For a game with such a big world, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas starts in a pretty personal place. In the first mission, Carl Johnson silently mourns his recently deceased mother. Thanks to the upgraded textures and higher resolution (all the way up to 720p!), I could see pain in his face that wasn't apparent a decade ago. In the second, CJ reunites with his estranged brother and sister, but the audio cut out after a few seconds, interrupting the bittersweet moment. That's a pretty good encapsulation of what this re-release of San Andreas brings to the table: it’s the same great story and setting.
When it comes to that campaign, San Andreas is a bit less of a hassle than it used to be. While the auto-aiming system remains as troublesome as ever and some of the missions you'll have to complete can be amongst the series' hardest (particularly the train-chasing sequence with Big Smoke, and Zero's maddening RC helicopter escapades), but a new checkpoint system allows for immediate retries after a failed mission. The two key benefits are that you don't need to worry about the loss of weaponry and armor that comes with being arrested, or endure the sometimes-long “drive of shame” back to the mission marker. In a few cases, you can even pick up midway through an objective. Those cases are rarer than they should be, however given how long some missions run, boring drives from the mission start point still happen far too frequently. Even though it's a far cry from the retry-friendly checkpoints in GTA V, San Andreas' system is way better than it was a decade ago.