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The Dark Side of San Andreas

A GTANet.com Original Presentation

Some of us have the conscience of knowing that when hype is built up, it has both good and bad sides. Good meaning the vibe of knowing that yes, the game does exist - and it squashes many crap ass rumors. The bad side is like the cancer to the hardcore players. They expect too much and get too little to meet their standards. Lets take a look at some of the features we need to watch out for in San Andreas.

Minor Tweaks & Features | Eating | Does Size really Matter?
GTA: Sim City | Gangs & Mission Fluency | Conclusions

Minor tweaks & features

Many of us know that some features in Vice City didnt turn out to be what we thought they would be. Case in point, a half-assed feature of cops chasing other criminals. R* didn't develop the whole aspect of this feature, which made some people a little irritated. In San Andreas, a couple of the features I am a little shady of are the A.I. development in peds and missions that tweak their difficulty setting when you're stuck. I'm guessing that the minor details (or at least half of them) released by publications won't make the final cut.

Eating

A major feature that must have been a major priority in R*'s development of this game. I will put my faith in them and assume they'll use the system separate from missions and whatnot. Hopefully it will not hinder the flow of the game - like many have said, constant interruptions of having to go grab some food while getting chased by rival gangs or police would be a nuisance. Example:

Ryder: Drive fastah yo!
CJ: I can't dawg, I needs to get something to eat!
Ryder: Ah hell naw!
*They go through the drive thru while the police and gang rivals wait in the parking lot*
CJ: Aight, lets get back in action!

(Obviously it wouldn't be this bad, but I just exaggerated the situation for comedic purposes.)

However, if this is a problem, I am sure future GTASA mods (for the PC version) and Action Replay codes could fix this, but that's only if your into that kind of stuff.

Does size really matter?

Yes and no. It depends if the city has a lot of depth and isn't bloated with nothingness (remember Vice City's beach?). I would like a lot of area for me to drive my ATV through but it has to have depth either physically or interaction-wise. Cand mentioned in his article that R* is probaly talking about land area. Well, that's fine and dandy - but what I dont want is land area that is wasted and has little depth for you to interact with. Although the cities and towns wouldn't be too bad, the countryside and desert in between would most likely be the biggest waste if this becomes a problem. What R* should focus on is how they can incorporate depth into massive land area without using alot of memory.

What R* should focus on is how they can incorporate depth into massive land area without using alot of memory.

Water has also been neglected in the past two GTA games. You did a few missions here and there, but the water wasn't as alive like it should of been. I would suggest a yacht floating around with a party on it, or a casino boat (they DO exist!). There needs to be more livelyhood on the open seas and lets pray that the new swimming feature will benefit from it.

Grand Theft Auto: Sim City

Most people were skeptical about the whole food, haircut, customization system. I don't blame them, but we have to remember that R* intended to make it so that players have their own unique feel to their character onscreen. I will admit that they are borderlining to the likes of some minor Sims-esque features, but if they use these features in moderation, we can probaly benefit from them. We should only worry if the next GTA has the option of having a family and kids!

Gang Personalities and Mission Fluency

What GTA3 had, Vice City lacked - and that was the growth of your character and the fluency of the missions. In GTA3, you played as a mysterious message-boy, doing odd jobs for the gangs of Liberty City. The missions were somewhat longer and more intresting than Vice City's because there was so many gangs that had different personalities. In Vice City, the gangs were boring and they all had pretty much the same weapons and attitude. With minority gangs being a definate element in San Andreas, it's sketchy on what R* is going to opt for when it comes to gangs. Do they take the GTA3 path and focus more on the gangs, or do they take the Vice City path and focus on the materialism (new game content) surronding the gangs? The numbers of gangs and their members were staggering in GTA3 compared to those in Vice City. The gangs in GTA3 were powerful and well armed, while the gangs in Vice were pussies with pea shooters.

The gangs in GTA3 were powerful and well armed, while the gangs in Vice were pussies with pea shooters.

A sadistic plan I had for San Andreas' gangs was to have them meet up with eachother and have a battle royale from hell. Ballas and Flats teaming up against ruthless Triads and Las Venturras' infamous Mafia families. As for the missions, gangs play a major role in missions. Thats what VC's missions lacked. Their gangs were boring, and it reduced the amount of interest in gang-related missions. I believe R* should go back to their GTA3 gang roots and make the missions more lively and entertaining. Plus running errands for inbreds and kooky rednecks will be intresting as well.

Conclusions

I believe that if they (R*) take the time and use new features in moderation, a lot of elements in the game would be equally balanced (or at least somewhat balanced). Using GTA3's gang mechanics would be a benefit, and making sure the food system doesn't conflict with the mission environment would be awesome. Another thing they need to consider is that they cant have too much land area with very little depth. If they could balance this, less people would bitch about it.

Keep in mind that this article isn't intended to flame Rockstar Games or the GTA franchise - I just want to express my view on flaws in the game that COULD happen. Remember boys and girls, not everything is perfect and peachy in life (or GTA and its features!)

Now, excuse me, I need to take some Tylenol to eliminate this writer's cramp!

- PyroHazard
(Edited by Tsuroki)

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