Saturday 26 January, 2008
Gameplay Session 2
During the second round of gameplay, I found the game more enjoyable than before. The increasing complexity of the game is revealed as your character progresses through missions and side-quests. Although the game is mostly linear, the method of which you get from point A to point B is almost entirely up to you. I chose to continue doing the main missions, and progress through the storyline for this gamelog, however. Doing Drive-Bys and killing drug-peddling "Ballas" ("Ballas are your rival gang) is what most of the early missions entail, although you don't get the respect of your friends, or the responsibility to do big missions (with big cash payouts), until later on. While not every mission requires you to be a tough guy, there are plenty of other types of missions. The first alternate mission you do is a DDR-esque mission where you bounce your low rider to the beat of directional arrows. You can also do racing missions Carl's sister's boyfriend (who happens to be in a Mexican gang) told you about. Later on, you get a sneaky-style mission, which is I really didn't enjoy, because you have less than three minutes to SLOWLY walk in and out of a guy's house and steal crates of weapons, but it is a good change from the run and gun life of Carl Johnson.
The driving in San Andreas at times can be difficult, especially if you're being shot at. Several missions have you driving a big truck that handles like a cruise-liner up and down hilly streets and back alleys, which can be frustrating. The police have also been upgraded to a better AI system, and no longer just try to ram your car off the road, which was very annoying. The police also randomly chase people, as they would in real life, which adds a tad of realism to this game.
One of the many innovative aspects of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the unique genre of the Grand Theft Auto name. There have been few, if any, games that are as open to exploration as GTA: San Andreas. In a quasi-realistic world where you (Carl Johnson) exist, you can do things that normal people wouldn't do in real life. You can eat a lot and get really fat, and rampage through town on a motorcycle in your underwear, or you can dress up like a gangsta and parade through town on your newly stolen car with your crew.
The level design of GTA: San Andreas is quite amazing, with few holes in the game, and no areas where you are stuck forever. As I mentioned before, the new-found ability of Carl to climb over walls and fences granted a new challenge for level designers to make sure you can't glitch your way through certain missions, or exploit the ability to fly into nothingness. Also, having three distinct sections of the game brings an amazing level of detail, with everything from house design and pedestrian traffic to billboards and store fronts matching the real-life counterpart of these three fictional cities.
One of the most annoying parts of GTA: San Andreas is the save system, which requires you to make your way halfway across town and enter your house (later on you will get more spaces, but it would be so much easier to save via a menu. Just today I managed to get busted trying to make it across town while the police was on my back. Which brings up another annoyance of this game, where if a police officer winds up being even close to opening your door, you are screwed. Even if you drive away, you basically have to run him over (which is somewhat easy to do)
GTA: San Andreas has a dynamic time system, with some characters only accessible during off-work hours, as well as missions that must be accomplished during night time only. The game runs at roughly one real life second equals one minute in GTA: San Andreas. One of the mini-missions which you can get lots of cash are nighttime robberies, where you must once again sneak SLOWLY in and out of the victim's house before sunrise.
Overall, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an amazing game, with great dialogue (supposedly, over 4,000 lines of dialogue were included in the game), exciting gameplay, a well-written storyline, and new features that make it just that much better than the last installment of the Grand Theft Auto series. It is easy to see how this relatively new game wound up on the classics list.
You do a good job of explaining what makes Vice City an improvement on the GTA formula, particularly in terms of new gameplay modes and the ability to change your character's stats. However, your log assumes the reader has already played a GTA game, which will not always be the case. As a result, you glazed over some elements of the game. Still, overall a well-written entry.
Wednesday 30 January, 2008 by Lagaes Rex
- David Seagal