Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Developer(s) Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Capcom (Japan)
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive (retail, U.S.)
Capcom (retail, Japan)
Valve Corporation/Microsoft (download)
Series Grand Theft Auto
Engine RenderWare
Version 1.01 (PC retail)
2.0 (PC/PS2/Xbox retail)
3.0 (Steam)
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360[1]
Mac OS X
Release date(s) PlayStation 2[2]
  • NA October 26, 2004
  • EU October 29, 2004
  • AUS October 29, 2004
  • JP January 25, 2007
Microsoft Windows[3]
  • NA June 7, 2005
  • EU June 10, 2005
Steam January 4, 2008[4]
Games for Windows Marketplace June 8, 2010[5]
  • NA June 7, 2005
  • EU June 10, 2005
  • AUS June 10, 2005
Xbox 360 (download)
October 20, 2008
Mac OS X[7]
  • NA November 12, 2010
Genre(s) Open world, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Media/distribution Optical disc, download
System requirements

PlayStation 2

  • Memory card


  • Memory unit with 38 blocks free

Microsoft Windows[9]

  • Windows 2000 or XP
  • Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or AMD Athlon 1 GHz
  • 256 MB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 3 64 MB or ATi 64 MB DirectX 8.1 equialent
  • 3.6 GB free hard disk space

Recommended requirements:

  • Windows 2000 or Windows XP
  • Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2000+
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6200 128 MB or ATi 128 MB DirectX 9.0c equivalent
  • 4.7 GB free hard disk space for full install


  • Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
  • GB RAM
  • 8x DVD drive
  • 9 GB hard disk space
  • ATI X1600, NVIDIA 7300GT or Intel X3100 graphics card
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a 2004 open world action video game developed by British games developer Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the third 3D game in the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, the fifth original console release and eighth game overall. Originally released for the PlayStation 2 in October 2004,[2] the game has since been released for the Xbox and Microsoft Windows (PC) in June 2005, and has received wide acclaim and high sales figures on all three platforms, and is the best-selling game of all time on PlayStation 2. It was made available on Steam on January 4, 2008.[11] Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and was preceded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The game is set in the fictional state of San Andreas, which is based on Nevada, California, and Arizona, comprising three metropolitan cities: Los Santos, based on Los Angeles, San Fierro, based on San Francisco and Las Venturas, based on Las Vegas, with deserts, rivers, forests and a mountain separating the cities. Set in late 1992,[12] San Andreas revolves around the gang member Carl "CJ" Johnson returning home from Liberty City to Los Santos, San Andreas, after learning of his mother's murder. CJ finds his old friends and family in disarray. Over the course of the game, CJ gradually unravels the plot behind his mother's murder while exploring his own business ventures.

Like other games in the series, San Andreas is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives the player more control over their playing experience. The game also adds a number of features such as car customization, character personalization, and interactive sexual relationships.



The player driving a car towards the Grove Street cul-de-sac in Los Santos at dusk.

San Andreas is structured similarly to the previous two games in the series. The core gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, affording the player a large, open world environment in which to move around. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, eating, running, sprinting, swimming, climbing (the first GTA game in which swimming and climbing is possible) and jumping as well as using weapons and various forms of hand to hand combat. Players can drive a variety of vehicles, including automobiles, buses, semis, boats, fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, trains, tanks, motorcycles and bikes. Players may also import vehicles rather than steal them.

The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game and unlock certain cities and content, they are not required as players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can free-roam and look around the cities, eat from the restaurant, or cause havoc by attacking people and causing destruction. Creating havoc can attract unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the authorities. The more chaos caused, the stronger the response: police will handle "minor" infractions (attacking people, pointing guns at people, stealing cars, killing a few people, etc.), whereas SWAT teams, the FBI, and the military respond to higher wanted levels.

The player can partake in a variety of optional side missions that can boost their character's attributes or provide another source of income. The traditional side missions of the past games are included, such as dropping off taxi cab passengers, putting out fires, driving injured people to the hospital and fighting crime as a vigilante. New additions include burglary missions, pimping missions, truck and train driving missions requiring players to make deliveries on time, and driving/flying/boating/biking schools, which help players learn skills and techniques to use in their corresponding vehicles.

Not all locations are open to the player at the start of the game. Some locales, such as pay 'n spray, gyms, and shops, become available only after completing certain missions. Likewise, for the first portion of the game, only Los Santos and its immediate suburbs are available for exploration; unlocking the other cities and rural areas again requires the completion of certain missions.

Unlike GTA III and Vice City, which needed loading screens when traveling between different districts of the city, San Andreas has no load times when the player is in transit. The only loading screens in the game are for cut-scenes and interiors. Other differences between San Andreas and its predecessors include the switch from single-player to multiplayer Rampage missions (albeit not in the PC version), and the replacement of the 'hidden packages' with spray paint tags, hidden camera shots, horseshoes, and oysters to discover.

The camera, fighting, and targeting controls were reworked to incorporate concepts from another Rockstar game, Manhunt, including various stealth elements,[13] as well as improved target crosshairs and a target health indicator which changes colors from green to red to black depending on the target's health. The PC version of the game implements mouse chording; the player has to hold the right mouse button to activate the crosshairs, and then click or hold at the left mouse button to shoot or use an item, such as a camera.

The player has a gunfight with members of an enemy gang.

In addition, players can swim and climb walls for the first time in the series.[14] The ability to swim has a great effect on the player as well, since water is no longer an impassable barrier that kills the player (although it is possible to drown). For greater firepower, players can also wield dual firearms or perform a drive-by shooting with multiple gang members. Due to the size of San Andreas, a waypoint reticule on the HUD map can be set, aiding the player in reaching a destination.

RPG features in character development

Rockstar has emphasized the personalization of the main protagonist by adding many RPG features. Clothing, accessories, haircuts, jewellery and tattoos are now available for purchase by CJ, and have more of an effect on non-player characters' reactions than the clothing in Vice City. CJ's level of respect among his fellow recruits and street friends varies according to his appearance and actions, as do his relationships with his girlfriends. Players must also ensure CJ eats to stay healthy and also exercises properly. The balance of food and physical activity has an effect on his appearance and physical attributes.[14]

San Andreas tracks acquired skills in areas such as driving, firearms handling, stamina, and lung capacity, which improve through use in the game.[14] CJ may also learn three different styles of hand-to-hand combat (boxing, kung fu and Muay Thai) at the gyms in each of the game's three cities. CJ can also speak with a number of pedestrians in the game, responding either negatively or positively. According to Rockstar, there are about 4,200 lines of spoken dialogue.[15]


In total, there are about 200 types of vehicles in the game[16] compared to the approximate 85 in GTA III. New additions include bicycles, a combine harvester, a street sweeper, a hovercraft, trailers and others. Car physics and features are similar to the Midnight Club series of street racing games, allowing for much more midair vehicle control as well as nitrous upgrades and aesthetic modification.

There are several different classes of vehicles that serve different purposes. Off-road vehicles perform better in rough environments, while racing cars perform better on tracks or on the street. Jets are fast, but usually need a runway to land. Helicopters can land almost anywhere and are much easier to control in the air, but are slower. While previous Grand Theft Auto games had only a few aircraft that were difficult to access and fly, San Andreas has 11 airplanes and nine helicopters and makes them more integral in the game's missions. There is also the ability to skydive from aircraft, using a parachute. Several boats were added, while some were highly modified.

Other additions and changes

Other new features and changes from previous Grand Theft Auto games include:

  • Gang wars: Battles with enemy gangs are prompted whenever the player ventures into enemy territory and kills at least three gang members. If the player then survives three waves of enemies, the territory will be won and fellow gang members will begin wandering the streets of these areas. The more territory owned by the player, the more money that will be generated. Occasionally, the player's territory will come under attack from enemy gangs and defeating them will be necessary to retain these areas. Once all marked territories are claimed from one of the two other gangs for the Grove Street Families that gang can no longer attack, once you get all the territories none can come under attack.[17]
  • Car modification: Most automobiles in the game can be modified and upgraded at various garages. All car mods are strictly visual apart from the stereo and nitrous oxide upgrade which increases bass and gives the car a speed boost when activated respectively; and hydraulics, which lowers the car's height by default and allows the player to control various aspects of the car's suspension. Other common modifications include paintjobs, rims, body kits, side skirts, bumpers and stereo system upgrades.
  • Burglary: Continuing the series' tradition of controversy, home invasion is included as a potential money-making activity.[18] By stealing a burglary van, CJ is able to sneak into a residence at night, and cart off valuables or shake down the occupants.
  • Minigames: Numerous minigames are also available for play in San Andreas, including basketball, pool, rhythm-based challenges (dancing and 'bouncing' lowriders with hydraulics), and video game machines that pay homage to classic arcade games. In addition, there are the aforementioned casino games and methods of gambling, such as betting on virtual horse races.[19]
  • Money: The money system has been expanded upon, compared to previous titles. Players can spend their cash on gambling, tattoos, meals, etc. Excessive gambling loss can force the player to sink into debt, which is shown in red negative numbers. When the player leaves a safehouse, CJ gets an unexpected call and a mysterious person tells him about his debts. Four gang members suddenly appear and shoot Carl on sight if he does not erase the debt when the mysterious person calls him a second time.
  • Multiplayer: Rampages have been modified to allow two players to complete them. The players are both shown simultaneously on the screen, meaning they must stay within close proximity of each other. The multiplayer Rampages were removed from the PC version of the game. For the PC version, there are also online multiplayer mods called San Andreas Multiplayer (SA-MP) and Multi Theft Auto: San Andreas which allow players to connect with hundreds of people online through various servers and fan-made game modes. 'Game Modes' can be constructed in 'Pawno' or 'Pawn', allowing the developers of the SA-MP game mode to fully customize their server.


San Andreas
—  Fictional state  —
State of San Andreas
Country United States
States San Andreas
Cities Las Venturas
Los Santos
San Fierro
Area code(s) 342 Los Santos (323/424 Los Angeles)
514 San Fierro (415 San Francisco)
207 Las Venturas (702 Las Vegas)
Website Official San Andreas website


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas takes place within the state of San Andreas, which is based on sections of California and Nevada. It comprises three major fictional cities: Los Santos corresponds to Los Angeles, San Fierro corresponds to San Francisco, and Las Venturas corresponds to Las Vegas.[14] The environments around these cities are also based on settings within the Southwestern region of the United States. Players can climb the half-mile (800 m) tall Mount Chiliad (based on Mount Diablo), parachute from various peaks and skyscrapers, and visit 12 rural towns and villages located in three counties: Red County, Flint County, and Bone County. Other notable destinations include Sherman Dam (based on the Hoover Dam), a large secret military base called Area 69 (based on Area 51), a large satellite dish (based on a dish from the Very Large Array), and many other geographical features. San Andreas is 13.9 square miles (22.3 square kilometers),[20] almost four times as large as Vice City, and five times as large as the GTA III rendition of Liberty City. The three cities are linked by numerous highways, a train system, and air. While its predecessors' areas were limited to urban locations, San Andreas includes not only large cities and suburbs, but also the rural areas between them. It also has a fictional version of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base[citation needed] called ingame the Verdant Meadows Airfield.

Los Santos

Los Santos, as seen from the ghetto district of Idlewood.

Like its counterpart of Los Angeles, Los Santos comprises several diverse areas. The urban area of Los Santos holds a population comparable to Los Angeles. This includes the gang-ridden neighborhoods of Ganton, Willowfield, Jefferson, Idlewood and East Los Santos and Glen Park, based on their counterparts of Compton, Willowbrook, Watts, Inglewood, East Los Angeles and MacArthur Park, respectively. Also located in the city is a busy downtown section based on Downtown Los Angeles; the wealthy Rodeo and Mulholland districts (based on Beverly Hills and named after Rodeo Drive and Mulholland Drive, respectively); the beach-side districts of Santa Maria Beach and Verona Beach (based on Santa Monica and Venice Beach, respectively); and the glitzy Vinewood and the giant Vinewood Sign (based on Hollywood and its Hollywood Sign). Los Santos features landmarks reminiscent of Los Angeles. Los Santos will also be part of the setting for Grand Theft Auto V.

San Fierro

Gant Bridge, modeled after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Like its counterpart of San Francisco, San Fierro has a population of 205,105 (1993 census). It is characterized by a prominent cable car system and hilly terrain. San Fierro features several interpretations of many of San Francisco's districts and landmarks, including the Haight-Ashbury district (Hashbury), the Castro district (Queens), Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge (Gant Bridge). Several other familiar landmarks have been recreated, from the Embarcadero Ferry Building, and the Transamerica Pyramid (Big Pointy Building) to Lombard Street (Windy Windy Windy Windy Street), alongside Edinburgh's Forth Rail Bridge (Kincaid Bridge)[21] and Forth Road Bridge (Garver Bridge), symbolising Rockstar North's Lothian heritage. San Fierro's City Hall closely resembles San Francisco's ornate city hall. San Fierro also contains remains of the Cypress Street Viaduct which collapsed in 1989 during the Loma Prieta earthquake. A naval base near the city's airport also has an amphibious assault ship and submarine docked in the bay.

Las Venturas

A casino on the Old Las Venturas strip.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Venturas sign.

The city and surrounding outskirts (mainly of desert) has a population of 185,939 (1993 census). Like its counterpart of Las Vegas, Las Venturas is the home of legalized gambling and several casinos. In these casinos, the player can partake in blackjack, video poker, wheel of fortune, roulette, or play slot machines. In addition to gambling, strip clubs are also prevalent in Las Venturas. Many real Las Vegas Strip casinos are faithfully interpreted on Las Venturas' Strip, including the Excalibur Hotel and Casino (Come-a-Lot), the Sphinx and pyramid of the Luxor Hotel (The Camel's Toe), Treasure Island (Pirates In Men's Pants), The Mirage (The Visage), Circus Circus (The Clown's Pocket), Hard Rock Hotel (V-Rock Hotel, which is named after the Vice City radio station), Flamingo Las Vegas (The Pink Swan), Imperial Palace (The Four Dragons Casino), Caesars Palace (Caligula's Casino), Bally's Las Vegas (The High Roller), Fitz Casino & Hotel (The Emerald Isle), Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino (Starfish Casino), and Casino Royale & Hotel (Royal Casino). Other landmarks include a replica of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and interpretations of Vegas Vic and Vicki as Vice City characters Avery Carrington and Candy Suxxx.[22] Suites in several of the hotels are available for purchase. In addition, Las Venturas features a large surrounding desert region, residential areas, and strip malls, as well as a seedy area (Old Venturas Strip) with several strip clubs and gambling parlors based on Las Vegas Downtown.


The characters that appear in San Andreas are relatively diverse and relative to the respective cities and locales which each of them based himself in. This allows the game to include a significantly wider array of storylines and settings than in Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City. The player controls Carl "CJ" Johnson, a young African-American gang member who serves as the game's protagonist.

The Los Santos stages of the game revolve around the theme of the Grove Street Families gang fighting with the Ballas and the Vagos for territory and respect. East Asian gangs (most notably the local Triads) and an additional Vietnamese gang are evident in the San Fierro leg of the game, while three Mafia families and the Triads who all own their respective casino are more prominently featured in the Las Venturas section of the game.

Like the previous two GTA games, the voice actors of San Andreas include notable celebrities, such as David Cross, Andy Dick, Ron Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods, Peter Fonda, Charlie Murphy, Frank Vincent, Chris Penn, Danny Dyer, Sara Tanaka, William Fichtner, Wil Wheaton, rappers Ice T, Chuck D, Frost, MC Eiht and The Game and musicians George Clinton, Axl Rose, Sly and Robbie, and Shaun Ryder.[23] Young Maylay makes his debut as the protagonist, Carl.

The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition lists it as the videogame with the largest voice cast, with 861 credited voice actors, including 174 actors and 687 additional performers, many of those performers being fans of the series who wanted to appear on the game.[24]


Grand Theft Auto series
fictional chronology

GTA era

1961London, 1961
1969London, 1969
1997Grand Theft Auto

GTA 2 era

1999Grand Theft Auto 2


1984Vice City Stories
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas
1998Liberty City Stories
2001Grand Theft Auto III

GTA IV era

2008Grand Theft Auto IV

  • The Lost and Damned
  • The Ballad of Gay Tony

2009Chinatown Wars

The story begins in 1992 when Carl "CJ" Johnson (Young Maylay) returns to Los Santos to attend his mother's funeral after five years living in Liberty City following his brother Brian’s murder.

Upon returning, Carl is pulled over by corrupt C.R.A.S.H. police officers Frank Tenpenny (Samuel L. Jackson) and Eddie Pulaski (Chris Penn), who had several run-ins with Carl before he left. The officers frame Carl for a fellow officer's murder and drop him off in a rival gang's area of town.

Once Carl finds his way back to his house, he finds his family and friends in disarray. Carl's brother, Sweet Johnson (Faizon Love) blames him for the deaths of their mother and brother and berates him for abandoning their gang, the Grove Street Families. In an effort to win back his brother's respect, Carl aids Sweet, and fellow gang members Ryder (MC Eiht) and Big Smoke (Clifton Powell) in rebuilding the shattered Grove Street Families by gaining back lost gang territory, stealing weapons, and killing rival gang members.

Carl is also forced to assist Tenpenny and Pulaski with several jobs, as well as helping his neighbor OG Loc, a wanna-be gangster rapper with no talent, get started with his music career by ruining the career of prominent rapper Madd Dogg (Ice T).

Largely thanks to Carl, the Grove Street Families return to prominence, and Sweet forgives Carl. As Sweet and Carl prepare a gang war against their rivals the Ballas Carl receives a call from his sister Kendl’s boyfriend Cesar Vialpando (Clifton Collins, Jr.),who shows Carl the vehicle involved in his mother’s shooting being escorted by Big Smoke, Ryder, a group of Ballas, and Tenpenny. Realizing that this betrayal means Sweet's attack on the Ballas will be a trap, Carl rushes to his brother's aid. He and Sweet withstand the Ballas long enough for the police to arrive on the scene. Sweet is arrested and Tenpenny takes Carl away with him to the isolated village of Angel Pine. Meanwhile, Ryder and Big Smoke, now openly in league with the Ballas, take over Los Santos, flooding it with crack cocaine.

Carl, realizing Tenpenny is his only hope of staying out of jail, continues to run the crooked cop's errands, killing or discrediting the people building a criminal case against Tenpenny. During this time, Tenpenny introduces Carl to an old hippie named The Truth (Peter Fonda), whom Carl helps with his marijuana farm.

Meanwhile, Cesar's gang is also shattered by the Ballas takeover, leading Cesar and Kendl to flee to Angel Pine as well, where they meet up with Carl. Cesar and Carl begin entering illegal races in the counties around Los Santos, where they meet blind Triad leader Wu Zi “Woozie” Mu.

Carl also has a brief relationship (and armed robbery spree) with Cesar's psychotic cousin, Catalina. After their breakup Carl wins ownership of a San Fierro garage in a race with Catalina’s new boyfriend, Claude, before the couple leave for Liberty City.

On his arrival in San Fierro Carl builds his new garage into a successful business, which he uses as a base in his attempts to defeat his former friends Big Smoke and Ryder. Carl also reconnects with Woozie and helps him and fellow Triad boss Ran Fa Li in their troubles with the Vietnamese Da Nang Boys. Eventually the gang war gets violent enough to force both Woozie and Ran Fa Li to flee San Fierro for safety and climaxes when Carl raids the Da Nang Boys' cargo ship in the harbor and kills one of their leaders.

At the same time Carl infiltrates the Loco Syndicate, the organization supplying Big Smoke's crack empire with drugs, by gaining the trust of prominent pimp Jizzy B (Charlie Murphy). Afterwards, Carl is introduced T-Bone Mendez (Kid Frost) and the syndicate leader Mike Toreno (James Woods). Eventually, Carl kills Jizzy B and learns of a meeting between T-Bone, Toreno, and Ryder. With the help of Cesar and a few Triads, Carl raids the meeting and kills both T-Bone and Ryder. Toreno escapes but soon after his helicopter is shot down by Carl over the San Fierro Expressway.

With things settled in San Fierro, Carl returns to working at his garage but soon receives a call from Toreno, who somehow survived the helicopter crash. Toreno reveals himself as an agent for an unnamed U.S. government agency and then hires Carl as a government agent, promising to have Sweet released in exchange for Carl’s help. On Toreno's orders, Carl buys the abandoned airport near Las Venturas, and takes lesson on how to fly both airplanes and helicopters. After he receives his pilot's license Carl is sent on a variety of missions by Toreno, ending in the assassination of several other government agents on board a cargo aircraft.

Later, Carl is invited by Woozie to become a partner in the Four Dragons Casino in Las Venturas, where they are facing harassment from the Mafia-run Caligula's Palace casino. A daring heist on Caligula's is begun. During the preparation for the casino heist, Carl receives a call from The Truth, asking him to pick up music producer Kent Paul (Danny Dyer) and singer Maccer (Shaun Ryder) from out in the desert after a bad peyote trip. They introduce Carl to Ken Rosenburg (Bill Fichtner), the manager of Caligula’s. Rosenburg is constantly threatened as a target to any of the three mob families who want to hurt the other two. When Salvatore Leone (Frank Vincent) comes to Las Venturas to take over all of Caligula's for himself he takes Rosenburg, Kent Paul, and Maccer hostage, but Carl helps them escape under the guise of helping Salvatore. Then Carl and Woozie carry out their heist, taking millions of dollars from Salvatore's Casino. Soon after Carl, Woozie, and Ran Fa Li sign the deal to become the three main partners in the Four Dragons Casino.

During this time, Tenpenny and Pulaski begin to become paranoid and have Carl collect a dossier containing information about the person informing on them. Carl is then called out into the desert where Tenpenny reveals that he intends to kill both the informant (his second partner Jimmy Hernandez) and Carl. Tenpenny leaves Pulaski to finish the two off. Pulaski is about to shoot Carl when Hernandez trips him allowing Carl to escape. Pulaski then kills Hernandez and escapes in his car. Carl gives chase to Pulaski and kills him in a final shootout. Carl also saves the life of disgraced rapper Madd Dogg, who has become a suicidal alcoholic. After Madd Dogg completes rehab he makes Carl his new manager. Carl then helps re-acquire Madd Dogg’s mansion, creating a new foothold in Los Santos from which to finally strike back at Big Smoke.

Torrino reappears to reveal that he has arranged Sweet’s released from prison. Carl tells Sweet of all his success but Sweet has no interest and insists on returning home where he finds that Grove Street has become overrun with crack cocaine. Together Carl and Sweet begin to once more rebuild their gang.

Tenpenny goes to trial for several felonies, but the charges are dropped for lack of evidence, as – thanks to Carl – all the prosecution's witnesses are either disgraced, missing, or dead. Tenpenny's release sends anger and shock throughout Los Santos. The 1992 Los Santos Riots begin.

During the riots Sweet manages to track down Big Smoke who is living in a fortified crack fortress. Carl breaks through all of the defenses and kills Big Smoke in a shootout only to be confronted by Tenpenny who steals all of Big Smoke's drug money and escapes in a fire truck. Carl and Sweet pursue Tenpenny through the streets of Los Santos until Tenpenny loses control and crashes off a bridge. Tenpenny manages to crawl free of the wreckage before collapsing. As Tenpenny is dying Carl considers shooting him, but Sweet stops him, saying that they shouldn't leave evidence that Tenpenny was killed instead of it just being an accident.Tenpenny dies from his injuriues (making him the first antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series to die in a way other than being directly killed by the protagonist) and the riot breaks up.

In the aftermath Carl's family and friends arrive at the Johnson house for a meeting. Madd Dogg announces that he's received a gold record for his new album. Cesar also proposes to Kendl. As his friends and allies celebrate their success, Carl turns to leave. When asked where he's going, he replies, "Fittin' to hit the block, see what's happening."

Carl is portrayed as being very successful at the end of the story. He has executed a major casino heist, holds a partnership in a Las Venturas casino, is manager of a successful rapper, owns a car garage in San Fierro, is a licensed pilot, owns businesses and real estate throughout San Andreas, has several girlfriends, countless cars, and is a leading member of the most powerful gang in Los Santos.


As with the previous two entries in the Grand Theft Auto series, San Andreas has an exhaustive number of tracks taken from the time period in which the game is based.

San Andreas is serviced by eleven radio stations; WCTR (talk radio), Master Sounds 98.3 (rare groove, playing many of the old funk and soul tracks sampled by 1990s hip-hop artists), K-Jah West (dub and reggae; modeled after K-Jah from GTA III), CSR (New Jack Swing, Modern Soul), Radio X (alternative rock, metal and grunge), Radio Los Santos (gangsta rap), SF-UR (old school Chicago house music), Bounce FM (funk), K-DST (classic rock), K-Rose (country) and Playback FM (classic hip hop).

The music system in San Andreas is enhanced from previous titles. In earlier in the series, each radio station was essentially a single looped sound file, playing the same songs, announcements and advertisements in the same order each time. In San Andreas, each section is held separately, and "mixed" randomly, allowing songs to be played in different orders, announcements to songs to be different each time, and plot events to be mentioned on the stations. This system would be used in Grand Theft Auto IV. WCTR, rather than featuring licensed music and deejays, features spoken word performances by actors such as Andy Dick performing as talk show hosts and listener callers in a parody of talk radio programming.

The Xbox and Windows versions of the game include an additional radio station that supports custom soundtracks by playing user imported MP3s, allowing players to listen to their own music while playing the game. [25]


IGN's Best of 2004 PlayStation 2 Game of the Year,[26] Best PlayStation 2 Action Game,[27] Best Story for PlayStation 2[28]
GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2004 Best PlayStation 2 Game,[29] Best Action Adventure Game,[30] Readers' Choice - Best PlayStation 2 Action Adventure Game,[31] Readers' Choice - PlayStation 2 Game of the Year,[32] Best Voice Acting,[33] Funniest Game[34]
2004 Spike TV Video Game Awards Game of the Year, Best Performance by a Human (Male), Best Action Game, Best Soundtrack

Prior to its release for the PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2004, along with Halo 2. San Andreas met most of these expectations, as it was praised as one of the PlayStation 2's best games, with an average review score of 95%, according to Metacritic,[35] tying for the fifth highest ranked game in PlayStation 2 history. IGN rated the game a 9.9/10 (the highest score it has ever awarded to a PlayStation 2 game), calling it "the defining piece of software" for the PlayStation 2.[19] GameSpot rated the game 9.6/10, giving it an Editor's Choice award. GameSpot said "San Andreas definitely lives up to the Grand Theft Auto name. In fact, it's arguably the best game in the series".[14] San Andreas also received an A rating from the network[36] and a 10/10 score from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Common praises were made about the game's open-endedness, the size of the state of San Andreas, and the engaging storyline and voice acting. Most criticisms of the game stemmed from graphical mishaps, poor character models, and low-resolution textures, as well as various control issues, particularly with auto-aiming at enemies. Some critics commented that while a lot of new content had been added to San Andreas, little of it had been refined or implemented well.[37] Nevertheless, since its release, San Andreas has been regarded to be one of the greatest games of all time, placing at number 28 in Edge's Top 100 Games to Play Today. Edge declared that the game remains "the ultimate expression of freedom, before next-gen reined it all back in."[38]


By March 3, 2005, the game had sold over 12 million units for the PlayStation 2 alone, making it the highest selling game for PlayStation 2.[39] As of September 26, 2007, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has sold 20 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.[40] As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has sold 21.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.[41] The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition list it as the most successful game in the PlayStation 2, with 17.33 million copies sold for that console alone, from a total of 21.5 million in all formats. In 2010, GTA: San Andreas is the 3rd Best Selling game of all time.[24]

Hot Coffee mod

A screenshot of the hidden sex minigame unlocked by the "Hot Coffee mod"

Despite the game receiving widespread acclaim for its technical achievements and free gameplay, it also received widespread criticism – initially due to its "gangster" elements, which include drugs, prostitution, and murder; but later due to the discovery of disabled interactive sex scenes, nicknamed Hot Coffee, which could be re-enabled using third-party mods. In mid-June 2005, a software patch for the game dubbed the "Hot Coffee mod" was released by Patrick Wildenborg (under the Internet alias "PatrickW"), a 38-year old modder from the Netherlands. The name "Hot Coffee" refers to the way the released game alludes to the unseen sex scenes. In the unmodified game, the player takes his girlfriend to her front door and she asks him if he would like to come in for "some coffee". He agrees, and the camera stays outside, swaying back and forth a bit, while moaning sounds are heard.

After installing the patch, users can enter the main character's girlfriends' houses and engage in a crudely rendered, fully clothed or nude sexual intercourse mini-game. The fallout from the controversy resulted in a public response from high-ranking politicians in the United States and elsewhere and resulted in the game's recall and re-release.

On July 20, 2005, North America's organization that establishes content ratings for video games, the ESRB, changed the rating of the game from Mature (M) to Adults Only (AO), making San Andreas the only mass-released AO console game in the United States. Rockstar announced that it would cease production of the version of the game that included the controversial content. Rockstar gave distributors the option of applying an Adults Only ESRB rating sticker to copies of the game, or returning them to be replaced by versions without the Hot Coffee content. Many retailers pulled the game off their shelves in compliance with their own store regulations that kept them from selling AO games. That same month in Australia, the Office of Film and Literature Classification revoked its original rating of MA15+, meaning that the game could no longer be sold there.[42]

In August 2005, Rockstar North released an official "Cold Coffee" patch[43] for the PC version of the game and re-released San Andreas with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Version 2.0), allowing the game to return to its "M" rating.[44] The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have also been re-released with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed in the Greatest Hits Edition, the Platinum Edition, the "GTA Trilogy Pack"[45] for Xbox and PlayStation 2, as well as a Special Edition for PlayStation 2 that includes the documentary film Sunday Driver. The updated game disc has "SECOND EDITION" text under the "M" rating logo.

On November 8, 2007 Take-Two announced a proposed settlement to the class action litigation that had been brought against them following the Hot Coffee controversy. If the proposed settlement is approved by the court, neither Take-Two nor Rockstar would admit liability or wrongdoing. Consumers would be able to swap their AO-rated copies of the game for M-rated versions and may also qualify for a $35 cash payment upon signing a sworn statement.[46]

A report in The New York Times on June 25, 2008 revealed that a total of 2,676 claims for the compensation package had been filed.[47]

The Introduction

The Introduction, an in-engine video, was provided on a DVD with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Soundtrack, as well as the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Special Edition re-release for the PlayStation 2. The 26-minute movie chronicles the events leading up to the events in San Andreas and provides insight on the development of the characters of the game, to the point when Carl learns of his mother's death in a phone call from Sweet and returns to Los Santos to find his life is ruined. The game incorporates locations from the original Grand Theft Auto III game. The PS2 release also includes a live-action documentary on the customized-vehicle culture (featured prominently in the game) called Sunday Driver.


Rockstar released two major follow-ups to San Andreas: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories before retiring the GTA III continuity and relaunching with Grand Theft Auto IV. Both games include references to characters featured in San Andreas, with Liberty City Stories set about 6 years after the events of San Andreas (in that game, for example, radio reporter Richard Burns, featured in news bulletins in San Andreas, returns as a radio call-in guest). Both games feature far smaller sandbox playing areas than San Andreas, and also eliminate gameplay elements introduced in the earlier game, including the ability to swim (in Liberty City Stories, but reintroduced in Vice City Stories) and climb. Except for news bulletins, radio programming in the later games also does not change based upon player progress. While character customization elements such as wardrobe changes are retained, the designers of the later games eliminated the need for the game protagonists to eat and exercise.

Los Santos, one of the three central cities in San Andreas, will be the main location of the next game in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto V, which is set to be released in 2012.


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