'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' — Beware Of Hostile Hippies, Hare Krishna Gangs

Video game relocates to city remarkably like San Francisco.

It's rubbed Congress the wrong way, enraged parents and was even name-checked as an election issue in 2000. Now, this October, "Grand Theft Auto" — Rockstar Games' mega-million-selling video-game series — is back and headed for the Bay Area.

Say goodbye to Liberty City and Vice City; the fifth edition of "GTA" takes yet another member of the Vercetti crime family to "San Andreas" — not San Francisco, although the resemblance is uncanny. Rockstar Games describes it as a city filled with "old-world Latin charm and new-order Pacific Rim technology" that has strong ties to the Orient after a "fools' gold rush."

The move to San Andreas means postponing two possible "GTA"s: "Bogota" and "Sin City," both of which were names licensed by Rockstar.

This time around, users will encounter rival gangs like the Chinatown Triads, Mexican mobs, hippies, Hare Krishnas and many more.

"Vice City" sold more than 30 million copies and spawned a successful box set soundtrack; a similar album is planned for this edition, although details are under wraps.

"GTA: San Andreas" is already available for preorder through various online retail sites. Once again the game will initially only be available for PS2, so start sucking up to Santa.

Gideon Yago