The game Hillary Clinton sought to ban is back, and coming to a cell phone near you.
On the back of this year’s controversial “Grand Theft Auto V,” developer Rockstar announced Tuesday that the 2004 classic “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” is coming to mobile devices this December.
Both 2001’s “Grand Theft Auto III” and 2002’s “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” have been translated to mobile devices and sold well, so a port of “San Andreas” was inevitable. Yet this is one of Rockstar’s most ambitious moves yet: “San Andreas” was unrivalled in scope, size, and things to do. It will be comfortably one of the biggest games for mobile ever released.
Gamers loved the expansive map that could take hours to travel across, with varied missions in the rough suburbs of Los Santos and wild countryside to explore. Oh, and it had Samuel L. Jackson as a voice actor – amazing.
If you aren't an adult, the game is not intended for you. 'Grand Theft Bambi' this is not.
“San Andreas” also garnered a praise for its sensitive handling of race and gang issues. The gamer played young black gang member Carl “C.J.” Johnson struggling to shake off his past and make a life for himself outside of the world into which he was born. In trying to break free, C.J. ends up entrenched further in criminality. Characters broke free of tiresome stereotypes, and critics praised it for making a black character the lead.
Yet it also drew fierce criticism, not only for the gratuitous violence and bad language that is typical of the series, but also for an obscure modification known as “Hot Coffee” that could unlock a crude sexual minigame.
“Hot Coffee” became red meat for politicians, with Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, calling for the Federal Trade Commission to "take immediate action to determine the source of graphic pornographic and violent content appearing on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game." Clinton used “San Andreas” as an opportunity to call for federal oversight of game ratings and federal regulation of sales, calling for a ban on selling such games to minors (something that the Supreme Court would later rule unconstitutional) and for those disobeying the ban to be fined.
Although “Hot Coffee” was later removed, it remains to be seen if “San Andreas” will stir up Washington into debate once again.
Make no mistake, “San Andreas,” as with all Grand Theft Auto games, is rated M—Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. If you aren't an adult, the game is not intended for you. "Grand Theft Bambi" this is not.
But if you are an adult, it will be worth taking a look at this new iteration. “San Andreas” was the top-selling PlayStation 2 title of all time for a reason. But can it compete nearly 10 years later? The original has dated graphics and difficult points – an early train mission has gone down in gaming lore as one of the most aggravating levels of all time. Additionally, "GTA III" and "Vice City" ports were extremely difficult to control on touch screens -- will San Andreas fall to the same troubles?
A statement from Rockstar indicates the company anticipates these criticisms.
“Newly remastered graphics…make this the best-looking version of San Andreas yet. 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' also features brand new touch controls including contextual control options to display buttons only when you need them and three different control schemes for driving and maneuvering.”
If Rockstar can deliver on these upgrades, revisiting C.J. and his Grove Street hangout just may prove to be the mobile gaming highlight of the year, and one of the largest worlds ever to reach your cell phone or tablet. Check out FoxNews.com for more coverage as release approaches sometime in December.
“Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” will be available for select iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle and Windows Mobile devices.