Scant few details have surfaced on Rockstar’s upcoming Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Even with its impending release to retail only a couple short months away, fans of the series have very little concrete information to go on pertaining to how San Andreas mixes things up in the popular car-jacking franchise. Obviously, we know where the game takes place and we know the environments that millions of gamers will be playing around in this time will be larger than before. We know the main character in the game will be Carl Johnson, a native to the Los Angeles-esque area and a man whose mother was murdered in the ruthless and brutal city.|
But some new information has emerged on the game via an official press release to the media. For example, we now know that San Andreas will take place in the early 90’s. Does that mean we can expect a deluge of music from the slightly outdated, slightly contemporary era? Is it safe to assume that plenty of references and stereotypes from the waning years of last generation will be featured in the experience? We’d venture to guess that it’s a pretty safe bet.
But we’re not going to waste your time speculating on what we think or hope the game will be like. Instead we’ll tell you what they told us.
Rockstar announced and outlined three unique aspects of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; eating, working out, and character customization. Yes, we already knew CJ needs to eat in order to prevent exhaustion and retain energy. What we didn’t know was that eating will dramatically affect not only your character’s performance in the game but his physical appearance as well. If CJ goes without eating for long stretches of time he will start to get skinny, and if he stays on such a diet for extended periods, he’ll grow weak and emaciated. On the flipside, if Carl continually binges and stuffs his face with fatty foods, he’ll become more and more rotund. He’ll begin to bulge out of his clothing, waddle rather than walk, and constantly need to catch his breath once his pudginess graduates to full-on obesity. Apparently, every frame of animation will be affected by CJ’s physical health.
There are fast-food joints aplenty in and around San Andreas that sell a variety of tasty treats, each with its own calorific value that determines how much your energy and body fat will increase. Eating too much food can also result in CJ throwing up, something that the folks at the local Cluckin’ Bell may not take kindly to. Even more interesting, CJ will draw a number of different reactions from the people around him depending on his physical condition. Street Thugs may poke fun at him for being overweight, or women may show signs of attraction when you’re in peak physical condition.
Which brings us to the next tasty bit of info Rockstar dropped on us: working out and exercise. If you want to snuggle up to the ladies you’ll need to spend some time at one of the various gyms in the game. Of course, there are other benefits to bulking up, such as heightened stamina, quicker recovery, and stronger attacks. Gyms vary greatly in terms of style and equipment. The gym in Los Santos, for example, is a typical, grungy gym rife with gang members. The gym in Las Venturas is a heavily worn boxing facility. Meanwhile, San Fierro features a serene martial arts dojo. But like everything else in San Andreas, the gyms don’t only differ in terms of aesthetics. You’ll be able to develop completely new fighting styles by sparring with some of the gym’s patrons, giving CJ the upper hand when it comes to laying down some smack.
The theme no doubt in Rockstar’s latest press release is one of dynamicity and customization. Rockstar further expounded their underlying point by outlining the ways players can directly and instantly affect the way CJ looks and is thusly perceived. A few of the ways you can do this in San Andreas is with tattoos, haircuts, and clothing. Aside from the undeniable coolness of shaping and molding your character to your own unique personality, the tattoos you don will also affect who you can count on in a police shootout or gang retaliation. These permanent symbols of ink that can be emblazoned on your person will also determine your gang relation.
Rockstar also briefly mentioned some new additions to the title’s control formula, among which is the camera system that is again fully controllable with the R-stick in both on foot and driving sequences. But the real difference this time around is found in weapons mode where the right analog stick allows you to freely target with any ranged weapon. You thankfully can now finally move while aiming with an independent aiming and running/strafing system. There will also be a BMX style trick system implemented for when you choose to peddle.
Well, folks, you now know everything we know about the new Grand Theft Auto. It’s not much but if the previous iterations of GTA are any indication, we can confidently say we’ll be in for quite a treat when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is released this October exclusively on the Playstation 2. The wait will soon be over.
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