Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Re-Release Review

  • Developer:  Rockstar North
  • MSRP:  $3.74
  • Rated: M For Mature
  • Released On: October 26th,2014
  • Platforms: Xbox 360 (re-release only)
  • Rating: ★★★★★

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Re-Release Review

In what was a quiet announcement, Rockstar games decided to re-release Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for its 10 year anniversary. Just a few days before no less, it was announced that the re-release of San Andreas would include 720p HD support, a longer draw distance, and Achievement support. As a long time fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, it was a pleasure to not only hear about this, but dive back into a game I so fondly remember taking up a lot of my childhood.

Let me start off by saying, San Andreas, for its time was an impressive game. Both on the visual front and within gameplay. With 10 years passing, technology has changed and games have gotten better, both graphically and with depth. San Andreas pushed the limits with what a game console could do. It was also one of the few games to feature a customizable main character. So when Rockstar Games announced (very quietly might I add) that San Andreas would be getting a re-release, my ears perked up and my heart almost skipped a beat. October 26th,2014 San Andreas would come back into the homes of millions. Releasing exclusively to the Xbox 360, San Andreas gets a graphics overhaul. Not just on the main game play front, but within its menus as well.

Boasting an actual main menu now when first booting up the game, the player is greeted with a menu that features Play Game and Options. From Play Game, you can choose to continue a saved game (if one is present) start a new game, choose to load from a save file, or mess around with the options. After starting a new game, I was presented with a super quick load screen, something that caught my attention right off the bat. Once the loading screen faded, the familiar opening cut-scene with the main character CJ picking his bags up at the airport of Los Santos International and giving a narration of who he is and why he’s back.

While the story has remained the same, it’s the presentation that has gotten an overhaul. Sporting 720p HD, San Andreas looks a lot more impressive than the original version. With cars being a lot shinier, the sky looking a lot brighter, and the prostitutes looking more, well for lack of a better word, prostituty (it is Grand Theft Auto after all.) With this upgrade, there does come one problem. Each character’s face looks older, a lot older. Carl Johnson (CJ) looks as if he is in his mid to late 40’s or 50’s. While this isn’t a significant problem, it does just throw you off. The city of Los Santos itself still looks amazing and vibrant as it originally was, with pedestrians just as witty and vulgar as before.

The gameplay has gotten a small overhaul as well, with a new play style being select-able. The default play style is Standard, with an alternate option of Original. Standard has everything brought to a new age feel. The right trigger being the accelerator for vehicles and the aiming reticule for  weapons, the left trigger for breaking in cars. The A button gets used to sprint, the X button to jump, and the B button to shoot while the Y button us still for getting in and out of cars.  The left thumb stick moves CJ, while the right thumb stick controls the camera.

While everything from the original game (minus the “Hot Coffee” mod) is still in tact, San Andreas definitely looks like a different game, but plays the exact same as the one we’ve all played before. If you’ve never played San Andreas, (Who hasn’t at this point though?) then now would be the time to purchase and if you have played San Andreas and wanna stroll down memory lane.  This re-release is definitely one you should pickup.

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