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  Tons of San Andreas Details - Official News
  Posted by: OmegaDir on 05-17-2005 @ 14:44 - Source: IGN
This News Item has been viewed 901 times
Lots of cool information on the areas and features. Dated October 12, 2004:

We updated you on the progress that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been making this past weekend with our San Fierro impressions, but are back here once again with even more info just in time for our Tuesday update. Already known to fans that have closely been following the game's progress through every possible media outlet, today's news may not come as something that's entirely new, but for those of you that visit only a core number of sites each day, it may well be.

The San Fierro Safe House
Just as every Grand Theft Auto game previously released on the PlayStation 2, San Andreas will have safe houses where players can find protection as well. The very first example of such a place is CJ's mom's house - where his darling maternal icon used to live before being ruthlessly murdered (the reason that Carl comes back to Los Santos in the first place). In it, Carl can keep all of the clothes that he's purchased at stores up to this point and save his game for later play. Cars will also be able to be stored here and further Safe Houses will be revealed as additional property is uncovered.

Shooting and Accuracy
Just about every skill that CJ has in San Andreas can be upgraded the more that Carl uses it -- and the ability to shoot is no different. In fact, it's probably the most important skill of them all. By pushing the L1 key while holding a weapon in their hands, players will be able to immediately discern what kind of attributes that CJ has via a helpful status screen. This statistical readout displays a meter that will fill with a white bar the more an individual skill is increased (ie: by using a particular weapon), and will provide Carl with a word-based ranking such as "Gangster" or "Hitman." He begins with a "Poor" rating in everything.

Rockstar has revealed that the quickest way to become skilled with a weapon is to drop by your town's local Ammu-Nation shop and its shooting range. Once CJ is in the range, he'll be able to compete against two AI opponents in a race to see who can score the most hits (divided into three rounds for each weapon). The first round's winner is determined by whoever can shoot out three targets first (out of seven), while the second round features moving targets and similar requirements. The third and final round has just a single moving target that everyone must shoot at -- with the marksman who has the most hits at the end of the exercise deemed the victor.

Each weapon will provide different upgrades too, with higher skill levels usually meaning a higher accuracy when targeting and a faster rate of fire. Some weapons will even allow CJ to fire while moving and strafing.

Ammu-Nation Exclusive Weapon
Since you're going to visit Ammu-Nation to practice your shooting skills, you might as well pick up its store-exclusive weapon: the double-barreled shotgun. Built using the sawed-off barrels of a burner and the carved grip of a pistol, this lightweight blaster allows players to run and shoot at the same time rather easily. Granted it's not very accurate (at least, not at first), but should you get proficient enough with it, you'll eventually be able to carry two of them at a time -- nice!

The Boat School
If you're spending a lot of time in the water, then the boat school may be just what you're looking for. Providing a variety of different challenges meant to improve your boating skills, this particular location will award players with extra points for accomplishing their goals rather quickly. Players will be penalized for boat or buoy damage, though, so they'd best be on the lookout for such mistakes. But at least beginning the challenges won't be too difficult: simply walk up to a red marker in front of the monitor set up inside the school to begin.

Driver's Ed
Driving skills are yet another ability in Grand Theft Auto that players will have to contend with; and there are ways to improve those abilities as well. The driving school is the best place to do it, as it teaches CJ new techniques or simply enhances existing capabilities. These improved driving skills will better Carl's overall steering control, allow him to make sharper turns, and make quick stops when necessary.

Players will also be given in-air control over most of their vehicles. This means that the roll and pitch of a car can be adjusted much like that of a motorcycle. Gamers will even have the ability to learn 360s, tire-blow maneuvering, controlled stops, and flawless barrel rolls. Best of all, you'll be able to pull of the same PIT technique used by law enforcers as means to cripple opposing cars.

All Aboard!
San Fierro's Doherty section is the local stop for San Andreas' Brown Streak Express -- a train that can take you all over the state. As an added bonus, however, players can also partake in a mini-game known as "Freight Train." In it, players can hijack a train at any available station (done by throwing an engineer out of his car) and press R3 to get the ball rolling.

Click For More Images
Once the mini-game has started, there are only two controls to worry about: stop and go. True to real-life trains, however, the Brown Streak will take an extremely long time to reach its top speed, and an equally long time to brake when the time calls for it -- two facts that are imperative to remember if you're going to do well in this challenge. Anyhow, once the mission has started, a yellow dot appears at the next station that marks a delivery location for your cargo. To successfully get it there, CJ has to stop the engine within a red marker. It's apparently going to be one of the most difficulty challenges, but will in turn pay one of the highest mission complete bonuses.

You can view all the screenshots over at IGN HERE

          Next News Post 05-17-2005 @ 14:47 - The Sounds Of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
          Previous News Post 05-17-2005 @ 14:41 - San Andreas Soundtrack

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