For me, the cleverest gimmick that the devs dreamt up, is the vehicle's radio stations. Just to be able to drive up to some rich Billy Idol style mission target, side view your machine gun out your window, mow down your objective in a spray of bullets and blow out the tires, causing him to careen into 3-4 other cars and catch them on fire, knocking down light poles with the ensuing explosions, splattering a gaggle of screaming mall shoppers- all while grooving smoothly to White Snakes 'Here I Go Again' is nothing short of sublime.
The bemoaning critics, the electioneering Senators,and susie-Q Christian's view on why i play these games is humorously far off the mark- which testifies to their ignorance of the subject of which they posture:
I, Dear Mr./Mrs. Fear Monger, play these games because they are a escape from our all-too politically correct, overly-polite, Utopian society that we strive to live in. And at the same time, enjoy the re-creation of a very vivid period of time that a great many of us, the X-gen game-players, have lived through. I play to hear that long lost song that i fell asleep to, as a insecure, pimple-faced 14 year old boy. I play to let out a little aggression of daily stress, which is a daily affair in a modern, hectic working U.S. life. I play to appease a creative mind, that has always wondered, "What IS it like to pay for the services of a prostitute, then accidentally run her over with your 79' El Camino, thereby allowing you to relieve her of the cash you just provided her?" What IS it like, to jump off the highest building in the city, and parachute down to infiltrate a mafia king's home? Do a triple-reverse flip with a dirt-bike, fight off a whole platoon of comically robotic Army Guardsmen, with Grenades and rocket launchers, then stealing the smoking remains of their hummer-all to park it in your newly purchased exotic mansion garage!? I think the first time i played this game, i was laughing non-stop for about an hour, it was all just so randomly humorous, in it's over-the-top exaggerations and mayhem.
Back then, the graphics were good, however untextured, but they had their own style. San Andreas, vastly increased the area to play in, with an additional 2 large city's, another awesome mix of early rap and grunge hits, and added a sweet 'heat-shimmer' effect to the hot summertime atmosphere of early-90's L.A..
So, judging by the screenshots, this version IV looks to be a giant leap in the graphics and fidelity of the detailed environment, and i'm sure there will be uncountable missions to perform, hooker's to cuddle, bro's to cohort with, and unlimited enemies to de-pixelize. (hopefully with hilarious and awe-inducing moments of grandeur)
Looks Like Rockstar ushers in another addition to the emerging concept of modern art- the video game.
Here is a link to the site, as well as to the inevitable patches:
And, an interesting philosophical take on the game play virtues from a couple Harvard egg-heads:
check it out!