As the scenarios and graphics of home-system video games have increased in sophistication, so has the musical accompaniment. The complexly recreated worlds of early-2000s games like GRAND THEFT AUTO require a musical backdrop that is as dynamic, detailed, and energizing as the game itself. The 2004 installment, SAN ANDREAS, keeps with GRAND THEFT AUTO's paradigm of ever-changeable radio stations inside the cars that the game-players navigate. Players are able to flip between stations, genres, and moods at the touch of a control button.
Set in Southern California during the early 1990s, SAN ANDREAS features much of the music popular at the time, including hard-hitting rap (2Pac, Cypress Hill) and rock acts (Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More). But the well-selected soundtrack also ranges across the dial to include reggae and funk classics (Toots & the Maytals' "Pressure Drop," James Brown's "The Payback," respectively), '70s rock chestnuts (Heart's "Barracuda"); old-school hip-hop (Eric B. & Rakim's "I Know You Got Soul"), and curveball gems (Willie Nelson's "Crazy"). The package also includes a DVD that provides an introduction to the game.