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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ open world is still fantastic even after 16 years.

Content of the article: "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ open world is still fantastic even after 16 years."

So over lockdown I decided to revisit what I cautiously once said was one of my favourite games of all time, based off nostalgia alone, GTA SA.

I launched the game and was in for a shock, it took me a good few hours to get used to the clunkiness (why are all rockstar games so undeniably clunky?)

Even though I was questioning the stiff and dated controls there was one thing I did find to be up to par, the open world. There are 3 main cities in the game – Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas), each of them having their own charm. I was really surprised as to just how much there was to do in the respected areas, it actually had fun activities.

You had the basic vehicle challenges with the driving schools (car, motorcycles and boats) and the racing which included rally racing and dirt tracks. If driving isn’t your thing you could challenge someone to a game of pool in the numerous bars which also featured basic arcade games or play some basketball. There was betting shops you could use to do some track betting and the large casinos in Las Venturas which included the standard roulette, blackjack, poker and the wheel of fortune.

There was numerous nightclubs to visit, burglary missions available at night that saw you break into NPCs homes, gyms to visit, marathons to race in, gang territories to take over and the vigilante, paramedic and taxi driver missions, skydiving points spread throughout high points in the world, flight schools and countless interiors to visit that made the world feel as alive as it could feel back then.

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The point is, for all this to be crammed into such an old and technically limited game that’s only a few years younger than me I found to be really surprising and there’s more to do here than in some AAA open world games today.

I managed to get the platinum trophy despite a few rage inducing trophies but I regret nothing, I can safely say that this is still one of the best open world games of all time and my favourite game I’ve ever had the privilege of playing. I would honestly give my left testicle to see a true remaster of this game.


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