Rockstar has released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas onto the iOS App Store, with Android and Windows Phone versions set to follow next week.
GTA: San Andreas is the final part of the PS2-era series to receive the mobile conversion treatment following GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City. It comes almost exactly a year after the latter sped onto iOS and Android.
Initially launched in 2004 near the end of the PS2 and original Xbox’s life, GTA: San Andreas remains one of the most ambitious additions to the series yet with a sprawling open world map. This map covers the fictional American state of San Andreas, which is a thinly veiled send-up of the south west of the US - specifically California and Nevada.
It’s the same San Andreas that Rockstar returned to recently in GTA 5 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
GTA: San Andreas was notable for introducing a number of new diversions on top of the usual GTA mix of driving, shooting, and exploring. It allowed for an unprecedented level of player customisation, even enabling your player to get fat by eating too much.
The game was also the source of the infamous Hot Coffee scandal, where an unfinished sex-based mini-game was discovered in the code and patched back into operation by fans of the game.
As with previous GTA mobile conversions, GTA: San Andreas features enhanced visuals that capitalise on the higher resolutions and greater power of modern smartphones and tablets. As well as looking sharper, it features enhanced lighting effects and improved character models.
While it runs on iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2 and above, it has been optimised for the iPhone 5 and iPad 4 generation (and above), with dynamic detailed shadows and real-time environmental reflections added to the mix.
Of particular interest will be the game’s support for iOS 7-ready control pads. The series’s Achilles heel on mobile has always been its reliance on virtual controls.
GTA: San Andreas is available now on the App Store for £4.99. Rockstar has informed various outlets that the Android and Windows Phone versions will hit next week.
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