With the Definitive Edition of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” coming soon, we want to talk about some of this stuff you should know before the game comes out.
Yeah, just like with “Vice City,” the game isn’t exactly new. It’s a rerelease. But this video is mainly for people who never got a chance to experience these classic games, but are interested in what they see with the Definitive Edition. Hi folks, it’s Falcon, and today on Gameranx, 10 things you need to know about “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – Definitive Edition.
” Now, just so you know, we’re mixing in some old footage with what they’ve shown us in the new trailer, and we’re going to try to avoid spoilers. So if you’re coming to this game fresh, this should give you a good overview of what the game is all about.
Grand Theft Auto Trilogy
Starting off at number 10, this is the biggest of the three “Grand Theft Auto Trilogy” games, and not by a little. And if there’s one game that makes getting the Definitive Edition Trilogy worth it, if, for whatever reason, “Grant Theft Auto III” and “Vice City” aren’t enough for you… if you compare San Andres to the other two games in the trilogy, it is huge, the story’s bigger, there’s more stuff to do by a wide margin, and there’s tons of new features and systems that make it more interesting.
But beyond that, the map itself is huge. Even today, it’s still pretty damn big, even if “GTA V’s” map has it beat in total landmass. Just compare the main missions. “GTA III” is 51 story missions. “Vice City” has 38, plus an additional 19 asset missions, which are basically main story missions but you don’t have to do them all. Well, “San Andreas” has 100 missions, 101 if you count the opening sequence. Just on story alone, the game is massive, but that’s a drop in the bucket regarding all of the stuff the game has.
The amount of new features is also staggering in comparison to “Vice City.”
Maybe you just had to be there back when this game came out, but it really felt like something special, and games didn’t have this much content in them, at all, ever. If you’re coming into the trilogy from “GTA IV” or “V,” then “III” or “Vice City” might feel pretty small in comparison to those games, but “San Andreas” definitely isn’t.
It helps that numerous big and small improvements have been made to the gameplay that make it more fun to play as well.
The Definitive Edition is making some tweaks to improve things like aiming and generally making the game feel better to control. So if you’re a veteran or someone totally new, it should feel pretty natural to play. An important thing to remember, and we mentioned this in the “Vice City” video as well, is that the game will be pretty much the same as the classic version for the most part. It’s not a totally reworked game or anything.
It’s the classic game with some improvements to modernize it a bit. So don’t expect a “Resident Evil 2” remake-style remaster. It’s more like “San Andreas,” how you remembered it in your head.
At number nine, getting fat is a thing. If there’s one thing anybody knows about “San Andreas,” it’s this, right? One of the more interesting things about this game is all the ways you can customize your character. In a lot of ways, it’s more in-depth in this game than any other Rockstar game.
If you work out, CJ will build up muscle, which doesn’t just make them look tougher. It actually gives them more health, improves stamina, and more sex appeal, which yeah, is a real stat in this game. On the flip side, if you eat too much, CJ can get fat, like really fat. You have to go out of your way to do it… a lot of burgers have to be eaten to get huge… but you can if you want, and it’s, again, not just a cosmetic thing.
After making CJ fat, it has some negative side effects, like your stamina’s worse, you’re slower at doing certain things like climbing fences, and characters will even comment on CJ’s weight at certain points. – Dude, you’re letting yourself go. – [Falcon] It’s usually something small, but it’s really, really funny when it happens.
At number eight, the nineties setting is still unique even now. Even though “Vice City” was pretty ahead of the curve on eighties nostalgia, we’ve seen a ton of movies and games set during that time period. On the other hand, the setting of “San Andreas,” which is the early nineties, still isn’t something you see that often, and it still feels unique.
Out of all the games Rockstar has made, you can tell they really have a lot of love and appreciation for this time period, both in movies and in culture. One of the big highlights of the game is the story.
You play as Carl Johnson, mostly referred to as CJ, who moves back to the city of Los Santos after his mom died. From there, he meets back up with his old crew, his older brother, Sweet, Rider, and Big Smoke. Together, they start building up their gang, the Grove Street Families, and things just get crazier from there.
Another big highlight is Samuel L Jackson’s awesome bad guy, Frank Tenpenny, definitely one of the best bad guys in any video game. Even if you don’t care about the story in GTA games, it’s worth playing through at least once, ’cause there is a lot of cool stuff that goes down.
Also, the soundtrack, like with “Vice City,” is one of the best things about the game. Hopefully, most of it remains intact with the Definitive Edition, just like what we said with “Vice City,” but we do not know how much the original music will be here.
Hopefully, we get to keep “Killing in the Name Of,” though.
At number seven, there’s a ton of things to do. Seriously, the amount of stuff you can do to this game is incredible. Not all of it is great, but it’s cool that all of these options are there. You can buy new clothes. You can change your outfit. You can play basketball and pool. There’s arcade machines, gambling machines.
The list just goes on and on. And of course, a lot of the side missions are still here, too: stuff like Vigilante, where you steal a police car or a paramedic, where you take an ambulance. But there’s a lot of new stuff, too, like these burglary missions you can do at night, which are actually fun and a pretty easy way to make money.
You just get in one of these vans at night, sneak into any available house, and take anything of value you can get in the time limit. There’s so many more things to do out there, but these are just a few examples.
At number six, it’s got the most varied map in the classic trilogy. The most mind-blowing thing about “San Andreas” back when it first came out was that it didn’t take place in one city
. It actually took place in an entire state with three major cities in it. That’s still really impressive even now. The cities themselves aren’t that big in comparison to Los Santos in “GTA V,” but they make up for it by having a ton of variety. First is the city you start in, Los Santos. It’s got everything you would expect in a city modeled after L.A., including a big Vinewood sign.
There’s a ton of rural country with some small towns dotted around. These places are all pretty small, usually a few blocks, but there are so many little towns dotted around in the country that it makes the game feel much bigger despite being not as large as “GTA V.”
The second city, San Fierro, is modeled after San Francisco, and it’s got all the hills you would expect. To the northeast is Las Venturas, which is modeled after the Las Vegas, and it’s a city filled with casinos and tourists and surrounded by deserts.
There is so much variety to this map that it is just incredibly fun to explore, much so that people would obsess over possible secrets hiding somewhere in the wilderness. With improved textures and denser foliage, in the Definitive Edition, it’s gonna look bigger than ever. Just be careful where you fly.
At number five, there’s a gang war going on. Another major new feature to the game is a gang warfare. It’s all about territory control, so any section you see in your map that’s green is controlled by the Grove Street Families, and any part of the map that’s purple or yellow is controlled by an enemy gang.
If you go into their territory and start taking guys out, it starts a turf war, and you can fight off waves of gangsters to claim their turf from them. At first, you might not think you need to mess with this system a whole lot, but it does come into play by the end, so it’s smart to take at least a few key locations.
Thankfully, this game is not “Grand Theft Auto III,” where enemy gangs will start shooting the second they see you. They don’t like you in their area, but they’re not all shoot-on-sight, so it’s not so bad. What is bad is when they try to take your turf, and sometimes you have to defend it from getting taken over as well.
It doesn’t happen that often, so it’s not that annoying to deal with, but there are a few ways to get out of it, too, at least. The whole thing isn’t a huge part of the game.
There are major chunks of the story where you can’t do it at all, but for the sections where it is something that you can do, it actually is fairly important, so we thought it’d be a good idea to at least highlight this a little bit here.
At number four is graphic improvements. Now, all three games in the trilogy obviously are gonna look better with the Definitive Edition, but “San Andreas” will probably benefit from these improvements than most. It’s already the best-looking game out of
the three of them, and changes to character models seem a little less jarring compared to what we’ve seen in “III” and “Vice City.”
Now, on top of the new character models, car models, and higher-resolution textures, “San Andreas” is probably really gonna benefit from the improved draw distances, which were really noticeable in the first game. “San Andreas” had full-blown airplanes that really let you speed through the world, so the pop-in could be pretty drastic. So being able to play this game, where everything’s fully detailed for a decent distance, really makes the game look a lot better.
There’s also reworked lighting, better dynamic weather, and better reflective surfaces. All in all, the game’s just going to look a lot better, even if it’s all just cosmetic improvements.
At number three, you can improve your stats. Now, the fat and hunger meters are probably the two most memorable stats in the game, but there are a ton more. There’s stamina, which they finally just display and can be improved by running around or working out.
There’s respect, which is both a sign of your progress because you get it for finishing main missions, but it also allows you to recruit Grove Street Family followers, which is useful. There’s also vehicle skills. The more you drive certain kinds of cars, the better your handling gets. One funny detail is they actually make it so Carl animates differently depending on his driving skill. If it’s low, he looms back while he’s backing up. If it’s high, then he just uses the rear-view mirror. It’s a small detail that most people probably don’t notice, but this game is filled with little things like that.
There’s also gun skills. Almost every gun as a handling stat associated with it. The more you use that gun, the better you get with it. You shoot more accurately, you can move around faster, and in some cases, you can even dual-wield some of the guns if you get good enough with them. There’s just so many little systems in “San Andreas” that are interesting to me. I think this kind of stuff adds a lot to the game, and even though you can go through the entire game without noticing any of it, it’s really cool that it’s there.
At number two, you can get a girlfriend. This is kind of a wild feature. It is related to all the controversial Hot Coffee stuff, but I doubt they’re gonna be bringing that back with the Definitive Edition.
Still, this is another feature that doesn’t necessarily get you much for engaging with it, outside of a few girls that can get you some really awesome bonuses, but it does exist to make the game feel a little more immersive. There’s a lot of stuff you can go to on dates.
You can respond positively or negatively to what they say, and there’s a lot of variety to how things can play out. If you’re dating two girls at once, there’s even a chance that one will show up and ruin your date. I mean, there’s actually a ton to talk about just on this feature alone, but I think you get the idea. We’ve said it a lot on here.
“San Andreas” has a lot going on, arguably more than any other GTA game, and it’s awesome. And finally
, at number one, the housekeeping. This includes a release date, times, et cetera. The Definitive Edition of “San Andreas” comes out the same time as the rest of the trilogy.
You can buy it on November 11th on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Series X, and on Switch. On PC, it’s releasing on the Rockstar Game Launcher app. It’ll also be releasing digitally on the mobile platforms like iOS and Android sometime in 2022. One cool thing about “San Andreas” is it’s the one game in the trilogy coming to Xbox Game Pass, so if you’ve got that, you can play using that service.
So if it’s the only game in the trilogy you’re actually interested in, it’s something to consider. Regarding PC requirements… and we mentioned this in our “Vice City” video… but the game requires Windows 10, which is a little annoying, and it takes up 45 gigs of disk space for the entire trilogy. The enhanced textures do not come cheap.
There’s also a physical version of the game coming out December 7th for the PS4 and Switch. At the most, we have no idea what the performance on these games is gonna be like on the Nintendo platform, but if you’re into physical releases, this might be worth waiting for. So are you gonna get the trilogy? Let us know what you’re thinking. Leave us a comment.
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