G'day, folks! I assume the majority of you caught the recent San Andreas article over at PS2.Gamespy.com (Dom posted a little news briefing on it yesterday), which summarized the majority of what is known about GTA:SA at the moment. However, if you're anything like myself, you probably dropped out when you saw exactly how many pages (6, to be exact) there were. But don't fret... that's where we come in!
In a nutshell, here's what got covered in the article:
- Current scheduled release date for SA (PS2 version) holds on at October 19th.
- PC and XBox gamers will have to wait until later in 2005 to see a ported version of SA.
- Unlike Vice City, the boys at R* are being a little bit more conservative in their distribution of info.
- The game will be set in the early 90's.
- Los Santos (LA)
- San Fierro (San Francisco)
- Las Venturas (Las Vegas)
- Carl Johnson - main character, framed for the death of his brother Brian.
- Brian Johnson - CJ's deceased brother.
- Sweet Johnson - CJ's older brother, thinks that CJ is responsible for Brian's death.
- Kendall Johnson - Sister of CJ and Sweet.
- Smoke - Friend of Sweet, member of the Orange Grove Families.
- Ryder - Also a friend of Sweet, and member of the OGF.
- Frank Tenpenny - One of two cops believed to have framed CJ for the murder of his brother, Brian.
- Eddie Polaski - Tenpenny's partner, #2 in the dastardly cop duo.
- Salvatore Leone - Yep, the Don is making a comeback. However, we don't know where or when.
- The Ballas - Rival gang of the Orange Grove Families.
- Casino - Whether or not you'll be building and managing your own casino has yet to be confirmed by Rockstar.
- Huge size - San Andreas will be MASSIVE compared to either of it's predecessors (what format of disc it will be shipped on is still up in the air, though common sense and light inquiry points to a dual-layer DVD as an obvious solution. For more info on dual-layer disc formats, check this out). All you really need to know for now, though, is that it'll run in your PS2.
- Massive Mountain - One suggestion: Don't try to bike up it.
- BMX Bikes - Along with other new vehicles.
- Swimming - Yeah, you heard me right. It seems the guys at R* have finally caved to all of our whining (good job!)
- House invasions - Time to see if those home security systems really live up to the challenge.
- 4-person drivebys - And to cover the dumb questions, yes, that probably means 2/3-person drivebys as well.
- Gang warfare - No, Rockstar hasn't gone all RTS on us, but they have included some funky new tools to help you get the most out of running your own gang.
- Personalization (Is that even a word?) - New wave of personalized functions that will let you do what you want with CJ. This includes an all-new stamina meter that will watch your weight. (This goes directly in sync with the ability to shed pounds at the local gym). The ability to get your hair cut at a barber shop also throws in a new element to the mix; especially since bystanders will be commenting on your new doo. Speaking of which,
- Improved AI - Increased pedestrian intelligence. No longer will we suffer from the burden of less-than-smart NPC's. Now we just have to worry about whether or not they're smarter than us.
As we all know, Grand Theft Auto has been blessed with awesome tracks to cruise by - San Andreas is likely to follow the trend. To quote Gamespy...
Anything from early house, garage, acid house, and rave is a viable target, but we're personally waiting and hoping to see if some classic gangster rap and Prodigy tunes make it in there. Body Count's Cop Killer (banned) would probably be pushing things a little too far at this point, however. ~ Gamespy.com
- Some awesome new visual techniques to increase the "real" factor of the game. Dynamic lighting and real time shadows, independant models for day and night.
- Improved combat system.
- Improved driving system.
So there you have it. The PS2.Gamespy.com Preview roundup. If everything circulated so far rings true, San Andreas is going to be the Lord of the Rings of console gaming. VIVA LA SA!