Okay, before I get into this, mind you that there will be SPOILERS below, so beware. And because I'm a lazy f*ck I'm not going to bother putting spoiler tags on everywhere. So you've got your warning. This is for anyone who has completed story mode only.
First of all, the story was great. Not incredible, not amazing, but great. I felt like it was a little rushed though, things were just happening too fast without much continuity. For example, with Simeon and Franklin, didn't do much there, I was expected to do at least 6-7 missions for him before it was all canned. Also, with Mr. Cheng Jr. and Trevor, I would of liked if we saw more of the son or whatever, the dude who was high at the bar. He seemed funny and different from past characters and I think it would of been cool if he was in more cut-scenes. The ending was alright, nothing special. Typical really, kill the bad guy, live your life after blah blah. The antagonists weren't all that great either. Kinda boring to be honest. Although I must say the missions were a blast to do.
Micheal was my favorite of the three. He seemed to be a lot more sane and realistic. He reminded me of Niko a little. The whole family missing part was interesting as well. I liked the fact that he was a father with kids and wife. Not a protagonist we've had like that before if I'm not wrong.
Trevor was pretty cool, but I thought he was sometimes annoying because he would always complain about the past and what happened before and he would never shut up and always start sh*t with Micheal. Although he was funny was hell for the most part.
Franklin was alright, I played with him the least. His story and background wasn't really interesting at all. Just a typical street thug life. A pussier version of CJ in my opinion. CJ was a real thug who went for Ballas went they were trying to take over streets, and he didn't give a sh*t about anything. Franklin seemed to always try his best to avoid conflict.
What I was REALLY disappointed in was no references to CJ, Sweet, Ryder, or Big Smoke. Or maybe even Vercetti. None of them. By anyone. I know I saw in one of the checklists for a mission that said "Better Than CJ" or something like that, but I mean a character mentioning them. It would of been even cooler if we got to see CJ or Sweet in a cut-scene some how looking all old but as Rockstar says, they're all suppose to be dead. Which is stupid in my opinion. How could CJ possibly die after all the sh*t he did in the original San Andreas? What, someone killed him after?
Overall though, the game's fabulous. Soundtrack was awesome and the music that was used during missions were great and really made the scene more alive. Radio is a lot better than IV's too. I have tons of other sh*t to do now with strangers and freaks, and explore the map more. I felt like I didn't do enough missions in the countryside and desert as I would have liked though.
Does it surpass the original San Andreas? Eh, not quite. While V's missions are way better, the original's map was just far more entertaining, and the story was a little more intriguing.
Looking forward to online.