Rockstar Games - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (2)
The only reason this excellently designed and written killer game doesn't get a top rating from me, is all the killing. I'm all in favor of frying Doom's demons, hunting evil unreal aliens or shooting down robots in the Descent series, to name just a few of the blow'em'ups I've played over the years, but the stark realism of the environment do make a difference, I think. When you can just jog down a street, whip out the gun and shoot a few people in purple tees, just because they wear purple tees (and would soon start shooting at you, anyway, since you're dressed in green), or jacking weapons from a National Guard depot is accomplished by shooting the protecting soldiers, it all feels a bit too much like real life for complete comfort. That said, the gameplay is terrific and the scenery breathtaking - and I've only seen the quarter or so of the game world that is modeled on Los Angeles so far. The only annoyance concerns saving games, which can only be done at the players home base, and only between missions. With some of the missions having tricky parts that you only get to after sometimes minutes of driving, having to repeatedly do all of one of them just to figure out the tricky bit can be a bit of a drag.