So, after making a big fuss about the dilemma of choosing between GTA Vice City and San Andreas, I finally got the San Andreas. I’ve played the game for a bit, between having the workload of a Monday and the laziness of a winter, it was tough to even play the game. Here’s a very brief review of GTA San Andreas on PlayStation 4.
As you probably already know, GTA San Andreas was originally released on PlayStation 2. A few titles have been upscaled to 1080p and released on the PlayStation 4 for those who want a trip down the memory lane. I installed the game on my PS4. And immediately, I noticed something different.
Rockstar didn’t seem to bother changing some of the things from the game such as manual and other items. Even before you launch the game, you’ll see two links — manual and guide — both of which will load a webpage with details about the PS2 system.
Embrace the Blur
I haven’t played the game on PS2, so I got curious and looked around for a bit before finally realizing I was wasting my time and launched the game.
The game looks good enough on a 40” TV in 1080p resolution. You can definitely say that it’s been upscaled and was not made for a display that large with so much resolution — even though 1080p isn’t that much in today’s standards. From the very first text, I couldn’t help but notice that they were a bit blurry. That is to be expected. But it left me worried, too. What if the whole game is blurry?
Thankfully, the whole game is not blurry. As soon as the cutscene began, I realized that the game didn’t look as bad I thought it would. It’s playable unless you’re the kind of gamer to whom graphics is the first and foremost thing.
Control Is a Big Change
There were things that I couldn’t help but notice while playing GTA San Andreas. First of all, controls take quite a bit of time getting used to. Having played many times where you accelerate a car in R2 and hit the brakes in L2, it took me a lot of time to get my head around the fact that in GTA SA, I needed to hold down the X button to accelerate and Square button to brake.
Triggering L2 and R2 will simply make you look left and right. If you’re in a vehicle and you feel like driving fast, it would definitely feel awkward and you’ll definitely hit a lot of things in the streets because of this dramatic variation in control.
The touchpad comes in handy in GTA SA, too. Because PS2 and PS3 controllers had a Start and a Select button, which the DualShock 4 lacks, you need to press on the left and right side of the touchpad for Start and Select keys. I can’t remember exactly which side is Start and which side is Select. And that’s the other thing. If you go to the controls menu, it will show you a DualShock 3 controller.
Would it take too long of a time for Rockstar to make some changes in the game’s screens, and maybe even controls, to make the game a bit more PS4-friendly? Especially since they are asking for $15 for the game. I think players deserve the chance to play in a native control scheme. I looked around but couldn’t find a way to remap the buttons. (Perhaps there is?) So, I’m a bit frustrated at this as playing in a weird control scheme feels, well, weird.
Yellow Is the New Old
The other thing that I need to mention is about graphics. I’ve already said that you shouldn’t expect super sharp quality. Occasionally, especially when you get close to things, you’ll notice a slight halo in the edges which can be a bit distracting. Even if you can live with that, what made my eyes hurt was the fact that the game felt oversaturated.
If I remember correctly, GTA SA was a bit oversaturated even in the early days. But on PS4, the game felt too saturated. Everything looks yellow. Even things that should look white looks yellow. I looked at the display settings and couldn’t find anything to make adjustments to the display saturation. I could certainly turn down the saturation from the TV menu, but I would rather not. Not having to tweak changes is the first reason why I went with a PS4 instead of a PC. (Yes, I’m lazy. :3 )
Other than the oversaturated graphics, occasional halo effect, and the weirdness of the controller, I don’t really have anything else to complain about. The game certainly feels solid. The sound quality is awesome. I’ve got the camera that I love using to take pictures in the virtual world. I’ve got that cool sound of hitting the brakes when in a vehicle. Most importantly, I’ve got quite a lot of memories back with the game.
Sure, it doesn’t feel the same, and the oversaturated display has to do with this. I’m not keeping my hopes up that it is something Rockstar will bother to fix. But I do look forward to enjoying San Andreas in its oldest glory.
To sum everything up, if you can live with the slight change in controls and you’re okay with occasional blurriness in the game, I do recommend that you buy the game. I believe the price is higher for what we’re getting, especially considering Rockstar doesn’t seem to have done much to match the PS4 playing experience. But if you’ve got a history in San Andreas, well, you might like just being back in the city. 🙂