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Old News - May 2003 Contents

05-26-04
05-25-04
05-19-04
05-14-04
05-13-04
05-12-04

Wednesday - May 26, 2004   <8:30 PM CST>

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GTA Bomb Threat?   <8:30 PM CST - schu>
A Florida newspaper is reporting that a man who was arrested for phoning in a bomb threat claims that he was actually playing GTA while on the phone and his comments about a bomb being in a local restaurant were misinterpreted.  Might be a little tough getting that one to stick, but who knows.

50 Cent = Carl Johnson?   <8:30 PM CST - schu>
RWD is reporting that 50 Cent may be playing the main character (Carl Johnson) in San Andreas.  This news is still stuck on the rumor pile because Rockstar has not announced any of the voice talent for GTA: SA and so far I haven't heard any credible news as to who is playing who in GTA: SA.

 

Tuesday - May 25, 2004   <8:40 PM CST>

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New GTA:SA Screen   <8:40 PM CST - schu>
A few of the GTA fansites out there were sent the following shot of CJ outside the Los Santos convention center, which may look familiar if you've ever seen the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Here is the message the R* Webmaster sent out, along with the shot...  Enjoy!

"I wanted to let you know that we appreciate the excitement with which you all greeted recent developments about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rumors that the game was at this year's E3 can't be substantiated - but as a mark of respect to the fansites we thought we would let you have a quick glance at CJ outside the Los Santos convention center, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the home of E3!

Thanks for the support and feel free to post the screenshot on your sites at will.  :-) "

  
IGN Covers Game Informer   <8:40 PM CST - schu>
PS2.IGN.com recently posted an article covering some of the main points featured in the very first GTA: SA article found in the current issue of Game Informer.  I pretty much covered all this in my May 14th update.  You can check it out at PS2.IGN.com.

 

Wednesday - May 19, 2004   <8:00 PM CST>

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What Is It?   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
a wags was looking through his copy of Game Informer and noticed something in one of the screenshots that looks a lot like a can of spray paint.  He noted that it probably wasn't pepper spray because it wouldn't exactly fit in seeing a street gang jacking a car with pepper spray.  I guess it also sort of looks like a tear gas grenade, but once again, it doesn't really fit in with the context of a street gang.  I guess the further question is that if it is spray paint, does that open up an entirely new graffiti side mission type activity within the game?  Sort of a Jet Set Radio type mini-game thing.

Lazlow   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
GTANET recently wrote to Lazlow to see if they could get an official comment on his possible involvement in San Andreas.  As usual the the answer Lazlow gives isn't too helpful.  I think it's farily safe to say that he will be in San Andreas in form or another.  He is an easy character to work into the story, his character is very popular among fans, and from the articles I've read it sounds like he and Dan Houser were responsible for a large portion of the dialogue in both GTA3 and Vice City.  Thanks to Blue for the heads up.

San Andreas Screensavers
Looking for the perfect way to top off that San Andreas theme?  Craig posted some San Andreas screensavers over on CodeName: San Andreas that just might do the trick.

Payback Gets a Publisher   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
The GTA clone (GTA1), Payback, recently picked up a publishing deal for their GBA version with Destination Software.  Check out the Destination Software site for details.  Thanks to S3KT0R.

 

Friday - May 14, 2004   <8:00 PM CST>

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GI Update   <8:00 PM CST - schu>
I checked a few sites that had the article posted and I would imagine my legal email isn't far off so I removed the scans as well.  You should definitely pick up a copy of Game Informer after it's released on May 21st.  I left my comments below however:

  • 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). At one point you'll even have the opportunity to build and run a fully operational casino.
  • 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 :) ...

  

Thursday - May 13, 2004   <11:30 PM CST>

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GameInformer Scans   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS...
Scans of the new Game Informer article have already hit the web.  I'll drop a bulleted list in a little later, but I highly suggest you read the article.  It sounds like there is definitely enough new content in San Andreas for it to hold its own in the series.  Thanks to bigbadron.

More GTA:SA Details Emerge   <11:30 PM CST - schu>
GamesRadar published an article today with a few more scraps of information on San Andreas.  After reading the Game Informer article I'm fairly certain GamesRadar just did a quick summary on some of the most important new features mentioned in the GI cover story.  You can read it at GamesRadar or just take a look below:

"So. Now we know. San Andreas is NOT Los Angeles, it's a whole state. Los Santos, on the other hand is , to all intents and purposes, LA. The game's two other cities, San Fierro and Las Venturra are based on San Francisco and Las Vegas respectively. There'll be countryside between the three main areas, each of which is roughly the same size as the whole of Vice City. Big, in other words. Overall, the game will be an incredible four to six times the size of its predecessor.

Main character Carl Johnson is going to have his work cut out. Returning to his old haunts after five years in the Liberty City slammer, and blamed by his older brother Sweet for younger bro' Brian's accidental death, he'll be making his way through an early 90's streetscape besieged by rival gangs.

The most significant gameplay changes are a new stamina meter, meaning you need to eat, and massively improved building interiors. You'll be able to commit burglary now, or run a casino in Las Venturra. If you're feeling less ambitious you can just gamble away your ill-gotten gains on the tables in LV.

Brilliantly, improved AI means you can recruit a gang, the Orange Grove Families, and drag members along on missions. Up to four people can complete a drive-by mission, for instance."

Thanks to blanko.

  

Wednesday - May 12, 2004   <8:30 PM CST>

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San Andeas Hits E3   <8:30 PM CST - schu>
E3 opened today and Rockstar kicked off by unleashing three GTA: San Andreas screenshots giving us our first glimpse of the next GTA along with a short synopsis of the plot.  As you can see from the shots (and as Gamespot noted) it looks like it might be based in the late 80's / early 90's.  I'm guessing they'll shoot for the 90's to capitalize on even more of Sony's music collection. Here are the shots followed the synopsis:

"Five years ago Carl Johnson (shown in the middle screenshot) escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas...a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where filmstars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers.

Now, it's the early 90s. Carl's got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster.

On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets."

In the following days Rockstar will probably release some more details about the game itself and I'm hoping by the time all the post-E3 wrapups hit we'll have at least a decent picture of what to expect.  a-wags also mentioned that Game Informer Magazine has announced that their next issue will feature a GTA:SA cover story that should include some more details.  For more information on that issue, check the Game Informer site.  For details check the updates at the official GTA:SA site or Gamespot's update.  Thanks to Rodrigo, Jasonlives, Andrew, a-wags, john, Raoul, JoeRPike, Wade, BM, Benson, Starving Russian, and the Rockstar Webmaster.

  

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