October 26, 2004

To Live and Die in Los Santos

by Andrew Stern · , 7:11 pm

The newest release from Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, available today for the PS2, has already garnered extremely positive critical reviews, and from what I can tell looks to be a masterpiece. Interactive narrative-wise, the reviews say that like previous GTA3 titles — which in 2001 broke new ground in combining detailed virtual world simulation with freeform gameplay and mission-oriented narrative — San Andreas also has a fairly linear story, but the sheer size and scope of this new action/adventure is larger than ever. Players have three complete cities to play in — takeoffs of LA, SF and Vegas, each their own mini-societies. Furthermore, ~50% of the content is found off of the 100+ quests main storyline, including playing classic arcade games and billiards, working out at the gym if you overeat at Burger Shot, dressing well, dating women, dancing, and joyrides and racing out of the city on winding country roads.

Sounds like one of the richest virtual worlds that’s ever been built. Between San Andreas and Katamari Damacy, I might just have to buy myself a PS2… (My copy of Sims 2 for the PC also still sits on my desk, waiting to be installed…)