I recently played through both Vice City and San Andreas again for old times sake.
Both are dated, but it becomes enjoyable eventually. Vice City was mostly a lot of fun. It’s smaller and there’s less to do, but it makes up for the diversity and quality of the missions both main and side. Then of course it had an amazing soundtrack (including Blondie, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Human League), and is basically the best game ever to take place during the 80s.
And while San Andreas improved on the core mechanics (including little to no loading screens), adding in a good story and tons of content, it was incredibly frustrating in a few places. The end game is insanely repetitive due to turf wars, and the enemy and friendly AI during turf wars is sometimes intolerable. The driving and street races can be very frustrating, and unfair. Then there were flaws in the game right from the beginning like awful sound effects from the weapons, the tedious stat building, and I think that it has the weakest soundtrack, and overall picked some mediocre songs of the 1990s (could only listen to Radio X, where in Vice City there were more radio stations that I enjoyed including Wave 103 and K-chat). Having a large play area does have its downsides: since it can take a while to get from one place to another, especially annoying if you are on a mission and die then having to travel all the way back to the mission start.
So basically it’s a quality > quantity thing. While Vice City only offers a quarter of San Andreas in terms of content, it delivers that content in a better fashion.
Having said that San Andreas on the PC is a lot better than Vice City due to the different mods you can have in it.
Also, has anyone tried to explain to a friend/relative what Grand Theft Auto is about? I had this problem over the weekend and had to sum it up as: “steal cars and beat up hookers for money”.
How would you describe what Grand Theft Auto is?