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San Andreas’ Best Feature Is Just As Good In The GTA Trilogy

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San Andreas’ Best Feature Is Just As Good In The GTA Trilogy

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition launched earlier this month, and although the release has had a shaky start, it successfully introduced new players to iconic GTA locales and brought older players back to the much-loved titles Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas. Two of those titles, GTA III and San Andreas, played a huge part in my gaming past, and my fond memories of one feature in particular made me want to wade through the rain and bugs to experience it once again in the Definitive Edition.

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If you’ve ever played 2004’s San Andreas for more than a few hours, you’ll probably have played through the mission ‘Doberman’. The leader of Grove Street Families, Sean ‘Sweet’ Johnson, will drop you a call and send CJ off on the mission, which sees our protagonist head to Ammu-Nation, and then Glen Park, to face off against rival gang the Ballas. It’s pretty simple: defeat a few waves of enemies, and you’re done. But it’s not the mission itself that is important here - rather, what it unlocks.

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This simple yet thrilling mission gives us our first glimpse of the feature, Gang Warfare, in action. Upon completion, the rival gang’s territory will fall into the control of the Grove Street Families, and will show up green on the mini-map. From this point on, you’ll also be able to see other territories currently held by the Ballas, Vagos and Aztecas, each marked with a different colour.

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The Gang Warfare feature lets you claim territories owned by other gangs in San Andreas. By killing three members of the rival gang you’ll provoke a gang war, and must go up against three waves to successfully claim the area. It’s a simple concept, but one that can provide hours of enjoyment, especially as there are times when your own areas will come under attack. Whenever the game alerted me to an invading gang, I always found myself rushing back to defend my turf, regardless of what I was doing at the time. It provided a nice little adrenaline rush to defend it in time, or hit back if I was too late. 

To make claiming territory easier, you can also recruit fellow Grove Street Family members to fight alongside you - and the higher your respect level, the more members you can bring! The AI-controlled gang members do tend to die quite quickly, but it’s nice knowing you have some backup as you enter rival gang territory. 

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition / Credit: Rockstar Games
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition / Credit: Rockstar Games
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Perhaps it was the inner completionist in me that kept bringing me back to Gang Warfare in 2004. I always found slowly phasing out each of the gangs extremely satisfying. This is made easier as you progress further in the game (or if you use a cheat code), as you’ll have more weapons and vehicles to use against rivals. Although The Definitive Edition has been up against it recently, criticised for its visuals and performance, I was very pleased that this feature remained intact and provides just as much fun as it did back in 2004. I immediately got side-tracked from missions and ended up on a crusade to claim the neighboring territories which surround Grove Street. 

If you are planning on playing through Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition either for the first time, or as a returning player all these years later, this feature is definitely worth checking out. The bugs of the new San Andreas aside, the feature plays exactly how I remembered it, and still provides as much fun and enjoyment as it did back then. It can be played whenever, or ignored completely. But if, like me, you find getting shot by gangs on every corner in Los Santos annoying, or enjoy going head-to-head against rival gangs, you’ll probably want to spend some time with it. It really is nice to see a feature like this shine through, and still provide as much fun today as it did back in 2004. Grove Street 4 life.

Featured Image Credit: Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition / Credit: Rockstar Games

Topics: Grand Theft Auto, Opinion

Phil Boon
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