead. Tenpenny's release sends the citizens of Los Santos into a citywide riot, similar to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Fueled by Sweet's resolve to topple Big Smoke, who has become the city's biggest drug kingpin, Carl reacquires lost gang territory and hunts down the traitors responsible for pushing drugs that destroyed the Families. He kills Big Smoke in a shootout, escapes from the burning crack palace and Tenpenny shows up and flees with Smoke's drug fortune. Sweet and Carl pursue Tenpenny through the streets of Los Santos in a car chase. Tenpenny loses control of his firetruck, and he drives it off a bridge. Carl is about to shoot him, "just to make sure it's finally over," but is stopped by Sweet. Sweet simply tells him, "It's just a cop that died in a car accident." Tenpenny then dies from his injuries. The final scene shows the Johnson family reunited. As his friends and allies celebrate their success, Carl turns to leave. When asked where he's going, he replies, "Fittin' to hit the block, see what's happening."
Following the success of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, many gamers anticipated a new Grand Theft Auto game on the PlayStation 2 in late 2003. The first concrete evidence of a new installment came on October 29, 2003, when Take-Two Interactive announced that an untitled GTA game was set for release in the "later half of the fiscal fourth quarter 2004". By this time, pundits online had theorized about the plot of the game; it would either be based in the fictional city of San Andreas, California in the modern day, or in Sin City, Nevada.
On March 1, 2004, Take-Two announced in a press conference that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas would be released on October 19, 2004 in North America, October 22 in Europe, and October 29 for Australia. The first news of the game's content was revealed on March 11, when it was divulged that San Andreas would not be a city, but rather an entire state consisting of three whole cities and the surrounding territory.
On September 9, 2004, in Take-Two's third quarter financial results for 2004, it was announced that the release date would be pushed back by a week. In the same release, Take-Two announced the Microsoft Windows and Xbox versions of the game.
San Andreas was released for the PlayStation 2 on October 26, 2004 in North America and on October 29, 2004 in Europe and Australia. It was released in Japan on January 25, 2007. The Windows and Xbox ports were released on June 7, 2005 in North America and June 10, 2005 in Europe and Australia.
Prior to its release for the PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2004, along with Halo 2. San Andreas met most of these expectations, as it was praised as one of the PlayStation 2's best games, with an average review score on 95%, according to Metacritic, tying for the fifth highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. IGN rated the game a 9.9/10 (the highest score it has ever awarded to a PlayStation 2 game), calling it "the defining piece of software" for the PlayStation 2. GameSpot rated the game 9.6/10, giving it an Editor's Choice award. San Andreas also received an A rating from the 1UP.com network and a 10/10 score from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Common praises were made about the game's open-endedness, the size of the state of San Andreas, and the engaging storyline and voice acting. Most criticisms of the game stemmed from graphical mishaps, poor character models, and low-resolution textures, as well as various control issues, particularly with auto-aiming at enemies. Some critics commented that while a lot of new content had been added to San Andreas, little of it had been refined or implemented well.