Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Review

Despite its age, GTA San Andreas remains a popular game, and players have more options to experience the title now than ever before. The intention of this San Andreas review is to give players insight into the game’s most important elements and help them make an informed decision about the quality of the mobile port. While this San Andreas review will focus primarily on the game’s mobile port, it will still reference some of the features of the standard console version.

Type of Game RPG
Developer Rockstar Games
Platforms Android, iOS, Xbox, PC
iTunes Download Page
Google Play Download Page

Your Mission

There is little doubt that the sandbox world of GTA San Andreas is a big game. At the time of its release, it had by far the most playable content of any of the GTA games. The story follows Carl “CJ” Johnson, who has recently come to the city due to the death of his mother. He is quickly embroiled in the gang plots and street issues that he had once tried to escape. While the story is fairly linear at the start, it branches out quickly. Players have a great deal of freedom to either experience the written story, do myriad side quests throughout the map or skip most of the story entirely and just do free roam and open world play.

Design and Graphics

This San Andreas review begins with the basics of game design and graphics. You could say that San Andreas set the stage for the epic GTA games that were to follow. It took the winning formula used by the previous titles and expanded it with a truly incredible amount of content to explore.

Mechanically, the game plays similar to other GTA games with plenty of shootouts mixed with a huge amount of flexibility regarding free roam play and side missions. The one significant change on mobile are the controls. The game was originally designed with a controller in mind. Unfortunately, players are likely to go through a serious frustration stage as they adapt to the control scheme, even if they have played GTA before. The experience can be improved significantly by using a gamepad instead.

Graphics wise, the game has actually seen an improvement on mobile compared to the original release. The developers didn’t just port the game directly onto mobile. They added a variety of graphics optimizations and improvements. It may not be enough to truly call the game a “remastered” edition, although the developers have said as much on their features page.
Like any good RPG, the game does have a skill-based system of character progression. They do aid in combat and serve to overall make the game easier. Balance wise, the game seems to remain fairly steady, never seeming too hard or too easy regardless of level or advancement.

In some stages in the game, lacking specific skills can be highly noticeable. Usually, such skills are swimming, driving or flying an airplane. The player must achieve a specific level in order to continue the main story. While it may create a jarring halt to advancement, it is relatively easy, if somewhat annoying, to get past.

Main Characters

The game revolves primarily around the character of Carl Johnson and his return to the life of a gangster. o Carl’s life and story benefit of a rich narration. His character is well-voiced and animated, at least for the graphics of the time. GTA is renown for providing very well put together and believable characters, and this was certainly the case in this title.

Despite Carl’s obviously illegal and illicit activity, players are likely to remain empathetic to the character throughout the story. His actions, however heinous, still make sense in the context of the story and that of the character’s motivations.

That said, most players enjoy San Andreas and the other GTA games for the open world sandbox they provide. The actual importance of the character is likely to disappear as the player creates their own “story”. In the vast open world that is all for the gamers, the main storyline missions can be put aside at times. This ability to make the player as much the main character as the person within the story is certainly one of the game’s strengths. It can possibly be its strongest feature.


Here’s what our San Andreas review can say about the storyline. The GTA games are known for their open world and side content. Nonetheless, the games always center around a compelling main story that players are free to pursue at their leisure. The richness of story provided by Carl’s personal gang saga is certainly memorable. Players will likely enjoy the progression from the thrust back into the gang life to a mastermind with a large gang of followers bent on controlling the streets and fulfilling Carl’s vengeance.

The best thing about the GTA San Andreas story is probably its flexibility, at least after a point. Initially, the game progresses extremely linear. At this point, characters cannot leave the small area of the map that, supposedly, is cut off from the wider game world by earthquake damage. This opens up after the first hour or so of play, and then players are free to delve into the wider world.

Packing the entire breadth of the game into a mobile platform was no easy feat. The game manages to include just about everything that was in the original release. This includes all of the main story, the side quests and the grand share of other miscellaneous activities players love. All this, while hogging over two megabytes of memory space.

Final Thoughts

GTA San Andreas is surely one of the gems of the GTA collection. As such, many players will welcome having it on a mobile platform. This is especially true since it is not compatible with the next generation of consoles. So newer players may have little choice but to access it on mobile devices. The port to mobile is relatively seamless and complete. And it certainly offers the full experience of the game with few corners cut. That is, except for problems with controls.

Did you enjoy reading this San Andreas review? Do you have questions, comments, or your own experiences to share? We welcome your comments, feedback, and insights.Here’s what we think of the LEGO Star Wars 7 game. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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