Rockstar Games made a lot of GTA fans happy back in early 2023 when it released a remastered version of the legendary GTA San Andreas game that originally came out 20 years ago. That title remains one of the most immersive open-world games even today, but is the remastered version really worth giving a chance? A basic principle says that nothing out there in life beats the original.
I’ve been playing GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition for a few days, and I rapidly got myself immersed once again in the gangster world of Los Santos. I can say right from the start that Rockstar has improved a few things, and I’m not even counting the graphics on this. We know right from the start and trailers that the graphics have been vastly improved, but you know what they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Therefore, let’s try to find out how good the Definitive Edition of the legendary GTA San Andreas really is and if it’s worth playing or not!
Much better graphics
The graphics in GTA SA Definitive Edition are indeed at a whole new level compared to the original game, which is probably the best part of the remastered version, regardless if we like it or not. Let’s face it: having such good graphics on a game that originally came out in 2004 can’t possibly leave you unmoved.
To run GTA SA Definitive Edition on your PC, you need at least 8GB of RAM, a video card with at least 2GB of VRAM, a processor such as Intel Core i5, and 19GB of free storage space. Those system requirements alone tell you enough about how advanced the graphics of the game are compared to its original version.
By comparison, the system requirements of the original game were significantly lower compared to those of the Definitive Edition. All you needed to run the 2004 version of GTA SA was 256MB of RAM, 64MB of VRAM, and a processor such as 1Ghz Pentium III or AMD Athlon or something better. It’s pretty impossible to find a desktop PC or laptop nowadays that doesn’t meet those demands.
Another interesting improvement that I’ve noticed in the Definitive Edition is that if you look closer at most of the buildings, you can actually see some parts of their interiors. While it would have been a lot better if you could actually access those interiors, this is still a nice feature that adds an extra dose of realism compared to the original game. Or probably I didn’t progress enough through the remastered version of the game, as it might have even more interiors that are accessible compared to the 2004 title. Feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!
Changes in the gameplay
In GTA SA Definitive Edition, it’s much easier to save your progress as a player. As long as you finish a mission, the game will automatically save your progress, which means that there’s no need to head over to the warehouse each time after a mission in order to save the progress, as it was needed in the original version of the game. This is clearly an improvement in the gameplay, although some might disagree, saying that the game is now too easy.
The “Wrong Side of the Tracks” mission, which is known best for the famous “All we had to do is follow the damn train, CJ!” quote, has apparently been made significantly easier to accomplish. I noticed this while I was playing the game and reckoned that the guys from the top of the train that Big Smoke had to shoot were taken out easier than in the original game. In the main 2004 title GTA San Andreas, I often found myself unable to finish the mission because the train simply ran away with the shooters at some point.
Another interesting gameplay change that I’ve noticed in GTA SA Definitive Edition is that now you are given the actual route to a specific destination that you want across the map. This was not available in the original game, as all you got was a red mark that you had to follow on the map, so it was all up to you to figure out the exact route. Again, this change might be perceived as a disadvantage by some, who will say that the game is now easier.
No more “User tracks” on the radio
Do you remember when we all loved the custom radio feature that allowed us to listen to our own favorite music on the radio while we were driving a car? We had the chance to put on any songs we liked, as long as we had them on our computer. Well, that wonderful feature is totally absent now in the Definitive Edition version, which is a real bummer! Personally, I was very happy to add a lot of metal songs on the custom radio of GTA San Andreas from bands such as Slayer, Sodom, Running Wild, Judas Priest, Immolation, and a lot more. I miss that feature in GTA SA Definitive Edition, even though it’s still ok for me to live without it.
Yes, playing GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition is totally worth it if you’re a fan of the original game. It’s worth playing even more if you’ve never played GTA San Andreas, and surely, there are a lot of young lads out there who fit into this category. The Definitive Edition has better graphics and some important gameplay improvements compared to the original title. Otherwise, if you can’t live without the custom radio feature that allows you to add any favorite and weird songs you want, it would probably be better to avoid playing GTA SA Definitive Edition.
After I’m done playing GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition, I’ll gladly give it a try to the other games of Rockstar’s trilogy of old GTA titles. Games such as San Andreas, Vice City, and GTA 3 marked my childhood, and it’s a great pleasure for me to give those remakes a try. I already had a lot of fun playing GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition, and surely, the remakes of Vice City and GTA 3 will also grant me some level of enthusiasm. My first contact with the GTA series was way back in my childhood years when I saw GTA 2 being played at an internet cafe in my small town, and I immediately felt extremely excited. As soon as I saw a guy getting out of a car and hopping right into another, I immediately got the point that you can do whatever you want in such a game. Of course, the graphics of GTA 2 were light-years inferior to those of GTA 5, GTA 4, or even the more older titles such as GTA San Andreas, GTA Vice City, and GTA 3. But it was that concept of apparent total freedom that captured me for good.
What’s your take on the subject? Have you been playing GTA San Andreas Definitive Edition? If so, what are your thoughts? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!