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Why ( I think) size does matter in GTA

All gamers have different opinions about Grand Theft Auto, some  love the countryside but the others hate to drive all those miles.
In this article I will express
my feelings about the San Andreas map sizes and mix some GTA IV while I’m at it.

This is huge!
When San Andreas came along it was my ultimate game because of the ‘what is on the other side?’ feeling.
I was roaming around in Los Santos the first time and couldn’t help myself but fantasize of what was behind those mountains I would discover that later in the story.

What music added tot he mix.
‘I love a rainy night, such a beautiful sight’ was blasting on my car-radio as I was driving towards the next city in the state that is San Andreas, and it was actually raining
at that very moment.

Those are one of the memories I will never forget, that moment is one of the examples why I like video games, they took me to a whole other vibe while I was sitting on my couch.
I wasn’t really there on my couch, I was driving my little green car up the hill with rain splashing on my windshield.

That moment was so awesome because I knew I was visiting some places I’ve never seen in my life, I was driving myself to another place on the map, it felt so normal and yet so bizarre at the same time.
Everything felt so right , nothing was standing in my way: San Andreas was my world and I was going to discover every little piece of the map until I knew it from the top of my head. ( And yes, I still do until this very day)



As the story progressed I visited San Fierro and Las Venturas and went back to Los Santos.

My trip trough the state of San Andreas was complete, this is one of the reasons why I like GTA; (Along with many other reasons of course) : I could discover the whole map and go to places I never been, it was the freedom that made me love the game.
I just hijacked a car and put on K-DST or Radio X ( because I like rock music a lot) and I would just drive and drive and keep driving some more while the music was blasting trough my speakers and I was feeling euphoric.


Goals and playtime

Every time I was driving I would set myself a goal; Visiting Las Venturas or San Fierro, take a tour around the map, goof around on the country side, chill out in the desert, etc, etc.
This resulted in hours of play time.

After I’ve done one thing I would move on to the next and it all went so naturally.
And that is one of the things I really missed in Grand Theft Auto IV: Cruising around.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Don’t get me wrong: Grand Theft Auto IV is amazing, to this day I still discover these little details and that’s really awesome if you look at the hours I’ve spend in Liberty City.
I’ve completed GTA IV to a full 100% on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and about 80% on the P.C, oh and I’m forgetting all the online hours.
So I really played GTA IV a lot, but I never hopped back in and went cruising.

The problem with cruising in Grand Theft Auto IV is the fact that there was nothing else to explorer because you were in Liberty City all the time.
I spend a little amount of time cruising in GTA IV because I wanted to check out some great songs on Liberty Rock Radio but I never had the same feeling that I got with San Andreas.
Sadly I could never escape the ‘City Life’ in Grand Theft Auto IV but that is what making the game as well: Liberty City
IS a concrete jungle.


In the end;

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas stole my heart because of the freedom, scale and music.
Grand Theft Auto IV stole my heart because of the details and the awesome story ( TLAD and TBOGT included)  that made the city feel more alive than any other game.

I look at these games like  2 separate worlds most of the time but when I get all sentimental I’m writing things like these.
The thing I also believe is that Rockstar really wanted to do something else with Grand Theft Auto IV and they succeeded, I only hope that in the next GTA we will get some country side/desert loving.



If you would like to comment on this article please do!
What do you think, does size matter?


  1. Hello, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!

  2. i heard GTA 5 will take place in all three cities of San Andreas. ???

  3. Jacob L. /

    I loved playing San Andreas Multiplater (SA:MP), and joining roleplay servers, the scripts available for use now make roleplaying a breeze and really fun to play.
    Im now 20 years old, and ive played San Andreas on and off since i was about 14, when it came out.
    The diffirence between SA and IV is so big that you couldnt really compare or compete the two together. The detail in IV is what has replaced the scale in SA, thats what i think.

  4. dooodo /

    well i think the size matter according to the story line and the game itself. All the grand theft auto released yet had something special each and every one of them. So it does not matter maybe gta 5 wont be that large or 6 or 7. And maybe 8 will be it depends on the story the missions all gta are great.

  5. i really loved GTA SA with the country and the planes to fly and the flying car cheats i hope in the next GTA they allow you to fly planes or at least a flying cars cheat but GTA SA has to be my fav

  6. I think San Andreas was great for the same reasons GTAIII was great, and for those reasons you can’t go home again. They were both completely new experiences in gaming, but just as GTAIV was a tweak of GTAIII, a tweak of San Andreas wouldn’t make it a new experience again. I definitely missed the long scenic drives in GTAIV, but SA was special for more than that. The flights were long, too. The cities were massive. The sheer length of the story gave the characters weight even though they were cartoonishly conceived. Another obstacle to R* recreating that awe is technology. It can offer better physics and polish, but it requires greater effort than the easily skinned and modded last-gen GTA. At any rate, I will continue to look forward to the future of the series.

  7. size DOES matter! gtaIV has no long roads and such, you get to fullspeed a fast car, but then you have to slow it down due to cornering, or avoiding some stuff on the way, this kills the joy of driving. that’s when it comes to design. and when it comes to programming, there are lots of small things to do in san andreas! IV never inspired me to push it upto 100%, while san andreas did, though i never achieved that with any of them.

    • GTA IV has plenty of long roads.
      But i know what you’re saying.
      There needs to be more… And some countryside aswell. :) Oh god, don’t we all want some countryside!

  8. Asgaro /

    I TOTALLY AGREE with this article!

    I even loved all the talk about Bigfoot and such in the woods!
    Because the countryside was so huge, people could imagine things which isnt possible in GTA4.

    I also like GTA4, but now that I can look at both games with an objective look,
    I must say i have the best memories with GTA SA.

    Like you say: I also loved simply travelling and exploring.
    I really hope Rockstar Games makes a new GTA with these things in mind.

  9. North European /

    I’ve played GTAs since GTA III and I love them all. I’ve played them all trough about 200 times each (not always side missions, not LB/VC -stories so many times). GTA IV I’ve now played trough 122 times and I’ve to go play it now, too! So, see u later!…. (5 hours later..)…

    The size of the “sand box” was the question. Well, if I think that carefully, I could say like women do, when they are lying to their men: “the size doesn’t matter, honey”. U see, I like it big, but I enjoyed also play in GTA III, which was as small as my dick. To me much important is the atmosphere like the outlook of GTA III, the neonlights and soundtrack in Vice City, or the sunsets of GTA IV in a shore, where u can see the sun light on water’s surface. Of course big size was important to me in San Andreas, ’cause I loved to fly high on that big sky, but if u make a big area, u can’t leave that area empty. Still, I liked the Las Ventures old airport and it surroundings, ’cause usually that kind of places are quite empty.
    Anyway, the latest GTA is always the best to me. It’s just amazing, when I’m having my smoking break and I can take a taxi and go to the next mission’s starting point…and it starts to rain very hevily – the THUNDERSTORM has come, WOW!. The taxidriver says: “Sorry about the smell, I just laid some gas in here” and when pushed starts to drive like retarded. At the same time I want to hear that awesome guy I’VE LOVED since GTA III, LASLOW, making himself a man and putting an immigrant’s face in the hotdogwater. FUNNY! :)
    Finally, and maybe u already can guess, what’s best to me in GTA, izzz: The sosiological aspect mixed with facts and put some sarcasm, too! Remember to mix very well and a good recipe quarantees success!
    I know a person, who was making the Red Dead Redemption. According to him, next GTA may will be placed in Florida (Vice City) and it surroundings. So, it’ll be something like SA was. Maybe there IS countrysides, too! (?).

  10. Roxxestar /

    GTA San Andreas was my favorite game, and… The Lost and Damned too. It was really the best of Liberty City.
    IMO, Just Cause 2 sucked because the map was big but… empty.

  11. I love GTA 4 and SA, i agree 100% with this article, GTA SA was more fun caz of the big map… why coudn’t Rockstar just make another GTA with a bigger map like Just Cause 2.. JC2 was really fun 2 play like GTA SA, but atleast in GTA SA i visited all the places within few weeks using Airplanes, Jet but in JC2 (the map is much bigger than GTA SA) so even after driving planes i couldn’t complete discover the map… i wish Rockstar should a game like that.

  12. I think San Andreas was my favorite GTA game for the reasons you specified. I liked the idea of multiple cities and them being so different from each other. Despite the 5 districts in GTA IV they still feel sort of the same. At the same time I think GTA does things best when things are wacky. Playing darts or pool isn’t the same level of entertainment as some of the wacky stuff in earlier GTA games. I mean it was OK, but if I want to play darts or pool I don’t need to do it in a GTA game.

  13. GTARandom /

    Yes! San Andreas was the best in my honest opinion, i even have it set as my favourite game on . The feeling that there was something there to just get found out by player was stuning! I love it still in this very day.

  14. Tyler S, /

    i can probably say that Grand theft Auto V Will be Like san andreas but More like Flying in a Bigger map like including the state of san andreas and then being able to go to Liberty city and all that fun stuff

  15. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment. :)

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