PS2 REVIEW: GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS

What do you say when you're one of the first people to get their hands on a final copy of the most anticipated PS2 game ever? If you're polite you would say "Thanks." If you're just insane with anticipation you say something like "gheda oyhfdao hofda" and run off into your cubicle to play the damn game. Note to self: Next time stop and empty the bladder BEFORE loading the game. While my magazine review won't be posted until next month, many of you know I work undercover here at Platinum and because of that, you guys read it first (and a different version of it).

Please note though that I don't want to spoil this game for those who haven't played it and I can't possibly comment on every aspect of San Andreas; there is just too much information to write about.

While not a huge fan of either GTA 3 or Vice City, I respected the vision of DMA - now under Rockstar's umbrella - for turning this quirky little top down game into a 3D world where anything goes and often does. The more I read about San Andreas, the more the concept of creating an actual state complete with three cities and surrounding countryside intrigued me.

The level of freedom in the GTA franchise has always been it's biggest selling feature. Any gamer will tell you that.the over the top violence is wildly funl, but every action game these days has over the top violence. The coolest aspect of GTA is that you can literally do anything you want to and I'm here to tell you that San Andreas takes this concept beyond anything you've experienced in a GTA game.

Let me address the issue of San Andreas being nothing more than an upgrade which has been floating around forum boards for many weeks and months. In many ways this is true. The fundamental gameplay elements remain almost identical to what Rockstar accomplished with GTA 3 and VIce City. That being said, the sheer amount of growth, character development and freedom afforded to the player is unparalleled and when you pack your bags for San Andreas I imagine many of you won't be returning for weeks, possibly months.

 

Minor Spoilers Ahead:

You can imagine the pressure of having to review a title like this. With 107 main story missions and countless hidden items to locate such as gang tags, oysters etc not to mention simply experimenting with insanely cool extras such as base jumping, it's simply impossible to test everything out in the time given to review San Andreas. I managed to see and do quite a lot and I still don't believe I've scratched the surface as to what can be accomplished with a little devilish imagination. I suggest playing SA with a pen and paper and jotting down all the cool places you want to investigate and things you want to experiment with. After awhile you will forget because so many new ideas are popping up constantly.

There is no point rehashing the story (located below). Needless to say you're CJ who reluctantly rejoins his gang in the city of Los Santos. While the entire state appears to be opened from the beginning, you won't be able to make your way into other areas until you pass certain objectives or you'll be met with force. Don't attempt "border crossing" either as that won't work. Trust me on that one.

Again the beauty of this game is being able to decide when you do anything. If you play the game straight through, mission after mission, you'll miss out on awful lot. Some will argue and have, that the extra side missions in the series have been useless busy work artificially prolonging the game until the inevitable linear end and yes, San Andreas continues the tradition of screwing around for hours, days, weeks maybe even months of exploration without even touching a mission. But it should be noted that this time around, you'll need to progress through the storyline to actually progress CJ's character.

Much has been written about the cosmetic enhancements that you can put CJ through in the game and it works to incredible effect. Not only do the clothes make the man, but also the tattoos, food, hair and attitude. As you get further on in the game, your character will be a direct result of how you have treated him. Conversations with characters on the street can be handled nicely or not (with a directional d-pad selection) and you'll notice that if you take CJ one way or the other (call it the dark side or light side if you will) his responses will start to gravitate towards his "attitude" whatever that happens to be. You will also notice the insane amount of voicework in the game - not only through the hundreds of conversations CJ will have with scripted characters during scripted events - but the comments made by passerby who just can't help themselves and need to comment on the way CJ looks. You can also listen closely as they'll be talking to each other this time around.

One of the elements I have sorely disliked in the series is the terrible shooting and aiming. It has always been the weakest part of the franchise. I was surprised to see that Rockstar has made an attempt to change this for the better in SA, considering they didn't seem to think it was "broken" after GTA3 because Vice City was more of the same. In SA CJ will have to get a lot of experience with handling weapons before he can start using them to great effect. The more you practice, the better you will become and what I discovered was that just shooting people on the street didn't help. You'll need to fight in real situations.

Powering up and education is an underlying mechanic in SA, in some ways giving the game a pseudo RPG feel, which I really like. From driving to shooting to skydiving (and more!) you will need to educate your character before you can really dig in to the depth of control that Rockstar North has afforded you. These usually come in the way of schools where you can test your abilities. Some players won't take kindly to this dramatic addition to the series, but I welcomed it as it added challenge and depth to the foundation of the gameplay. Without it, SA might have been too much of a cakewalk for vets of the series.

Using that as segue point, I can assure you that even oldskool vets will have their asses handed to them over and over again. Even carjacking this time around isn't like taking candy from a baby. These guys fight back. But harkening back to the education system, spend some time weightlifting and CJ will be able to handle himself in physical situations. One of the best innovations in SA is the ability to not have to rewind the tapes to the beginning of a particular mission if you fail. It's a godsend and makes the game flow much smoother, while still allowing you a chance to get it right.

Everything you loved about previous GTA games is present and accounted for: the numerous vehicles (land, sea, offroad, air) with quite a few suprises that you haven't seen in screenshots, plethora of side missions, empire building, drivebys, hidden items and so much more that I literally cannot remember it all. Rockstar didn't just leave it at that though; there are a lot of new gameplay modes and minigames you've never seen before. Hint. Better bring a friend along.

Once you are able to travel freely between cities, San Andreas literally and figuratively opens up to the player. Making your way from Los Santos to San Fierro or Los Venturas is an adventure on its own. Encountering rural life is often hilarious and you can tell that Rockstar enjoys skewering the simple folk as much as they do the urban folk. That's not too say rural people are simple. I meant they lead a simpler lifestyle. Throw in CJ and you've got one fish out of water story going on in the backwoods of Flint County.

As much as I hate to do so, I have to rag a little bit on the visuals in San Andreas. I think it might be too ambitious for the aging PS2, but as you might argue, that's not the fault of Rockstar. It's too bad they couldn't have released this on the Xbox which could have used the HD and extra horsepower to good effect. With the sheer amount of area taken up in San Andreas corners had to be cut in the graphics deparment and I'm sure the one thing you'll all notice is that the game never looks as good at home as it does in those high res screens Rockstar sends out in abundance. While the engine has been tweaked in terms of control, the graphics engine holds up admirably but at times you can tell it wants to gasp for breath. San Andreas suffers from framerate drops, graphic glitches and of course, pop in, and while it's awesome that the entire area streams from direct from the disc, it's obvious that new technology would fix these problems in a jiffy.

From an audio point of view San Andreas is as fresh and fantastic as ever. A great voice cast punches up a script that would have delivered a well received Hollywood movie and the soundtrack is second to none. The radio stations are back in full force and you might just find yourself taking a midnight stroll in the countryside just to listen to them.

After all this, I feel I'm not even close to finishing this review because there is just so much going in San Andreas it's like 5 games in one: part RPG, part adventure, part action, part racer and part sim. And it does it just as well as the best games in any of those genres. It's daunting simply to review a game like this, nevermind give birth to it. Rockstar has created one of the best games ever released on any system...and remember, I wasn't a fan of the last two games. As I sit here staring at this page I suddenly realize that the only possible way this review can ever be finished is if you, the reader, buys the game and experiences it for yourself. I don't remember the last time I gave a game this close to a perfect score, but I stand by this one. It is a masterpiece of gaming even with it's visual flaws.

Preview By Vaughn

Yeehaw! Thank God I'm a country boy! No truer words were spoken John Denver. Not sure how our inner city fella Carl Johnson is going to enjoy the backroads of San Andreas, but it sure looks like he'll get a chance to experience nature firsthand.

As we had mentioned before, San Andreas is the state in which the game takes place. Travelling between each city - Los Santos (based on LA), San Fierro (San Fran) and Las Venturra (Las Vegas) - you'll be able to enjoy the small town country life. Whether you want to take up farming and drive tractor, ride through the forest on a dirtbike or cut the neighbor's lawn with your riding mower, San Andreas looks like it might offer the gamer even more delicious freedom that doesn't involve bloodshed.

The more we hear about this game, the more we want it. Badly. Scroll all the way down to the bottom to check out the latest screens of Carl's adventures in Small Town GTA.

GTA San Andreas Preview By Vaughn

The times, they are a changing! At least in terms of the virtual landscape Rockstar calls the Grand Theft Auto series. More luscious details have been doled out in regards to what many are assuming will be the gaming event of 2004 - take THAT Halo 2 - and we're suitably impressed. If Rockstar can pull this off - and there's no indication that they won't - gamers everywhere will be taken to a whole new world where the phrase "There is nowhere you can't go; nothing you can't do" will follow through on it's promise.

Car Jackings

Stealing a set of wheels is no longer the "taking candy from a baby" affair it's been since the series inception. In San Andreas vehicle owners will fight you tooth and nail and often win. Better get in shape. Won't you be surprised the first time they kick your ass. Fight back though and you'll be able to even smash their heads against the dashboard, forcing them to see your side of the argument. Nice.

Character Mod

Change your hair, your clothes, add tattoos (no word on if they can be removed through a painful process), bulk up, work out, get fat, get skinny, dress up, dress down.... it's all up to you. Tattoos were designed by Mr. Cartoon, a popular LA tattoo parlor. The three different cities of San Andreas will feature ink indigenous to the region and culture of the area.

Cheese it! The Fuzz!

Cops will hunt you in cars, on foot and in helicopters. They will ram you, turn their spotlights on you from above and generally pursue you like flies to dung. Eat too many burgers and donuts and your virtual Fat Albert will be doing 10 to 20 in no time.

Working At the Car Wash Yeah!

Cars in San Andreas will come in all shapes and sizes and feature various dings and damage (you know, bullet holes, broken glass, scrapes from those bloody carts because some Wal-Mart fatty didn't bother returning it), all the while accumulating dirt while you drive it down dusty backroads and alleyways. If you take pride in the cars you steal, you might want to run it through the car wash. We've heard that cleanliness is next to godliness.

Gang Bang

While on your turf, your homies will look out for you in every way possible. Allies will come out of the woodwork to help you when things get ugly. Conversely, while in enemy territory your rivals will not take kindly to your impromptu visit and if they recognize you, let's just say that your friends most likely will not once the gang bangers have finished remodelling your face.

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

Rockstar overhauled the game camera for San Andreas, allowing for unprecedented control previously unseen in the GTA series. The right analog stick now gives you full range of camera movement on foot and in a vehicle. Players will be able to move in one direction while looking in the opposite direction at anytime in every situation.

GTA San Andreas Preview By Vaughn

Updated Preview: Check out this laundry list of new info we located!

  • Changing hairstyles is possible.
  • San Andreas boasts an engine capable of six times the draw distance.
  • Only interior transitions cause load times.
  • There are cars with hydraulics.
  • Appearance alters NPC reactions to the player.
  • Cops can latch onto cars.
  • Motorcycle cops are now in the game.
  • Motorcycles can now do wheelies.
  • The game will be packaged on a single, dual-layered DVD.
GTA San Andreas Preview By Vaughn
Designed To Blow You Away - One City At A Time

Thank god! No I'm not exclaiming joyously over the announcement of another Grand Theft Auto game; that was inevitable. I'm merely thankful that the folks at Rockstar (and our secret source) finally answered the big question: What city is San Andreas going to be modeled after? The answer is, hold onto your hats and take a breath....

No city at all.

San Andreas: A State of Mind

Huh? That's right. San Andreas won't be modeled after Los Angeles, Las Vegas or San Francisco. Disappointed? You shouldn't be. You see, San Andreas will be modeled after ALL of them. San Andreas is the "state" and the three virtual cities found within will be based on the aforementioned areas. Pretty cool huh? That means that instead of getting one place to gangbang, carjack, rob, steal, murder, blowup, shootup and generally wreak havoc in, you'll get three: Los Santos (based on LA), San Fierro (San Fran) and Las Venturra (Vegas).

While we've been told the three cities won't all be available at the getgo, like the previous GTA games the new areas will be unlocked after successfully completing the various missions. Rockstar is allowing a Johnny Wadd size of fun however because moving between the cities will allow you to travel through forests, deserts a mountain (!!!) and other scenic motorways where you can get your crazy ass into all sorts of trouble. Rural areas translate into hicktowns and grasschewers, and we all know that Rockstar has been waiting a long time to poke fun at the hard working Gas Station owners across America. Can't wait to see what one of those "TexMexico" gas station public toilets translates into.... I can almost smell it now....

A Whole New World

What this means to the player is Rockstar is finally beginning to realize it's dream of world domination. Actually, I'm not sure if it's this world or the virtual world I'm referring to and that's a little scary. With the dough Rockstar has made off GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City, it's no whacko concept to think that they've made more money than some small countries. Hell, possibly BIG countries. I'm sure Russia would kill for a piece of the GTA pie.

Our secret source explained over drinks and food at the Sony Party, that this game will feature a less satirical ambiance than the previous games. But don't think Rockstar is looking to take the game in the direction of Manhunt just yet. They know the fans love the fun they've been poking at the expense of pop culture; it just won't be quite so cutesy. Of course calling the GTA series "cutesy" is grounds for slander, I realize, but Rockstar definitely wants to make a departure into more serious avenues with this release.

We're Gonna Party Like It Was Just 1989....

When you think of turbulent times in recent history from a civic unrest standpoint, the LA riots of the early 90's come to mind. Hence Rockstar has decided to base the games timeline smack dab in this era which will certainly have more repercussions in the city of Los Santos, than in the San Venturra or San Fierro. As you might guess, this is where the game takes a darker turn and instead of mobster caricatures played for laughs in previous titles, players will be dealing with gangland. Hey, this is the era of the Bloods and The Crips folks and remember, they didn't much care for each other.

The city of Los Santos is where we meet our main player character, Carl Johnson, an African American who is returning to Los Santos after spending the last half decade in Liberty City. Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire. Carl brings some heavy baggage with him right from the start, another first for the GTA series, because players will not have to play the game to unravel the characters history, but rather the emphasis is on unfolding his future and get him out of the life he's leading; one way or another.

Just When I'm Out, They Pull Me Right Back In Again....

When Carl returns to Los Santos for his mother's funeral he soon discovers that the place he left 5 years before has become a former shadow of what it used to be. His brother, Sweet Johnson still holds him responsible for the death that took the life of their other brother Brian years before. Carl's sister Kendall and Sweet are feuding and Johnson's gangbanging bro's, Ryder and Smoke no longer have the streets in control. Rival gangs are taking over making life on the streets even more dangerous and the family is literally crumbling. Johnson doesn't want to get involved after having made a clean break from his former lifestyle, but two corrupt cops named Eddie Polaski and Frank Tenpenny are making things tough on everyone and very quickly into the game it becomes apparent that Johnson has to get nasty to protect the ones he loves.

"These are the dirtiest, foulest cops since Harvey Keitel in The Bad Lieutenant. Keitel had a shred of decency in him at least, somewhere in there. Tenpenny and Polaski are just plain powerhungry and enjoy what they do," said our secret source. "Definitely overtones of the Rodney King beating are in here and street justice will be served. But you already knew that."

Bling Bling

It's all about the bling bling and you can expect the rap lifestyle to play a part in the game, but specifics aren't known. When we asked if music played a role in the actual game, for example involving yourself into the underworld of rap and it's vices - rather than just a soundtrack - our source wouldn't say, but the look on his/her face seemed like we touched a nerve.

"When you get the big car and the house and the gold, that's the Bling Bling. It's not your first goal in this game. You're not looking to get famous in San Andreas. You're looking for a way out and to protect yourself and your family. That's priority number one. Other life goals will come much later."

We can assume from this that the game will take you from point A - Z, rather than from point A - B, in terms of character evolution. Where players finish may also not be as linear as previous titles. The end result of the journey it appears, is up to the way the character behaves.

Where No GTA Has Gone Before

While Vice City allowed more variation than GTA3, Rockstar is going above and beyond that benchmark which gamers will discover when they experience the gigantic leap between Vice City and San Andreas.

Rockstar has said that there is so much to do in the game, that they promise every mission will require gamers to learn something new about the game, whether it be a skill, move or cool secret. That's great news for players who thought that some of the missions in previous games were a little repetitive. Mind you, we don't think we heard anyone say that out loud, as there would have been threats tossed in their general direction.

One of the new abilities which is sure to please parents and law enforcement everywhere is the home invasion robbery. It will take careful planning to pull off a home break in, and as we were told, some home owners like to protect themselves with firearms that will rearrange your haircut if you aren't careful - after all, we're talking America here. If you do manage to pull off your own urban Ocean's Eleven heist, you'll be justly rewarded. Fail and you'll either be dead or carted off to the jail. Jail this time around, we're told, won't just be a respawn point. You'll have to deal with others in the lockup and this is super secret - possibly even spend time in the clink where you'll meet up with allies and enemies and even learn new skills - aside from the license plate making kind (although we're told you might be able to do that too!).

Grand Theft Lotto

San Andreas is expected to deliver gameplay which will reflect the strengths and characteristics of the city the player is currently in. Gangland activity, hot cars and lots of shooting will encapsulate the Los Santos area of the game. San Fierro with it's many hills will focus on a variety of driving missions and Las Venturra will be a gamblers paradise where fortunes will be lost and won in a heartbeat. Who needs a money cheat when you've got Craps?

That doesn't mean the game will be divided neatly into sections; Rockstar isn't about to do that. Each area will still offer countless hours of exploration and varied missions - some you can't even imagine and have never done before in a videogame. Ever. That's got to whet your appetite.

Grand Theft Auto

We're referring to the movie starring Ron Howard in our title above, not Grand Theft Auto: the Videogame....but I can see how you'd be confused. Rockstar is once again delivering on it's promise to add tons of new vehicles to the game. Some of which will be familiar from past games and others which will blow you away. As in previous titles of the franchise, the vehicles will be homages to real world designs, but the logistics to license them for the game would literally take years. Not only will there be planes, boats, cars, motorcycles, helicopters and scooters but Rockstar has unveiled that bicycles will play a part as well. Our secret source mentioned the possibility of skateboards as well.

Another area of gameplay which will get Senator Lieberman off his ass and in front of the pulpit, is the inclusion of driveby's with 4 characters. While you drive and lean out the window to put a cap in someone's behind, up to 3 other characters can do the same. Surely one of you will hit the mark. It's really just all about being efficient, moreso than violent.....right?

The physics and handling of the vehicles are also getting an upgrade which will be music to the ears of people who say they don't like the control. Not sure what they're talking about, but hey, whatever.

One other little nugget that was hinted was the ability to fly large scale planes, which was removed from the first version of GTA3 due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The planes won't be readily available but will eventually allow players to fly from one city to another without all of the driving and hillbilly encounters. Just like in real life. We're not sure whether you'll be flying them yourself or if you'll be a passenger. It would make more sense in the reality of the story to be a passenger as it's doubtful Carl will be getting his pilots license at the beginning of the game.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

So we've got confirmation on new wheels, but what about the meat and potatoes? You know, the weapons? Oh there will be a lot of new weapons but nothing insane like light sabers. All of the weapons have to exist within the timeline and the reality of the story Rockstar is telling. We were told one cool little tidbit that Rockstar is finally allowing duel weapons control for those who like their gunfights with a little more John Woo / Hong Kong action. Eat your heart out Lara Croft...wherever you are.

Not only have the weapon selections improved but Rockstar is implementing rag doll physics to make sure melee weapons, bullets, cars and other nasty modes of destruction make a frightening visual impact on the denizens of San Andreas. Ouch. It sounds painful already.

Fists of Fury

As well, Rockstar is refining the controls and allowing for much more finesse when it comes to aiming as well as fighting. Taking a page from True Crime: Streets of LA, San Andreas will feature more fighting than was ever previously featured. As our secret source tells us:

"Carl Johnson grew up on the streets of Los Santos. If you don't know how to fight, you're dead. Tommy Vercetti and the dude from GTA3 were white trash. They didn't grow up on the streets in the same way that Carl did. So yeah, expect a lot of fighting moves.You'll all be very pleasantly surprised with what this boy can do."

Sounds delicious. Also another first for the series is the ability to swim. No more feeding the fishes this time around. This was only implied but we're reading between the lines here, but remember when we mentioned jail? And San Fierro? Well, there happens to be a real famous jail there that if you want to escape from, you'll have to swim for it. Hope you got some of that shark repellent from Batman and Robin....

That Thing You Do

We all loved the side-missions in the previous games where you could drive an ambulance, deliver pizza, put out fires, hunt down criminals et al and Rockstar is promising to make these areas of the game much more inline with your character's progression. You won't be able to just start putting out fires with your fire truck this time around - the side missions will make sense from the reality of the story arc. In the past these missions were really nothing more than a way to pass the time or in certain cases, earn a secret vehicle such as Mr. Whoopee. The missions Johnson will undertake will have an overall encompassing effect on the character this time. Players will actually have to undertake these side-quests now, as Rockstar has stated that abilities will be learned that will affect the outcome of the main story missions.

The Weight of the World

Along with the side-quests, players who prefer to abuse their bodies with fast food and shun exercise will turn into bloated versions of themselves as evidenced by this incriminating photo of Carl Johnson impersonating Fat Albert...or at the very least a new CCCP journalist. The game world will feature a plethora of restaurants - some good, some not so good - and if you prefer to frequent the ones that sell junkfood, then expect that last police chase to end at the 3 foot fence you can't get your fat ass over. Conversely players will be able to tone their bodies as well, with weights and exercise and pump it up quite nicely. Certainly a first in a videogame.

Outside Looking Inside

While Vice City featured numerous indoor settings to screw around in, Rockstar is stepping up production to provide an unprecedented amount of buidlings, offices, houses, casinos and other places to interact with. Filled with furniture and other interactive devices such as phones, San Andreas will literally be a living, breathing, ringing, world.

Say What Jack?

Open fire in a crowd in Vice City or Liberty City and sure, you'll scatter some folks, but lay off the trigger finger for awhile and the not so bright citizens of either municipality will return to their scripted AI patterns a little too quickly. Not so in San Andreas. The AI has been increased beyond what the team thought possible during the development time of GTA3. As well, the level of non-player character (NPC's) involvement has increased from 10 minutes of recording time to up to and over an hour for each pedestrian. Don't expect the same canned conversation either - you'll learn a lot from people on the street and you'll have to play a very long time to hear repeats.

While the NPC's have more to say and do, Johnson will also be able to recruit gang members who operate at a high level of intelligence - therefore giving way for the aforementioned fourway drivebys. Completing the new artificial intelligence is a proprietary difficulty system which will ease up on the difficulty if you keep blowing a mission, or increasing it if you get too damned good. This will enable casual gamers to reach the end of the game without having to quit their jobs or pulling out their hair. It may also allow many gamers to continue their realworld relationships without becoming shut ins or hermits, although we suspect that come October 19th, you won't find a freakin' gamer on the streets. Isn't that a bizarre thought? A game that is entirely about crime on the streets could be resonsible for making the world a safer place because everyone is inside playing it, instead of roaming downtown? Think about it.

And the Oscar Goes To....

We have no idea who Rockstar is courting for voicework for San Andreas ut we do know that they won't be doing anything stupid like hiring the flavor of the month. They go for quality first, name recognition dead last. Any company that hires porn star Jenna Jameson is tops in our books, simply for the fact that she can't really do anything can she, but she does have a nice chest. Forget what I said about quality first a sentence ago. I've been drinking again....

Cool Things & Rumors (Or Take With A Grain of Salt)

With a game that will be sucking hype away from Halo 2 as if it was made by Electrolux (must see if they are still in business so that my delicious reference isn't out of date...) we're about to be inundated with rumors, theories and conjecture that will drive everyone a little insane. Here is what we've heard so far and remember that grain of salt...

  • Multiplayer Online (We say don't bet on it)
  • Two player cooperative mode (Maybe...)
  • Seadoo's, rollerblades, skateboards, 747's, blimps (Hmmm...could be)
  • Ability to play the game as a superhero once you complete it (crazy but it just might work)
  • Nudity and lots of it (We'd bet our porn collection on it)
  • Nasty language (%$#@ing rights you ^%$#ers)
  • Simultaneous Xbox release (Not on your life)
  • Interaction with real world movie, music and sports stars (could be cool if true)
  • Downloadable content via the PS2 Hard Drive (We believe this could be true which would give everyone an incentive to buy one - which would make Sony really, really happy)
  • Donald Trump doing voiceovers (Who knows?)
  • Ron Jeremy will play himself (we'd bet our lives on it)

October, You Mock My Existence

Okay so the bad news is, October isn't exactly next month. But on the plus side, October is sooner than November and December and January and... you get the point. Should you pre-order San Andreas to avoid disappointment? Yes, because this won't be just mere disappointment if you aren't playing it on day one. That would require suicide prevention.

Can Rockstar really make this an incredible game? Let me put it this way. When you talk to Rockstar about this game, they just don't seem interested in falling into the "sequel" trappings that other publishers worry about. They don't talk about doing better numbers or listening to the players. They are simply out to impress themselves and therefore, gamers will get the best product Rockstar can make at this time. Rockstar isn't worried about knocking your socks off, because let's face it, that could be pretty easy. Bigger city, more weapons, more vehicles - TA DA! Rockstar knows that if they blow their own socks off by pushing the envelopes of electronic entertainment, yours will follow suit. You can't ask for a purer form of dedication than that.

Click For Media
System: PS2
Dev: Rockstar
Pub: Rockstar
Release: Oct 2004
Players: 1
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
5.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
5.0
MUSIC/FX
5.0
VALUE
5.0