There’s a good case to be made for San Fierro being the most underrated city in GTA San Andreas.
It’s the second major city that CJ visits in GTA San Andreas. Whereas Los Santos is the first and final location in the game, San Fierro seems more normal and minor by comparison. Even Las Venturas feels grandiose and over the top.
However, there is still an aura of greatness that surrounds San Fierro. No city is bad to visit in GTA San Andreas, and San Fierro is no exception. It’s a genuinely fun city to see in-game, and that’s particularly because of its differences compared to the other major cities in GTA San Andreas.
Five reasons why San Fierro is a great city in GTA San Andreas
5) Exports and Imports
Every GTA San Andreas city has something unique that a player can only do in that particular location. In San Fierro, players could both import and export vehicles. As the name would imply, importing costs them some money, while exporting it gave them some cash, instead.
Note: one can only import vehicles that they have exported before. Of course, GTA San Andreas players can’t just export any vehicle they see; they can only export the ones that show up on the blackboard.
This feature rewards attentive players, and also gives them an excuse to explore all of San Andreas.
4) Good San Francisco vibes
This reason is a minor one, but still perfectly legitimate. Anybody who has been to the city in real life can see the similarities between San Fierro and San Francisco (as if the initials weren’t obvious enough). If they like the real-life location, chances are, they’ll like the fictional one as well.
San Fierro has two iconic bridges that resemble the real-life ones, but the general architecture of the two cities is also similar. San Fierro is noticeably different than how Los Santos and Las Venturas feel when the player is exploring the three cities.
Plus, the countryside also feels radically different by comparison.
3) It feels like the most normal city in GTA San Andreas
Los Santos has a lot of problems. Some of these range from gang violence to literal riots. By comparison, Las Venturas seems like a normal city, except it’s riddled with mafia problems in a desert setting.
In San Fierro’s case, it has the classic gang problems some GTA fans would see in older games, except with a more familiar climate. There aren’t flashy casinos in San Fierro, either.
Everything in San Fierro feels more subdued compared to the other locations in GTA San Andreas, and that’s part of what makes it feel so refreshing.
2) It’s the smallest city in GTA San Andreas
Being the smallest city can be a boon, as well as a detriment. It depends entirely on what a player values in a video game. If a city is too large to explore, then it can seem daunting and like a waste of time to do so. However, by the same token, that would also mean smaller cities are more enjoyable to navigate through.
GTA San Andreas is a massive GTA game, all things considered. Hence, it’s pleasant to see a small city that allows the GTA San Andreas player to get from point A to point B a whole lot quicker.
It also means that it’s easier to naturally collect Snapshots as a collectible because everything is more tightly organized in San Fierro.
1) CJ rebuilds his connections here
Fans of GTA San Andreas’s storyline will likely remember how CJ was practically broke and powerless when he inherited the Doherty Garage. He was trying to figure out how to make some money and help get his brother out of prison, so it felt like a dangerous situation to be in.
Fortunately, CJ befriends several useful connections in this area. Allies like Wu Zi Mu and The Truth are fun characters to be around, not to mention how interesting it was to see the Doherty Garage grow as a business.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows here. CJ still has to deal with Big Smoke’s connections. He gets rid of the Loco Syndicate, before moving on to the next part of the game’s storyline.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.