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  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( DVD-ROM ) - PC
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( DVD-ROM ) - PC

Platform : Windows 2000, Windows XP
Rated: Mature
159 customer reviews
Metascore: 93 / 100

List Price: $49.99
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ( DVD-ROM ) - PC + Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - PC + Grand Theft Auto IV
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Product Description

Platform: PC | Edition: Standard

Product Description

The follow-up to Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This time around, developer Rockstar North and publisher Rockstar take players to the state of San Andreas. Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas... a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where filmstars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers. Now, it's the early 90s. Carl's got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets.


Minimum System Requirements
OS: XP and 2000
Processor: Pentium III, Athlon 1.0 GHz
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Drive: 4.7 GB
Video Card: 64 MB Video Card with Direct X compatible drivers
Additional Info: Keyboard and Mouse

It may not be a splashy leap forward, but Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in its own deep, dark way does just as much to move and revolutionize video games as its two predecessors, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As in previous installments, here you play as a thug with problems you must steal and shoot your way out of, but the problems this time are disconcertingly more realistic. You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ, a likeable criminal type who has just returned to his hometown, Los Santos (a fictionalized Los Angeles), to find that his mother has been murdered and that the police have framed him for another murder. Reunions with his friends and a troubled relationship with his brother set off a sprawling, complex plot line, taking place at first in the immediate Los Santos area but eventually spilling into San Fierro (based on San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas).

You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ.

This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel.

Gaming Gangsters

Where Vice City took its cues, with tongue firmly in cheek, from the 1980s television series Miami Vice, San Andreas is a sincere homage to early 1990s innercity gangster films like Menace 2 Society and Boyz ‘N the Hood. This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel. If that effort hits a few flat notes (you would have to be totally desensitized not to wonder if it's OK to make entertainment out of driveby shootings), it may also mark the first step toward video games growing up. The first thing that fans of earlier GTA games will notice is the range of action is much wider now: Along with shooting, running, and driving, there's now swimming, eating, working out, shopping, and, yes, getting a haircut. All this means the game has a fairly steep learning curve. But, though the pick-up-and-play appeal of Grand Theft Auto III may be long gone, your access to the action becomes fairly transparent after a little practice. My only serious complaint is that, with the controller now crowded with such previously unheard-of functions like "Gang Active" and "Talk Positive," you can drive only with the left analog stick. A minor point, but it makes cars a lot more difficult to handle.

Bikin’ it
Bicycles take on a surprisingly central role.

Vehicular Variety

It would be hard to surpass the variety of automobiles available in earlier games, and San Andreas wisely does not for the most part try to compete on that score. Instead, it's bicycles of all things that steal the show. The bikes' speed and flexibility are perfect for many of the missions, and there is something about cruising through the streets and basketball courts on a BMX that just feels right. If you play far enough into the game, you will also be rewarded with the chance to fly a number of aircraft, and flying is something Rockstar makes a greater effort to get right this time (welcome news for anyone who struggled with the planes and ‘copters of the earlier games).

Lackluster Graphics--but a Real Feel

Graphics--never a huge priority for Rockstar--actually take a step backward from the luscious, tropical look of Vice City. Textures are rendered with only a cursory attention to detail, and contours are often blocky. It scarcely matters, though, because no matter how San Andreas looks, it feels real. This is due in no small part to voice work by an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Ice T, James Woods, Peter Fonda, and Outkast's Big Boy and a stellar soundtrack with tunes by Soundgarden, 2Pac, Public Enemy, and even a few country classics from the likes of Willie Nelson. But it's not just realistic, San Andreas is also vast, encompassing three big urban centers and huge swaths of rural land (complete with shotgun-toting farmers) between them. This vastness does mean, however, that there can be a lot of tedious driving to get to the missions, which, along with some awkward sequencing of the cut scenes (they are in places stacked one on top of the other), means that there is a bit too much downtime. But never mind the quibbles. Ladies and gentlemen, we have another classic on our hands. --David Stoesz


  • Astonishingly vast game space
  • Vivid character development
  • Complex, engaging plot
  • Enormous range of available actions


  • Occasionally awkward game design
  • You can no longer steer cars with the directional buttons
  • Steep learning curve

What's Your Strategy?
Get mission strategies and detailed maps to achieve every objective with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Strategy Guide.

Product Details

Platform: PC | Edition: Standard
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0009IX7K8
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches ; 4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,293 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Indy Reviewer VINE VOICE on June 8, 2005
Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA:SA) is, simply put, a great game. The six month wait for a PC port was worth it; although still not state-of-the-art, if you've got the rig for it graphics are noticably improved over the PS2. I'm a bit biased having been addicted since the original GTA came out - Gouranga refers to the easter egg you get for taking out a line of hare krishnas in the original - but the game is probably the best of the series as the world is richer and the missions more fun. My only reservation is that the violence and plot here have no place anywhere near kids, but for adults this is the best of the genre and deserves 5 stars.

GTA has fully evolved from a pure-action game in the original GTA to an RPG with a good deal of action in GTA:SA. The majority of the game revolves around completing missions rather than simply jacking cars and running over people as in the early versions. The good news is that the RPG works. Missions are funny but brutal.

It's important to note this isn't the tamer, slightly cartoonish Scarface-inspired Vice City. Instead, this is the very nasty world of early 90's South Central LA with a gangbanger-influence and language that many will find disturbing. With the revelation that interactive softcore porn is included, this very much deserves the new AO rating. (All the infamous 'hot coffee' mod does is unlock some hidden but pretty rough sex simulations and take off the computer-generated clothes of those involved - if you're disturbed by the gangbanging the in-genre scenes will make it even worse.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By S. W. Kanode on July 21, 2005
Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
I hope amazon does not submit to the pressure to stop selling this game. With the recent change to the rating on this game it's making it very hard for ADULTS to find this great game. I'm tired of the retail industry thinking all games are suppose to be for kids. There are grown adults who enjoy playing games. These are the same adults that grew up with video games and now want games that reflect their age. The rating system is to educate people on the content of the game, not to punish the publisher by refusing to sell it. I don't want the retail industry telling me what I can and can't buy.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 17, 2005
Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
If you're angry about the violent and sexual content in this game, there is one easy way to make it all go away......DON'T BUY THE FREAKING GAME!

It says right on the front of the box, RATED M FOR MATURE, AGES 17 AND UP.

If you buy this for your 9 year old and you catch him blowing up hookers, it's your own fault for buying it for him.

And by the way, about the Hot Coffee mod...

If your kid can go on the internet, search around enough, find the mod, download it, and install it, then he's probably been looking at porn already.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kelli on July 22, 2005
Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
GTA: San Andreas is probably the finest title in this series of no holds-barred, ultraviolent criminal action/RPG games. The storyline is interesting, the gameplay is what we've come to expect from the series and the settings ... are simply stunning.

The ESRB recently changed its rating on this game from M to AO because a computer hacker in Europe figured out a way to access a hidden code in the game that shows sex scenes. This move was largely hypocritical: even without this modification, the game is a feast of random violence, and the content of the game features random killing, drive by shootings, theft, gang violence, prostitution, drug trafficking and the like: it's a game about being a criminal, and the violence is very graphic and common. The game features strip clubs and gay bars and similar content. And yet with all of that the ESRB gave it a Mature rating and not an Adults Only rating, switching it to the latter only when it became apparent that the sex scenes could be unlocked by hacking the game code. This is highly hypocritical, because the game is, without the sex scene, just as "adult", to be honest: the sex scene hardly makes it less acceptable for 17 year olds (which is the only age group impacted by the difference between M and AO).

The real reason the rating was switched was to get the game off the shelves at the typical retail outlet, because the GTA series has *always* had a virtual army of opponents to the game, critics who have tried at every turn to squelch and silence every Rockstar title in this series. It looks like they've succeeded in their efforts, because most retailers are removing the game. Let's hope that Amazon and similar online retailers don't cave into to this craven, idologically-driven hypocrisy and simply keep the game available for those who which to buy and play it, sex scene or no.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian M. Ranzoni VINE VOICE on June 19, 2005
Platform for Display: PCEdition: Standard
I've been aware of the *Grand Theft Auto* series from the beginning, but it took the controversial and revolutionary game play of the third outing to grab me. *GTA III* essentially stands as the beginning of an epic remake, and at last developer/publisher Rockstars bring out the conclusion. *Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas* not only brings together the previous two titles, but realizes the world of the original. It's the best of the series--and a big bite to chew.

San Andreas, like Vice City and Liberty City before, was one of three cities in the first *GTA*. Now it's a state of the union, and the child hood home of Carl "CJ" Johnson: once a proud member of the Grove Street Families gang alliance, now a buster living in the relative safety of Liberty. Then a phone call brings CJ back to the streets of Los Santos, San Andreas. His mother has joined his brother in the afterlife, the alliance has collapsed, and rival gangs threaten to flood the streets with base. Carl must not only prove to his surviving family and friends he's down for life, but must ultimately save life.

This requires CJ to kill and destroy an awful lot. Not much has changed in the series on that end. But while the silent protagonist of *GTA III* was a cold-blooded mercenary to the end, and Tommy Vercetti was a sociopath who became kingpin of Vice City, CJ operates from a pirate's code of honor. His pride in family and gang contributes to the most ambitious and coherent story in the series. Major characters take a more compelling, frequent, and usually logical role than in previous installments.
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Platform: PC | Edition: Standard
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