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CJ & the Grove Street Gang finally jump onto the PC
On October 31st 2004, Rockstar Games released their Opus; their masterpiece, a true generation-defining experience that optimised â??sandboxâ?? gameplay. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas not only pushed the boundaries of open-ended gameplay, but also blew them apart thanks to the innovations of the companyâ??s Scottish developer, Rockstar North. Rewinding the clocks back to 2001 and looking back at the release of GTA3 on PlayStation 2, the company made a huge leap forward from the top-down 2D GTA2, wowing everyone who saw the title. In 2004, the same applied when Rockstar unleashed San Andreas to a waiting, PlayStation 2 owning, world. Well now, itâ??s the turn of PC owners to experience the exploits of CJ and the Grove Street Gang in the lampooning state of San Andreas.
If the spec of the PC is up to scratch, then GTA: San Andreas looks beautiful; whilst on first glance the visuals of the game may not appear to have been changed much in the port, just try going back to the PS2. The graphics are crisp, the drawing distances are much improved, and everything just looks that little bit â??cleanerâ??. The PC version includes a couple of features that set it aside from the PlayStation 2 original such as the inclusion of custom soundtracks (but since the in-game licensed music is so damn good, this will rarely be utilised), and the ability for players to review the previous thirty seconds worth of gameplay action â?“ perfect for capturing those GTA â??momentsâ?? such as when CJ jumps out of the Lear Jet-a-like and parachutes into the centre of Downtown Los Santos!
The mouse-keyboard combination does take some time to get use to, but if players have a good gamepad then San Andreas PC becomes much easier to overall control. Though some gamers might find the regular jumping from two-handed keyboard control back to keyboard-mouse a little bit â??busyâ??, it does become almost second-nature in time.
At the end of the day, this is GTA: San Andreas â?“ easily the best game of 2004 on PlayStation2, one of the best games of the year across any platform for that matter, and if gamers have a worthy enough PC to see the sights of Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas, then this is a must, plain and simple.