GTA San Andreas iOS Review: How iPhone and iPad Have Become Gaming Consoles

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By Akash KJ | December 13, 2013 7:46 PM EST

For a long time now, Apple's iPhones and iPads have aspired to serve as gaming consoles that can be compared to the likes of Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP. While they have always had comparable hardware, for instance that blazingly fast new Apple A7 chip, they have never had an amazing selection of games to offer players.

However, with the launch of a GTA San Andreas for iOS, it looks like Apple's tablets and smartphones have finally received the most important ingredient that will allow them to be seen as powerful gaming platforms.

So how does GTA: San Andreas play on the iOS? We tried it out on our iPhone 5 to find out.

New Graphics

Rockstar has re-mastered the game and given it some high-resolution graphics along with some solid lighting enhancements, a more vivid colour palette and improved character models. And there is a generous amount of detail added to characters and objects. For instance, we noticed that people now have real fingers and not just clumsy sausages of flesh as seen previously.

It may not look as wholesome as the console version of the game, but GTA: San Andreas for iOS still manages to retain its charm. For players who have slightly better hardware (iPhone 5/iPad 4 and above), Rockstar is treating you to more dynamic and detailed shadows along with real-time environment reflections.

Performance

Look back at the game's release during 2004 and you might remember that even though it ran well on the PS2, things were not very smooth and gamers had to put up with things like long load times and more. However, all this changed on the PC version of the game and gamers can expect a similar experience on iOS. Load times are short and in most cases non-existent and frame rates are very good. All in all, the game scores some very high points when it comes to performance on Apple's devices.

Controls

The game offers you three different touch control schemes .These include a digital and analog steering. The dual analog stick controls offer full camera and movement control. You can also tweak analog sensitivity, invert look and customise button placement on screen to suit your needs. And here is the best part, the game is compatible with iOS game controllers as well.

The controls are rather easy to use and you will find nothing wrong with them. They work well with your character and the camera. All in all, a smooth control experience.

How Big?

Players will get to access to Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas. Expect over a 100 hours of gameplay.

Rockstar Social Club

It will take you about 15 seconds or so to sign up for the Rockstar Social Club and we recommend that you do so. The reason being that upon logging in, users get access to two cloud save slots for the game, which is easily one of the niftiest features on the iOS port. This will come in handy in case you lose phone data or app data owing to an unfortunate incident. You will not have to worry about to losing hundreds of hours of game progress, thanks to the cloud save feature.

Compatibility

The game works only on the following Apple products: iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPod Touch 5th gen, iPad 2, 3rd and 4th generation, iPad Air and iPad Mini.

Price

The game is retailing at £4.99 on the App Store

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