After months of PlayStation 2 exclusivity, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is now available on alternate platforms. Rockstar Games confirmed that the Xbox and PC versions of the game have shipped and will be in stores shortly. Both versions of the game cost $49.99 and are rated M for Mature.
San Andreas is full of violent crime and adult humor, and its M rating is well deserved. It follows the exploits of Carl "CJ" Johnson--voiced by rapper Chris Bellard--a onetime street hood who has cleaned up his act. However, CJ strays from the straight and narrow shortly after returning to Los Santos, his Los Angeles-like hometown, for his mother's funeral. Soon, he rejoins his former gang and begins an unlawful adventure that will take him to the San Francisco clone of San Fierro and the Las Vegas-esque desert gambling mecca of Las Venturas.
Besides adding a massive number of new characters and missions, San Andreas, which is roughly five times the size of Vice City, adds new gameplay elements, such as swimming, skydiving, gambling, weightlifting, eating, and stealing farm machinery. However, like the gameplay in previous Grand Theft Autos, San Andreas' gameplay involves a large amount of driving and shooting.
Both the PC and Xbox versions of San Andreas feature the complete PlayStation 2 game with a few extra bells and whistles. Besides sporting improved graphics, both versions also support customizable radio stations, which will let players rip CDs and create playlists, which include DJ chatter from the game's on-air personalities. The two new versions will also have a new replay feature.
GameSpot's reviews of the PC and Xbox versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will be up later in the week. For a complete rundown on the PlayStation 2 version of the game--which was GameSpot's 2004 PlayStation 2 Game of the Year--read the full review.