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The August Play Magazine (issue 118) is featuring a massive 9-page preview on GTA San Andreas. Rockstar have started showing us areas of the countryside, and included in tihs magazine are heaps of new screenshots and new information about the suburban setting. The magazine will be in stores on the 17th of July.
The preview contains new screenshots of the following:
- A combine harvester with razor-sharp blades working on a field.
- A dirtbike (similar to Sanchez from Vice City) riding through the forest.
- Articulated trucks, including ones with huge detachable gas canisters.
- A monster truck riding through a valley and a shallow river bed.
- A jeep overlooking the sunset on a cliff.
- An SUV driving through the meadows.
- An ATV racing on a dirt track.
Short sample from the preview:
|"CJ will score experience points for killing using a weapon or for driving well and will 'level up'. But don't expect any RPG-style allocation of experience points, CJ will simply get better at driving, be able to reload his weapon faster or will score more head shots.
...this is the logical continuation of GTA's whole 'this is your game' [theme]..."
Read more for the full summary.
Related link: GTAForums.com topic.
Summarised by Dom0803 & Leo Teal
San Andreas has completely discarded loading times between different areas of the game. Now you have to tell the difference for yourself! They say the transition between the cities and countryside in San Andreas is seamless. It's one big chunk and you make of it what you make of it. It shouldn’t be too hard, you know, with the skyscrapers in the city, and the half-mile tall mountain in the country.
- The cities are placed on an overall 'state map', in roughly the same geographical positions as in present day west coast USA. One lies in the south, one in the north (and on the coast), and one towards the east, presumably, in the middle of the desert.
- Wildlife can now be found in the countryside. (Although not much)
- The foliage in the countryside is handled "procedurally." It's only drawn on screen when the player can see it.
- The notorious moutain has been identified as "Mount Chiliad". In a helicopter, it takes approximately one minute to reach the top of the mountain, whereas it takes approximately one minute to travel from one corner of Vice City to the opposite, in a chopper. After reaching a certain height, you'll notice clouds.
- The police are equally powerful in the countryside as in the cities.
Play Magazine confirms that it's possible to hijack an articulated truck (a la GTA2), and drive it around the countryside. It's also possible to detach the trailer, and some missions rely on exactly that.
The game features a combine harvester working on the fields in the countryside. Rockstar sure does think of everything.
- The vehicles in the countryside are much different from those in the city. No matter,
they can still be hijacked.
- Quad Bikes – Also known as ATV's are going to play a big role in the countryside.
- You can race quad bikes on a dusty dirt track.
- The monster truck is essential if you plan on driving across the country. Hold down the R1 button and instead of doing a handbrake turn you'll activate the truck's four wheel steering.
- Dirt bikes are very similar to the Sanchez in Vice City.
Storyline and Characters
- Carl's mother was murdered, which brought Carl back to Los Santos.
- Sweet Johnson is head of the Orange Grove Gang.
- Areas of Los Santos are controlled by different gangs, so you'll be welcome in some, and not in others.
A mission is described, where CJ is staying in a cabin in the woods with a "female character" from a previous game (Catalina anyone?). They drive into "Dillimore", a local town, to rob the gas station. As they arrive, they find that the store owner has installed bulletproof glass, and so instead they have to steal gas by loading up an articulated gas truck. The getaway is made harder because of the heavy truck, wonky village roads and angry pursuers.