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Old News - July 2004 Contents


Thursday - July 29, 2004   <11:00 PM CST>


More on Food   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
PS2.IGN.com followed Gamespot with an entire preview dedicated to food but didn't really add much to what Gamespot had to say.  The only real items of note are that CJ can get really fat really quick and once again they mention the ability to lift items in the game.  I'm not sure if the lifting ability just applies to weights (maybe a weight lifting mini-game) or if it will actually be worked into gameplay.

Manhunt Yanked   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
The UK electronics chain Dixons recently removed Manhunt from all of their stores in response to its alleged influence in a widely publicized murder, this despite the fact that the brutal killing has some major drug related themes.  Check out the full article on IGN.  Thanks to Benson for the link.

Tuesday - July 27, 2004   <8:30 PM CST>


PSM's SA Preview   <8:30 PM CST - schu>
PSM's August 2004 issue features GTA SA as a cover story.  This isn't exactly a recent event because I remember picking up the issue a few weeks back at the airport, but I thought I'd do a quick bullet list of new features listed in that article:

  • SA will be produced on a "rare" dual-layer PS2 DVD.  Most DVD movies today are issued on dual-layer DVDs I'm guessing most games either aren't big enough to utilize a dual-layer disc or maybe it's more expensive to produce.  Either way this should be a testament to Rockstar's commitment to keep you in the game instead of swapping discs.
  • You start in Los Santos (Los Angeles) which is about the same size as Vice City, but just a small corner of San Andreas' complete map.
  • Rockstar has worked hard to make sure there aren't any "filler" locations in SA and that every area serves a purpose and will be interesting.
  • There are no load zones except when moving in and out of buildings and even then it's just a delay of a few seconds
  • San Andreas greatly expands on the premise of property ownership and will, no doubt, streamline the process.
  • You can dual-wield guns.
  • New game engine updates include:
    • The graphics engine is brand new.
    • There will be between 35% and 50% more polygons on screen at any given time.
    • New lighting and effects with realistic shadows.
    • More details textures
    • Ragdoll physics
    • Improved vehicle physics
    • Real-time reflections
    • The viewable distance will be twice as far in the city and four times as far in the country which should drastically limit the pop-in problems.
  • Many more vehicles
  • Vehicles get dirty and rusty.
  • More / Better indoor locations
  • More mini-games
  • Each weapon will change the play experience
  • Gang recruitment including four person drive-bys.
  • Missions and "off-duty" events are blended together seamlessly so you can drop and pickup missions mid-mission instead of being stuck on one task at a time.
  • Peds will have six times more dialogue
  • Auto difficulty adjustment will keep the game moving along if you get stuck while still ensuring that you can't just breeze through
  • GTA:SA will allow you to customize your hairstyle, physique, weight, driving skills, clothes, possessions, weapon skills, and character relationship.

The issue is well worth picking up and includes a full character roster, profiles of the first three missions, and an exclusive interview with SA's Art Director Aaron Garbut.  Thanks to Benson for pointing out a few things I over looked as well:

  • Cars will now get rusty and dirty as time goes by, and apparently this will happen to ANY car in the game (according to the preview). Some missions will even have you starting with a rustbucket.
  • You're going to be able to dual wield a variety of guns in the game, NOT just hand guns (the preview even has a screenshot of CJ holding two uzis to prove this point).
  • Looks like the gangs aren't going to be wearing the same outfits, so they're not going to be easy to pick out. The screens I've seen have show then wearing at least three to four different outfits on a group of near eight different hoods.
  • Gangs may be able to set up roadblocks of their own in their turf to trap you.
  • Just some of the things you can customize for CJ are: Hairstyle, physique, weight, driving skills, clothes, possessions, weapon skills, character relationships, and even start a mini gang.
  • The preview also gives a list of characters (some I haven't heard of before) and a couple brief bios:
    • CJ (Carl Johnson)
    • Sweet Johnson
    • Brian Johnson (the dead brother)
    • Kendl Johnson (sister)
    • Ryder
    • Smoke
    • Frank Tenpenny & Eddie Polaski (the dirty cops)
    • Old Reece (the barber)
    • Cesar (the article says he's a Latino character that's still a mystery, they've seen him decked out in an undershirt and baggy slacks with arm tattoos, a buzz cut, a lowrider and a .45


Monday - July 26, 2004   <7:00 PM CST>


The San Andreas Diet Plan   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
Gamespot recently posted a new update on GTA:SA detailing how food works in the game. In the latest edition of Gamespot's online show, On the Spot, they also mentioned that they will be posting a new GTA:SA installment on a weekly basis on various aspects of the game, similar to what IGN did with Vice City. They also mentioned that they would be posting a full scale preview sometime this week.  This installment features nine new screenshots and a few new bits of food related information. Here is a quick rundown along with the new shots:

  • When you need to eat in the game a message will appear on screen indicating that you're hungry . If you ignore the message you'll start losing energy and eventually start to get more and more skinny. This will also affect your hand to hand combat, stamina, strength, etc...
  • New restaurants include Cluckin' Bell, Well Stacked Pizza, and Burger Shot. You can go to regular restaurants or to a vending cart on the street to satiate your hunger.
  • Different foods also have different amounts of calories so you actually need to balance your intake vs your physical activity.
  • When you eat too much it effects you in much the same way it does when you are too skinny.
  • Twice in this article they mention the ability to lift boxes, but I'm not sure how this works in the game or what purpose it serves.

Snoop Dog & Dr Dre In SA
  <7:00 PM CST - schu>
Gamespot is reporting a rumor that Death Row Records will have three of their songs features in GTA:SA. The songs include 'Let Me Ride', 'Nuthin' But A G Thang', and 'Gin & Juice'.

Announcements   <7:00 PM CST - schu>
Well it took a little longer than I thought, but I'm finally back in town for good. This hopefully puts an end to my traveling days, at least for the foreseeable future. I just wish this had happened earlier because now I'm stuck playing catchup. If anyone has any good news items, please sent it in, even if you already sent it previously :). Email has been a bitch going out of town all the time so I probably missed a lot of decent news items that were caught up the anti-spam a-bomb I have to drop on a regular basis.  Additionally, please put GTA in the subject of any email you send me so it doesn't get caught in the filter.


Friday - July 9, 2004   <10:00 PM CST>


GTA:SA Boxart   <10:00 PM CST - schu>
Rockstar recently released the PS2 boxart for GTA:SA.  Not much more to say, other than the cable car in the middle of the box might be a tip off that they'll be in the game :)

Announcements   <10:00 PM CST - schu>
After next Tuesday I'll be getting a promotion at work that won't require any travel, so since I'll be back in town I should be able to pay more attention to G! and the ongoing redesign.  Up until now I've been stuck on the road a lot with a laptop that was utterly useless.


Sunday - July 4, 2004   <4:00 AM CST>


IGN's San An Roundup   <4:00 AM CST - schu>
PS2.IGN.com recently released a great San Andreas information roundup.  Most of it is a rehash of other articles, but this one includes just about everything that is known about GTA:SA, and it's all in one easy to read package.  It also includes the latest bomb to drop, official confirmation that there will be no multiplayer support in San Andreas.  I'm sure a lot of you counted on SA being a strictly single player affair, but it will probably come as a surprise to those of you who were expecting R* to jump on the multiplayer bandwagon.  All I can say is that it's long been rumored that this game would be another extension of the of the GTA3 story arc with an emphasis on the single player component, whereas the actual sequel (GTA4, GTA:Next, GTA Crime Online, or just choose your own GTA name and start spreading a rumor) would either contain an extensive multiplayer component or would be entirely online.  It's further been rumored that GTA4 is slated for release on the next generation consoles which should all include more robust multiplayer support than the current generation making it much easier to develop such a game.  Granted this is just a rumor, but when we're starved for information all we can do is speculate on the future of GTA.  One thing is certain...  Rockstar will only do multiplayer when they are confident they can do it right and make it truly revolutionary.