Grand Theft Auto is a titan in the gaming world. That’s a fact. But there is no other GTA game adored as much as San Andreas, originally released in 2004, the game follows gangster Carl Johnson (CJ) on his adventures through a fictional California. The game blew my mind when I was younger, the map was huge and full of cool things to do while the micro-management made the game feel more like a second life. It has been cemented into gaming culture. But is this remaster worth another dive?
The graphics look vastly better than the original though there are some flaws, especially with some character’s faces. They look like Pixar characters, what the hell is this? Other than that, the increased draw distances helps make the world feel bigger and the textures look better in some places. Though rain is horrible. It’s like white lines appearing all over the screen and it nullifies visibility. I get it is rain and it is supposed to do that, but this looks abnormal and needs some work. The physics is the same from the original, I wasn’t expecting that to change. The game looks good but you can see it is an old game with a fresh coat of paint, though it has some blotches here and there… really, what is with some of the new faces?
The game has been made slightly more accessible with missions having checkpoints and the shooting is more streamlined. One thing San Andreas does amazingly is the micro-management. Where was this in the later GTA games? We only saw its return in Red Dead Redemption 2, to a degree.
Taking Carl to the gym to get strong affects his strength and cardio. His diet also needs to be taken into consideration. Even his handling of different weapons increases. I missed this. The light RPG mechanics made this game so much fun and that is why it stands out above the other GTA titles, in my opinion.
The remaster came onto Gamepass and I’m glad it did, I’ve enjoyed revisiting the game but I doubt I would have spent full price on it. But while it’s on Xbox Gamepass I will play it as much as I can. Though it does need some polish.
Edit: It is no longer on Gamepass—oh well, if nostalgia really gnaws at you, wait for a sale.