Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


Digital FoundryFace-Off: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

UPDATED: Analysis revised - US PS4 emulation is smoother than UK code.

VideoGrand Theft Auto 5, San Andreas comparison video

GTA5 trailer painstakingly recreated.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Doesn't Mean Anything.

Key events

FeatureRockstar's history of America

What do Rockstar games tell us about American history?

There is a familiar pattern to media coverage whenever Rockstar publishes a game. There is talk about how the developer has used its newest game to iterate upon and redefine the open world genre. There are almost always articles on how various Hollywood films influenced Rockstar's development process. And there are at least one or two polemics that attack the developer for transgressing established norms about what can and cannot be done in video games. This last type of essay inevitably concludes that video games are bad, and lead to an increase in interpersonal violence as well as the downfall of civilisation.

Bizarre mod adds GTA character to Zelda: Breath of the Wild

All we had to do was follow the damn Oaki, CJ.

Do you ever play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and just think, "I hate you Link. Why can't you be more street?" Well one modder has heard your cries of disdain and is granting you your wish - by letting you play as CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Face-Off: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

UPDATED: Analysis revised - US PS4 emulation is smoother than UK code.

UPDATE 8/12/15 4:52pm: We've been looking at more PlayStation 2 titles running under emulation on PlayStation 4, and it now seems clear that all the UK code we've tested is running at 50Hz with a crude frame-blending 'upscale' to the 60Hz output. We made an error in the original analysis below - GTA San Andreas under emulation does have some frame-pacing issues, but much of the judder we encountered is actually a result of the frame-blending, registering to our eyes (and our analysis tools) as unique frames when in fact they are simply the interpolated results of two images - we did think that it may be an artefact of the emulator working with PS2's original motion blur effect, but this is definitely not the case. Credit goes to commenter Malek86 for noting that his copy of Twisted Metal Black is definitely European code, albeit outputting at 60Hz - a situation we have also confirmed with Dark Cloud. This was originally a 60fps game in NTSC territories, running at 50fps on the PS4 emulator, then frame-blended back up to 60fps. As you may imagine, this is not ideal.

We decided to produce a GTA San Andreas analysis highlighting the difference between our 'NTSC' and 'PAL' releases. We also cleaned up a short section of footage to confirm that the base frame-rate of San Andreas on our UK PSN code is indeed 25fps. And to conclude, we re-ran the original frame-rate test between PS2, PS3 and PS4 versions of the game, all using 60Hz code.

Obviously, for those of us in Europe, this is a somewhat disappointing state of affairs. The PAL territories were blighted with poorly adapted code that often featured letterboxing, slowdown or other artefacts in the transition from 60Hz to 50Hz. In terms of the PS2 titles emulated on PlayStation 4, performance is the only applicable issue here, but it does make a tangible difference. We've tested all three GTA titles now and it's clear that the situation isn't exactly optimal. In fact, we do recommend buying from the US store to get the best possible experience with the emulated PS2 titles. Now, there are perfectly good reasons why Sony has made this decision - foreign language translation for European countries for example - plus as Malek86 points out, there are some censorship issues to contend with. But it seems that Sony has had to get these titles re-certified by PEGI anyway, and we would hope that the firm does consider bringing native 60Hz titles to its current-gen 60Hz console in the future.

Read more

GTA: San Andreas Steam update removes songs, breaks some save files

A new update for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has removed 17 music tracks and left some old save files unusable.

Not all players are experiencing save file problems, but those who are report that saves made before the update simply start a new game (thanks, Rockstar Nexus).

The missing songs, meanwhile, are the same ones that Rockstar removed from its recent mobile and Xbox 360 ports - presumably due to licensing issues.

Read more

Digital FoundryGTA: San Andreas HD on Xbox 360 is a mobile port

Is HD really the best format for this decade-old classic?

So what's the score with the new HD version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Xbox 360? In a move seemingly timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the game's release, the emulated Xbox version available through Games on Demand has been replaced by a new version that promises "720p resolution, enhanced draw distance and Achievement support".

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas announced for smartphone, tablets

PlayStation 2 classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is headed to mobile devices next month, Rockstar has announced.

iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon Kindle versions are on the way.

San Andreas was our first visit to Grand Theft Auto 5's setting of Los Santos, and was Rockstar's largest open world to date at the time of its release.

Read more

FeatureWho spilled Hot Coffee?

The man who uncovered gaming's greatest sex scandal.

Not for the first time that month, Patrick Wildenborg was disoriented. With a one year-old baby in the house he was familiar with the fug of a deep sleep cut short by noise. But this awakening was different. It was prompted not by an infant's wail but the hysteria of a telephone ringing in the night. Eyes still closed, Wildenborg lifted the receiver.

FeatureRetrospective: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

How Rockstar's ambitious ghetto fable captures a blockbuster series in mid-evolution.

It starts with that high-pitched G-funk siren wail. Even before you've set foot on the streets of Los Santos, Rockstar's obsessive attention to cultural detail has already got you in a West Coast frame of mind, a world of sneaker-clad feet squeaking on tarmac as they run from the five-oh; of helicopters in the night and the snap, crackle and pop of distant gunshots; of sipping a forty with friends, waiting for the noon heat haze to lift.

Cypress Hill singer: I'm the real CJ

Is suing Rockstar for $250 million.

A former backup singer for American Latino hip hop group Cypress Hill wants a whopping $250 million in damages from Rockstar and parent company Take-Two for allegedly using his likeness in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas without permission.

GTA, 'Splosion Man XBL price cuts

Loads more in one day only sale.

As promised earlier this week, Microsoft has announced a number of one day only Xbox Live deals to celebrate the annual Black Friday shopping blow-out in the US.

GTA V to be announced before E3?

GTA V to be announced before E3?

Analyst reckons suspension is building.

Games industry analyst Mike Hickey has said a Grand Theft Auto V announcement may be on the way - and that it could be made before E3 kicks off in June.

"There is building suspension for a pre-E3 GTA V announcement," he said, as reported by Industrygamers. "Although we expect nothing from Rockstar at this year’s official E3 event."

Rockstar is more likely to hold a separate press event and make the announcement independent of any publisher conferences, apparently. That's because GTA V really is kind of a big deal.

Read more

Take-Two settles Hot Coffee class action

Pours $20 million's worth of cold water.

Take-Two and its insurance carriers have agreed to fork over more than $20 million to settle a class action suit covering historical stock option issues and, of course, the legendary Hot Coffee timebomb originally stamped into GTA: San Andreas discs.

Mad convict files suit against Rockstar

Wants restraining order on GTA games.

Bonkers convict Jonathan Lee Riches has filed for a temporary restraining order against Take-Two, Rockstar, and the "newest Grand Theft Auto games", claiming inmates who played the titles will knock him out and steal his "gold Jesus cross".

Rockstar dismisses GTA movie rumours

Eminem not to star after all.

Rockstar has denied reports it almost gave the go-ahead to a Grand Theft Auto film last year, saying the company is "not interested" in bringing the series to the big screen.

Compensation offered for Hot Coffee

Cash available for US GTA fans.

Remember Hot Coffee, the filthy naked mini-game found hidden in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? In November, you may recall, Take-Two reached a settlement in the matter. The publisher promised to spend at least USD 1 million on compensating those who were "offended and upset" by the whole thing.

Rockstar's games on Steam

Ten percent discount this week.

Rockstar has added its not inconsiderable PC games catalogue to Valve's digital distribution service Steam, offering a ten percent discount on all its available products until 11th January to celebrate the launch.

Rockstar wins GTA lawsuit

Makes a nice change.

A US district judge has dismissed claims by a Los Angeles strip club that Rockstar Games breached copyright by designing a similar looking virtual strip club for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Take-Two gets subpoenaed

Hot Coffee just won't go away.

Poor old Take-Two. They probably thought all that Hot Coffee nonsense was behind them, what with the FTC deciding not to fine them any money earlier this month.

FTC rules on Hot Coffee

Take-Two gets wristslapped.

Following a slap on the wrist from the Federal Trade Commission over the hidden Hot Coffee content in GTA: San Andreas, Take-Two and Rockstar have said they're very sorry and promised never to do it again.

2005 UK Sales Review

Feature2005 UK Sales Review

Part One: How current-gen consoles did in 2005.

With Chart-Track's Annual Report now published and available for sale to publishers, Kristan prepares his own annual Statto impression and wades through the facts and figures to offer an interesting picture of UK retail. In part one, we look at the state of the market and the fate of the current generation of console platforms. (Data from Chart-Track's annual report. Used with permission.)

The backdrop of 2005 was one of doom and gloom, with independent retailers in particular feeling the squeeze as all the major high street firms went to war with each other. After years of tolerating online retailers undercutting them by over £10 on a full price title, the high street was seeing their market share steadily eroded and decided to strike back with full force.

Suddenly, with all the mainstream types forced to price-match, UK retailers were making next to nothing on the games they were selling, and putting pressure on publishers to reduce their selling price - something that many under-pressure publishers were extremely reluctant to do.

Read more

Take-Two secures GTA talent

For $25 million!

Confirming the troubled publisher's heavy reliance on its controversial Grand Theft Auto series, Take-Two's latest 10-Q filing includes mention of a three-year, USD 25 million deal to secure and safeguard the creative team behind its flagship franchise.

Sex workers boycott GTA

For representation of prostitutes.

US organisation the Sex Workers Outreach Project has issued a statement condemning the way sex workers are represented in Rockstar's GTA: San Andreas - asking parents and gamers to boycott the title.

Yet more Hot Coffee litigation

Tedious people still bonkers about boring bonking.

Further lawsuits which were hinted at in Take-Two's recent SEC filing have begun to materialise, adding to the multiple legal wrangles stemming from the now infamous Hot Coffee scandal.

GTA actor slams Rockstar

Woods doesn't like hot coffee.

Top craggy-jawed Hollywood star James Woods has made it known that he's not too happy about the Hot Coffee mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Rockstar sued over Hot Coffee

By LA city attorney's office.

The city attorney's office of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive over the controversial Hot Coffee mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

GTA lawsuit can go ahead

Says judge. Thompson happy.

An Alabama judge has denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Take-Two by the families of two police officers and a dispatcher killed by a Grand Theft Auto-playing teenager.

Warren Spector slams GTA

And lazy devs in general.

Warren Spector, the former studio head of Ion Storm Austin and the brains behind Deus Ex, has slammed game developers for relying on tried and tested formulas instead of coming up with new ideas.

GTA Trilogy and movie packs

Xbox/PS2 owners encouraged to hop on the pimpmo-bandwagon.

Rockstar plans to release a Grand Theft Auto Trilogy pack for Xbox and a Special Edition of San Andreas for PS2 featuring a video DVD in the run-up to Christmas. So that's the GTA Threesome and the GTA Big Disc Edition for those living in a parallel universe where Jack Thompson hasn't been invented.

GTA update removes Hot Coffee

GTA update removes Hot Coffee

Chastity belt go.

Publisher Rockstar Games has released a new patch for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas which disables and removes [oh come on, Rob. How about 'cleans', 'mops', 'soaks' or something like that? - Ed] the controversial Hot Coffee mini-game - preventing the hack that enabled it in the first place from functioning.

"The Hot Coffee scenes were not intended to be part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas experience," according to a statement from the firm, which recommends using the patch "if your copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PC has been altered by the unauthorised Hot Coffee download circulating on the Internet, or you wish to prevent your version from being so altered."

It's something of an exercise in closing the stable door after the horse has bolted - Rockstar has already been forced to withdraw stock of the game in North America after the ESRB re-rated it as AO (Adults Only).

Read more

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is no longer available to buy or rent in Australia after the country's Office of Film and Literature Classification got wind of the increasingly notorious hidden sex-mini-game known as "Hot Coffee".

American gran sues Take-Two

17+ GTA suitable for her 14 year-old grandson. 18+ apparently not.

Games journalists are running out of witless punnery to help frame stories about the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" scandal, it emerged today.

US GTA: San Andreas re-rated

Nothing likely to happen here.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been re-rated in the USA as the result of an investigation by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) into a sexual explicit mini-game that could be unlocked through modification.

Hot Coffee in PS2 GTA too

Rockstar's hacker story in doubt.

New evidence has emerged which suggests that the controversial 'Hot Coffee' mod was built into the GTA: San Andreas code and is not simply the work of hackers as Rockstar has claimed.

ESA pres compared to Hitler

By angry GTA hater.

Jack Thompson, Miami-based lawyer and long time critic of violence in videogames, has launched a scathing attack on Entertainment Software Association president Doug Lowenstein.

Rockstar denies sex in San Andreas; ESRB investigating

No bonking please, we're M-rated.

Rockstar has denied that the "Hot Coffee" pornographic mini-game, which is enabled by a mod for Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, is actually a part of the game, after it became the subject of an investigation by the ESRB in North America.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Doesn't Mean Anything.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, then. A game in which you live a huge section of the life of an uzi-hugging street-talking gangster, who buds, sprouts, flowers and would even have pollinated were it not for a last-minute sex-game excision, working your way through an entire state's worth of locations carrying out shooting and driving missions and all manner of other mini-missions in a seamlessly linked game world that's brimming with things to do, people to talk to, ways to kill and areas to explore. All done with more big-name actors and diversity than the average Hollywood nightclub - which you can probably visit while you're playing it.

Yet, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a game that I wish to crush. No, this is nothing to do with my much-shouted stance on the game's hip-hop style (a stance which involves standing over it stamping on its face bellowing, "Stop that! Don't you bloody dare get up!"). When I say "crush" I mean it in the literal sense.

I think that, were it compressed into roughly the same space as Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas would offer so much fun per square mile that you'd shave your chest, throw on a tank top and adopt a much more reserved attitude to the idea of driving along a street shooting at people wearing the wrong coloured hats. As it stands, there's more fun to be had here than you'd find if you put ten rival games back to back - the problem is that you'll spend as much time as you would playing ten rival games back to back in order to eke it all out.

Read more

San Andreas PC clips

Now on Eurofiles.

With just a couple of days to go until Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is released on PC and Xbox, Rockstar has unveiled two new trailers for the game.

San Andreas PC details

San Andreas PC details

A new replay mode, MP3 radio station and other adjustments should make for a slightly more satisfying experience.

We have a feeling that PC-owning Grand Theft Auto fans would be happy enough to play any port of San Andreas at this point, having watched the PS2-owning world lap it up since last October, but according to details released by Rockstar this week there will be a few changes beyond the obvious technical enhancements.

Everything in the PS2 version, which moved GTA into the ghetto with a tale of hero CJ's rise from low level thuggery to top-level gangsta, will be making the transition intact. But although there will be no new content per se, San Andreas PC will apparently feature a new replay mode for recording and playing back brief snippets of gameplay, which sounds like a good idea.

The PC version will also include an additional radio station (making for a total of 12), which you can populate with your own MP3s (ordering or randomising them), and will be optimised to a greater extent than previous PC ports in the series, with only a fraction of the load times by comparison.

Read more

FeatureGrand Theft Auto: San Andreas

It's a "Blowout!" - yes, our tyres have exploded and apparently this means we have lots of new information. Trailers (yes, plural), new shots, co-op details, voice cast exposed, big guns, pedestrian interactions, soundtrack line-up, and on it goes...

Version Reviewed

FeatureGrand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Los Santos

More from our first look at Rockstar North's big one.

Sometimes the last thing you want to do is have a sneak preview of a game - mostly you're just spoiling things for yourself, ruining the surprise, but, when you're talking about gaming royalty, things are a little different. When the name of that game is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, suddenly your busy schedule opens up like Moses parting the Red Sea. 5 O' Clock Thursday you say? Right, we're there. Running late you say? Not a problem.

FeatureGrand Theft Auto: San Andreas

It's a PS2 exclusive. Again. It's boasting a huge number of changes. Again. Whether it's a facility to rob houses, the chance to fatten up, or the addition of bicycles, it all sounds good. Best of all though, San Andreas is not a city - it's a state.