||GTA: San Andreas is due out in October 2004 for the PS2. An XBox version has not been annouced. A PC version is expected after the PS2 release. Probably around six months after the PS2 release if things go like the previous releases. Here is a random bulleted list of features gathered from various articles:
- First off, San Andreas will be an entire state, not just a single city. Within San Andreas there will be three cities, Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco), and Las Venturra (Las Vegas).
- San Andreas will be larger than any previous GTA game by far, clocking in at four to six times larger then any of the previous games in the series.
- Moving from one city to another will be seamless as you'll actually travel through the countryside to reach each of your destinations.
- The game engine will allow for much more varied and detailed environments than any of the previous GTA titles. Graphics updates include real time reflections on cars, windows, mirrors, etc., radial lighting, soft shadowed lighting for indoor environments, and separate models for day and night for added detail.
- GTA: SA will feature interior locations for the "vast majority of the buildings." These locations will also serve as more than just a save location opening the way for "new types of gameplay" like robbery.
- Purchasing property and GTA: SA will be more fleshed out, allowing you not only to buy but also to build (probably scripted and not free form but cool nonetheless).
- GTA: SA is based in the early 90's, opening the game up for some intense gang warfare.
- As usual Rockstar will be going all out on the voice acting. No confirmations thus far, but it has been rumored that Dave Chappelle may make an appearance.
- Radio stations will still be in place and you can bet that Rockstar will use an even larger catalog of music. With three different cities to choose from we'll probably see different sets of radio stations in different cities further expanding the play list.
- GTA: SA will tie in with the rest of the GTA series, featuring cameos from previous characters and borrowing plot points to further expand the GTA universe.
- The new AI system in GTA: SA should keep things interesting with each ped reacting more intelligently to their surroundings (really this time). Peds will also have expanded dialogue. The AI system also ties into a dynamic difficultly system that changes the difficulty based on your performance, making it easier or more challenging depending on your skill level.
- Gangs, Los Angeles, and the 90's go hand in hand (in hand) and GTA: SA will reflect this with the ability to recruit a gang to accompany you on some missions. Get in a car with some of your gang members and you'll be able to take the phrase "drive-by" to a whole new level. The gang recruitment wont stop there, you'll actually get into "running and commanding a criminal organization." As always this system will be intuitive enough to avoid any troublesome micro management.
- Mini games will make a reappearance, but as with everything else in GTA: SA, they will be refined and expanded upon.
- Rather than only using missions to push the story forward, GTA: SA's plot and your location within that plot will always affect what you are doing, regardless of if you're on a mission or not. Everything you do in the game will tie in.
- Burglary will be more prominent in GTA: SA, but will require lots of skill, planning, and preparation.
- As you change your location within the game the gameplay will change along with you, allowing different activities in different locations. One example would be gambling in Las Venturra.
- There are hundreds of skills to acquire in the game and just about every mission will have you doing something new.
- GTA: SA will be the first GTA to feature the need for food. Depending on how you eat and what you do you'll see your character get fatter or thinner which then ties into your stamina meter and actually effects other ped's reaction to you (FAT BASTARD!). Getting fatter will have its consequences and will make some missions more difficult. This actually cuts both ways because you can also go to the gym and improve your physical condition, increasing your strength, speed, and changing your character model.
- Targeting and control in third person games has always been an issue, but Rockstar has some interesting solutions that have yet to be revealed. Dan Houser's advice is to play the shooting levels in Manhunt to get any idea of what they have in mind.
- Character control will be more varied, allowing for swimming, multiple combat stances, and attack styles.
- GTA: SA will feature a "s---load of weapons" all of which will reflect the real world weaponry of the early 90'. All the weapons in the game will have their own unique feel and you'll also be able to double up on the pistols using one in each hand.
- Animation will also be refined with rag doll physics and location based hit detection.
- The vehicle physics engine has been further tweaked but nothing specific was mentioned.
- New forms of transportation will be introduced in San Andreas, but the only one mentioned was the bicycle. Apparently you'll be able to speed up by mashing buttons. Ahh the days of Track and Field :) ...
- You may or may not be able to build and/or run a casino. Gamespy is reporting that Rockstar has yet to confirm or deny this feature regardless of what is being reported elsewhere. Casino's will be in there, but the player involvement with them is still any ones' guess.
- Rockstar is still being quoted as saying GTA:SA will be four, five, or even six times bigger then any of the previous games in the GTA series. They also repeat the report that there will be some sort of mountain in the game and it takes a one minute game time helicopter ride to get to the top. They also mention that you may be able to ride your bike all the way down.
- Gamespy confirms that GTA:SA will definitely be set in the early 90's
- Graphical improvements include, impact animation, rag doll physics, independent day and night models for extra detail and more realistic lighting, Manhunt style gameplay with different approaches to different missions (stealth, run and gun, etc), and new Manhunt style targeting system with better indication as to how much damage any given target can take (it's beginning to sound like Manhunt was a proving ground to test out some of R*'s ideas for GTA :) ). GTA:SA might also include real time reflections on cars and other surfaces, realistic shadowing using radial lighting, and six times the draw distance of any of the previous games in the series.
- No load times for outdoor settings, but moving indoors will incur a modest load time.
- New vehicles include bicycles (you're rumored to start the game with a bike) and other off-road vehicles like a quad-runner. It's also rumored that cops will have the added ability to grab on to your car and we might also see some CHiPs style motorcycle cops joining in on the chase.
- GTA:SA will feature a new and improved driving system that is rumored to net us more control and realism. Rockstar is all about balancing fun and realism so this should be an improvement rather than a hindrance.
- Swimming will finally make an appearance in GTA allowing you to swim away from any vehicular mishaps. This should be a welcome addition as long as they don't go nuts with the swimming missions.
- Gang warfare will make up about 15% of GTA:SA's gameplay.
- As mentioned previously you will be able to perform robberies (house robberies and otherwise) but with serious consequences.
- GTA:SA will be adding to VC's ability to change outfits by adding the ability to change hairstyles as well. If you end up with a bad haircut then you can expect to hear some trash talk from the peds. This goes along with the fact that peds will react to your appearance with appropriate insults or compliments. Just like changing clothes in VC, changing hairstyles in SA will help you lower or eliminate your wanted level.
- Once again, you can get fat or fit in GTA:SA, which will directly effect your endurance in the game.
- The peds in GTA:SA are supposed to be smarter this time around. I know, we've heard this exact same line before, hopefully it's for real this time.
- Music will obviously be a big part of GTA:SA and you can bet that Rockstar's preference for Sony's PS2 will net them access to Sony's music licenses.
- GTA:SA may be packaged on a single, dual-layered DVD to eliminate any disc swapping.
- Check the rest of Gamespy's article for more on GTA:SA's cities, characters, and background info. The one major note is that Salvatore Leone will make an appearance in GTA:SA but his role in the game is currently unknown.