Very good game.. If you are a wanna be gangster.
I don't see what the hype is all about, horrid graphics, sound effects and dialogue. The game is set up in the early 1990's, you are Carl Johnson, An ex-gang member of "Grove Street", Finally returning due to the death of his mother, He meets back up with his old gang members and gets back into the "gangsta" life.
You start out recently detained by a crooked cop named Officer Frank Tenpenny (played by Samuel Jackson) who apparently knows you from your past experiences in Los Santos. He then escorts you to your old rival gang named "Ballers" territory, You need to get back to Grove Street... Fast, You may not be a member of Grove Street now, but the Ballers don't know that. You then meet up with all of your old buddies, Sean "Sweet" Johnson (your brother), Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris and Lance "Ryder" Wilson.
You then try to complete missions based on events happening within the gang, Although you would most likely be free roaming, Getting used to the area. The storyline is pretty streght forward for a good hour, Rebuild the gang to its former glory, Defeat all other rival gangs, What you would expect to be doing while in a gang. Although, I find free roaming and building up stats to be the fun part at the beginning of the game... Yes you heard me right, This game has a little RPG element built in, You can build up your stats between Shooting skill, Muscles, Fat, Sex appeal, Stamina, Respect and Breath. You can level each up depending on what you do (Swimming, Gym, And just shooting cops). After a while, the story takes unexpected and unpleasant twists.
Graphics can be summed up in one word... GTAIII. Thats right, basicly the same game engine as GTAIII and GTAVC, It looks like they touched up the textures a bit on the terrain, but the character models still look like garbage. Guns in GTASA sound like they were made by the creators mouths. The Dialogue is okay, Recorded from some famous actors/rappers.. If only it didn't sound like it was recorded on a tape recorder.
One major flaw in the game is the shooting system, You basicly target an enemy and shoot, i was hoping for some Third person shooter action.. the targeting and shoot system is far too easy and gets boring pretty fast. But the other gameplay options outweigh the shooting system flaws, Customization in the game has a lot of variety, the muscle stat bar depends on how strong you character looks and how much damage he does with each punch, The way you customize you character make is unique, You have to go to different shops and get haircuts, Different cloths and Jewelry.
Overall i would say this game is worth picking up (if you havn't already), The storyline is too long for a rental, The game has too many flaws to ignore but the fun minigames and the "Last Stands" with the cops and freeroaming a massive map make this a decent game. If you are into the whole "Gangster" theme than this is the game for you. Other than that, I would avoid it entirely and get another freeroaming game such as Gun or Mercenaries.