Near the end of GTA San Andreas, players can see the Los Santos Riots unfold, and it's an event unlike anything else in the game.
The Los Santos Riots are an obvious spoof of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Both events take place in 1992, and Los Santos is based on Los Angeles.
Likewise, both events are triggered due to the public's perception that an officer of the law got away scot-free for some injustice.
While the historical background of the Los Santos Riots in GTA San Andreas is fascinating, there are also gameplay elements that make this event stand out to its players. It's an event unlike anything else in the GTA series, as well.
Why the riots in Los Santos within GTA San Andreas were so memorable
In GTA San Andreas, the Los Santos Riots serve as a plot-related event showcasing the public's outrage toward Officer Tenpenny's acquittal. Earlier in GTA San Andreas, CJ was forced by Officer Tenpenny to get rid of some key witnesses and evidence in some missions.
Predictably, this plays a role in his acquittal.
CJ and his friends are understandably disappointed by this announcement, yet the riots are mostly the result of random pedestrians reacting to this news. Unlike several other plot-related events, the Los Santos Riots has some significant gameplay-related features.
What does the Los Santos Riots change?
The most noteworthy thing the Los Santos Riots cause in GTA San Andreas is more aggressive pedestrians. They're more willing to attack CJ unprovoked, as well as attack other pedestrians and cops around them.
Some pedestrians can also be seen carrying TV sets around. If a player hits them in any way, they will drop the TV (which then falls through the ground anticlimactically).
This indicates that looting is quite common during this event, although the player cannot participate in it except with the usual burglary vehicle mission.
There's also a lot more smoke and fire in the buildings around Los Santos in GTA San Andreas. Players can often drive in vehicles that seem primed to explode, which is suitable for the chaotic environment the riots are meant to instill into the player.
When does the Los Santos Riots take place?
While the Los Santos Riots are wild and hectic, they're not always active. The riots only start after the mission, Riot, has its opening cut-scene. The riots only end after the player completes the final mission in GTA San Andreas, End of the Line.
As the name might imply, the Los Santos Riots only take place in Los Santos, so players can explore the other regions of the game without worrying about the riots. Many normal features and side missions are still present in Los Santos, so players can still do them whilst the riots occur.
What makes the Los Santos Riots so memorable in GTA San Andreas?
The Los Santos Riots in GTA San Andreas are a one-of-a-kind event that isn't often seen in any other GTA game. Here, players can see aggressive pedestrians and chaos intertwine with one another without the use of cheat codes or mods.
It's exceptionally rare for the GTA series to include an event that alters a location drastically. Fort Staunton being blown up in GTA Liberty City Stories would be the closest example of a location feeling completely different between two separate events.
It's also not a permanent event, unlike what happens in GTA Liberty City Stories. In GTA San Andreas, the Los Santos Riots serve an important role, yet part of their charm is that it's only around for what's ultimately a brief moment in the player's playthrough.