Ok! Alright…before you all string me up for attempting to hit you all with
yet another San Andreas review, let me make one thing perfectly clear…This
is not a review. Ignore the title because unless you’ve been scrubbing
toilets in the pits of hell (or Rotebro), there’s a good chance you would
have already heard pretty much all there is to hear about this game. I mean
you can’t even step off the tube station without being bombarded by a series
of six foot posters and billboards urging you to shell out some serious
green on the game, but I regress.
For those of you in need of a quick recap, this one’s for you.
You play the role of CJ, who blighted by personal tragedy rises
Goodfellas-style from the ghetto backwater to the ritzy razzmatazz of a
modern day Al Capone. All this fuelled to the sound of a 90s urban groove.
Oh and it’s the shits too.
But what is it about SA that makes it such a socially acceptable distraction
and I do mean that in the best possible way. With the darkness, slowly but
surely enveloping us as we gear up for yet another bleak winter, one will be
forgiven for shunning the gauntlet normally associated with weekend
nightlife in order to spend some quality time with your television.
The figures however don’t lie. In its first week of sales, SA grossed more
money in sales than the biggest opening weekend figures for a film in this
country. According to estimated figures from Charttrak, it sold over 677,000
copies in its first two days and had shifted well over a million copies
after 9. That’s an estimated £24M. Now everyone take a deep breath and say
it with mee. DAMN!
Uh huh, there’s definitely something intoxicating and seductive about this
game, that’s seen it firmly establish itself as The single most important
game in history.‚ But what? Well I did the rounds and had the people who
should know get deep, down and dirty on this one.
Expert 1 – The games reviewer
Josh Brown from PSM says, "this game is as popular as it is because while a
lot of games can get bogged down by the weight of expectancy heaped upon
them, SA actually delivers. Set in a very realistic looking virtual world
has definitely helped it break into the mainstream as well as become part of
people’s cultural baggage. It’s also been able to incorporate a 2 player
aspect to its already bulging arsenal of goodies."
Expert 2 – My housemate, Willem
"Why now? Can’t you see I‚m busy? (Muttering to himself) What kind of a
question is that? Why is SA so popular? Listen just back off and let me
finish this mission, you’re going to get me killed. Common men, just five
more minutes is all I’m asking for. You should have seen the speeds I got up
to once I had my nitro fitted in. Fuck me! The police had no chance catching
me (laughing hysterically) Please don’t take it now. Just give me five more
minutes to finish this mission. Pleeeassssse."
Expert 3 – The developer
Speaking to Eurogamer, Rockstar’s Dan Houser says, "Swimming we never had
before. We just got pissed off with people saying, we can’t do swimming. It
works well in the game, but that said, it’s not a swimming game. You can now
recruit a gang and take over territories with them. We’ve now also got a
sick number of vehicles and some that you can’t really put in the town, like
a quad bike. We’ve done a lot of work on the graphics from a technical
The guy goes on and on like that, but I’m sure you get the general idea.
It’s an epic game, which if you’re familiar with the GTA series you will love,
while those new to the whole experience will worship.
I for one know why I love it, yes all that has been said above rings
through, but for me at the end of a long working day, nothing beats a drive
through the picturesque landscapes of San Fierro. If that doesn’t help to
alleviate my stress levels, I simply slide out of the front seat and burst
the knee cap of the first fool to eye me up the wrong way. Take that bitch.