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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

GTA San Andreas Gets Release Date, Screenshots 82

An anonymous reader writes "Rockstar Games has been deliberately coy about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - it 'was announced as a Playstation 2 exclusive title' in today's Sony press conference, but 'that was the extent to which the game was discussed.' However, Rockstar just put up an official GTA: San Andreas webpage, confirming a release date of October 2004, and featuring the first three screenshots of the game, leading GameSpot to conclude that the game 'will be set in modern times (not the 1970s-set game some had said) and will have a heavy West-Coast gangsta flava' - they also say the site's splash screen 'changes each time the site is loaded'."
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GTA San Andreas Gets Release Date, Screenshots

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  • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @03:42AM (#9124595)
    I hope its not ALL "west coast gangstas" style. One of the things I loved about San Andreas in the original game was working with the Triads. Now THOSE were some mean fuckers. I'd love to be out "bringing honour to my family" with RC bombs again! Muahahaha!!

    (Next week on Slashdot: Young teen male in California builds bomb out of remote control toy: Take Two Entertainment sued over deaths. Again.)
    • I was hoping that they would do something simular to how they did the radio stations in Vice City. One of the best parts of GTA:VC is just grabbing a bike and cruise listening to the radio (and driving like a mad man!) I found the radio in GTA3 to be somewhat boring and not nearly as entertaining. From the sounds of it though, GTA:SA is going to probably have a sound track that sucks like in True Crime (I couldn't play that for more the 10 minutes before all the damn 'Gangsta Rap' got on my nerves!)
      • I'm one (of few?) who much preferred GTA3 to VC, and largely because of the radio. The whole '80s' thing was just a huge turn off for me and some others.

        Conversely, I'm a fan of much rap, but just because they're going for the gangsta style doesn't mean that they won't have other stations for you and others. If I'm not mistaken the soundtrack for VC did alright so far as sales, and I'd expect a nice collection of various styles for this one too. Let's not forget that the early 90s were also the time of
        • by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @12:53PM (#9128360) Journal
          I was hopeing that they would do the early '90s grunge thing for this =)

          I though GTA:VC had a very good variety of stations which was excellent, GTA3 radio didn't seem quite the same...but of course in GTA3 it was all 'fake' stuff and GTA:VC used licensed music which I thought was great.

          I think what REALLY made GTA:VC so great was it had a solid story and the main character you played had a personality (I hated in GTA3 how the guy just walked around and people offered him jobs without him ever saying a single word)
          If GTA:SA has a good story and well developed charaters, I might be able to overlook an over abundance of rap =)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @03:53AM (#9124626)
    I've got some issues with gta3/gta:vc. Here are a few features I hope they have implemented in gta:sa.

    1. Better traffic generation algorithms. Sometimes when a car leaves your field of vision only for a few fractions of a second it disappears. This might have something to do with the limited amount of RAM the PS2 has, but it can still be quite annoying. The amount of vehicles on the streets seems to be quite constant. It would be cool if there were some really bad traffic jams from time to time.
    2. Better weapon selection. It can be frustrating to scroll through ten weapons before you get the one you want, especially if you're in combat.
    3. Multiplayer. I don't think they're going to implement it, but mta-vc on the PC can be very entertaining, even though it's buggy as hell and rather pointless.

    Of course a game like this can never be "perfect", but it would be nice if some of these issues were fixed.
    • by obeythefist ( 719316 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @04:11AM (#9124679) Journal
      1) Yes, the game's poor traffic/vision/camera depth is caused by the poor capabilities of the console. It has everything to do with the limits of the consoles.

      2) Scrolling is implemented because consoles don't have keyboards that allow you to quick-select particular weapons. GTA is an excellent example of converting the "right way" because the PC version is invariably better in all aspects than the console version of the game, and usually contains added functionality not available on a console. Maybe the keys will be more customisable on PC this time around.

      3) Serious multiplayer hasn't been viable on consoles until very recently with X-Box live and so on. Even so, there's more work involved with online play than single play for games like this, so again we find that because the game is being developed for console, it isn't "all that it could be".

      I'm personally apalled at the graphics. This is the third iteration of the GTA3 engine. Because of the console generation, game developers don't have any room to create the almost photorealistic environments you can see in a game like Far Cry. I'm not sure if this game will do well on PC when being matched up with DooM3 and Half-Life2 (both currently slated for summer).
      • I think opinions of graphics are fairly subjective, but I think what rockstar is doing is following a good business model here. What they are doing is just staying with their franchise and creating neat little twists with it. By not revamping the graphics, they can concentrate on working more with getting the gameplay right and creating cooler scenarios. This way they can have a faster development cycle and make more money. I know that's not what it should be about, but for most companies, this is what
      • by fr0dicus ( 641320 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @05:02AM (#9124821) Journal
        1) The Xbox version improves the traffic situation somewhat, but I think it's all about relevance. The random cars you see are exactly that, just a bit of flotsam to spice up the gameplay with chases and races. Probably not worth wasting effort and CPU tracking every individual one.

        2) GTA is still preferable on a joypad, it has too many instantly required moves at fingertips to make keyboard/mouse play fully worthwhile. The time taken to find the correct key outweighs any advantage in having unique keys. I find even on PC games I usually just scroll through weapons using the mouse wheel, as it's quicker.

        3) Only because it hasn't been relevant. Console games are still very much single player or group oriented, cheap and cheerful throwaway fun that requires no significant investment on behalf of the consumer, so it naturally follows that console owners would be less likely to have broadband, which is an absolute requirement for proper multiplayer.

        Console game manufacturers are in the business of providing good medium term fun for the single or group together, whereas PC game production is more focused on creating communities to maintain long-term interest in the titles of the company. Internet access is a given for the average PC gamer, but not so for the console player. Given the general dearth of exclusive quality titles on PC's, and the long long timespans between releases, this ability to maintain interest through expansion and online capabilities is far more important than providing decent single player action. This can easily be seen in id software titles for example.

        Because of the royalties involved console games are written to tighter margins and it's unlikely that producers would allow time and money to be spent on an online multiplayer option that is not required to sell that game. This is of course now changing as Sony and Microsoft have determined that it's a promotable feature now that broadband penetration is high enough. The fact that Nintendo are sitting on the fence only proves the point.

        I'm personally apalled at the graphics. This is the third iteration of the GTA3 engine. Because of the console generation, game developers don't have any room to create the almost photorealistic environments you can see in a game like Far Cry.

        In my opinion, GTA is not even a particularly good example of a console being pushed to its limits graphically, so the relevance of comparing it to Far Cry (nice example of the only decent PC exclusive for months), Doom 3 and Half Life 2 is questionable. The latter two look impressive enough on the Xbox for me anyway. GTA is more about the quality of the environment, and the gameplay. Sure nicer graphics would top it off, but if they had to cut out any of the content to accomodate it (in terms of development time and deadlines) then I'll pass, thanks.

        • Multiplayer and online aren't the same, especially console games rely on splitscreen. Splitscreen might not be the best solution, but at least it doesn't cost extra.
          However, after playing the first two GTAs multiplayer I've reached the conclusion that while open-endedness and huge levels are good for single player, multiplayer becomes boring pretty fast. You spend five minutes or more trying to get a car and drive to the other players, fight for ten seconds then need to get to the enemies again. While the f
          • Multiplayer and online aren't the same, especially console games rely on splitscreen. Splitscreen might not be the best solution, but at least it doesn't cost extra.

            Exactly, I was attempting to make the case against the lack of proliferation of online console targets.

            As regards GTA multiplayer, I'm sure they could build appropriate missions based around multiplayer stuff, maybe even simply having normal missions happening concurrently, in a sort of mmorpg, or perhaps players teaming up as gangs to comple

        • 2) GTA is still preferable on a joypad, it has too many instantly required moves at fingertips to make keyboard/mouse play fully worthwhile. The time taken to find the correct key outweighs any advantage in having unique keys. I find even on PC games I usually just scroll through weapons using the mouse wheel, as it's quicker.

          It might be, using the mouse wheel. It's not quicker if you use a button for scrolling. And anyway, I certainly don't need to take time to find the correct keys in most games, after a

          • It's only good for FPS, but that's OK because that's the only gametype that makes a dent on the PC anymore.
            • Whatever. I think it's great for real-time strategy, turn-based strategy, thinker simulation games like SimCity as well as strategic sims like flight sims, role playing games and on and on. It's not much of a use as a primary or only control in any of these, but it's a great complement to the mouse. Or, to mimic you: It's not very good for racing and platform games, but that's OK because there's got to be something consoles are good at.
              • Flight yokes and pedals are best for flight simulators, and after that I'd then prefer an analogue pad over a keyboard/mouse anyway, a mouse isn't particularly authentic, which is half the point in simulation.

                Driving simulators are best served with a wheel and pedals, but again I'd prefer analogue controls with physical centering, and analogue controls for gas and braking are also more desirable than the 'on' or 'off' of keyboard control. Neither is a good physical substitute for car controls.

                For turn-bas

                • Flight yokes and pedals are best for flight simulators, and after that I'd then prefer an analogue pad over a keyboard/mouse anyway, a mouse isn't particularly authentic, which is half the point in simulation.

                  Yes, of course. You'd typically use pedals, a joystick of some sorts in the right hand - and the keyboard with the left hand, or vice versa if you're left-handed. Flight sims routinely have hundreds of commands, most keys even on the keyboard are massively overloaded using meta-keys like control and
                  • Flight sims routinely have hundreds of commands, most keys even on the keyboard are massively overloaded using meta-keys like control and alt. There will never be a serious flight sim game for any console unless it ships with it's own controller offering keyboard-like amount of controls. (And yes, I realize that this has - sort of - been done before on the Xbox with that mech game.)

                    I used to use X-Plane on my Mac from time to time, and a basic yoke was essential, with as many obvious controls as possible,

        • The random cars you see are exactly that, just a bit of flotsam to spice up the gameplay with chases and races.

          No no no. One of the best things about GTA is how real and immersive the environment feels, like you're a part of it. Having decent traffic without cars disappearing behind you would take that feeling up a notch.

          GTA is still preferable on a joypad, it has too many instantly required moves at fingertips to make keyboard/mouse play fully worthwhile.

          Silly. It doesn't take long to get used to the
          • No no no. One of the best things about GTA is how real and immersive the environment feels, like you're a part of it. Having decent traffic without cars disappearing behind you would take that feeling up a notch.

            They don't 'disappear' at all, they're just not tracked once they leave the screen.

            Silly. It doesn't take long to get used to the controls on a PC and set it up how you want it.

            I prefer analogue steering and walking , which is awkward on a keyboard/mouse. I'm not disputing that you can't use a j

            • They don't 'disappear' at all, they're just not tracked once they leave the screen.

              Right. So, a car goes around the corner. You follow. It's not there. Alternately, you see a nice car that you want to steal, and take a shortcut to cut it off. It never shows up. I call those cases disappearing. It doesn't ruin the game, but it'd be nice if Rockstar could fix it. If the PS2 isn't capable of keeping track of offscreen vehicles, they could at least add it in for the PC and Xbox versions.

              • If the PS2 isn't capable of keeping track of offscreen vehicles, they could at least add it in for the PC and Xbox versions.
                The lack of PS2 capabilities is just a bad excuse for sloppy programming. Any person who ever wrote as little as a "Hello world" program is capable of fixing this with few lines of code. All that is needed is for the car to continue moving along the road - a detailed physics simulation is not needed when you don't see the car - assume it's just a point that moves along the line with a
        • 1) The random cars you see are exactly that, just a bit of flotsam to spice up the gameplay with chases and races. Probably not worth wasting effort and CPU tracking every individual one.

          Maybe it's just because I'm a sociopath, but sometimes I want to chase a particular car. E.g., a car cuts me off or fights off the carjacking. That guy needs to pay. :-)

          2) GTA is still preferable on a joypad, it has too many instantly required moves at fingertips to make keyboard/mouse play fully worthwhile. The time tak

          • 1) Absolutely. Although I'm sure Rockstar probably didn't envisage this kind of rage, it is fun. This is exactly my point about the quality of the gameplay and environment being more important in GTA than the graphics. I still order a pizza, crack a beer and just put on a GTA and wander about, because there's so much fun to be had outside missions. The decision as to what point tracking of cars and people was stopped was probably taken at a sensible level due to relevance to the gameplay, and it was quickly
            • I can't really see the point of using the mouse when there is the lock-on feature, but each to his own. :-)

              Immersion. For some players the mouse becomes an extension of your body - a virtual representation of your hand and your head. You can look around, you can point the gun at someone. The same reason GTA moved from 2D to 3D, to make it easier for the player to believe he's in the game.
      • I think a better contender will be Mafia 2. That's the game you can directly compare with GTA in practically all respects. The fact is that modern consoles have effective screen resolution 5-10 times lower than PC monitors. If PC gamers would be content with VGA graphics, it would be much easier to generate reaslitic environments. As it is, though, things like realistic skins, water, human eyes, quality textures are only relevant in PC games, because you can't see them on a TV screen anyway.

        Console develop
    • What gangster can't swim? We need to be able to swim, at least for a short while. Swim for as long as you can sprint, and when your energy runs low, you swim slower and slowly lose health. This allows you a short amount of time in the water... What's so tough about this?
    • Localization... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gumpish ( 682245 )
      It turned my stomach in GTA3 each time I heard a mafioso refer to a garbage truck as a "dust cart", or a parking garage as a "car park".

      And let's not forget the level in Manhunt where DMA remids us to "please bin your rubbish".
    • It would be cool if there were some really bad traffic jams from time to time.

      Actually, the way I'm imagining it in my head, I think this feature would actually make the game a lot less fun.

  • Since it's pretty late/early, I'm hoping that my constant reloading to see each of the splash pages doesn't contribute to the Slashdot effect...

    But then again, there's only 2 damn screenshots, so there really isn't much there to Slashdot...
  • It changes everytime the site is loaded eh?
    Let's see how many splash screens there are! ;D

    ps. i count 39
    how many do you see?
  • exclusive (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dreadlord ( 671979 ) on Wednesday May 12, 2004 @06:17AM (#9125026) Journal
    So the PC version will be released several months after the PS2 like GTA3 and GTA:VC, can anyone confirm this?

    I really like the series, but I'm not going to buy a PS2 just to play the game.
    • I really like the series, but I'm not going to buy a PS2 just to play the game.

      So just wait for it to come out on the PC. The rest of us who bought a PS2 years ago will just play it and let you know how cool it is.. over and over and over. Unless it sucks.

      • Re:exclusive (Score:2, Insightful)

        by xalres ( 668363 )
        Heh, I love how people rib on PC gamers for not getting to play stuff like GTA or Halo until months or years after release. They mercilessly rub it in our face. Then when we try telling them how much better the PC version is with cleaner textures, higher resolution, better draw distance, MP3 playlists, etc. they tell us to shut the hell up.
  • Heh, looks like you can ride a BMX in GTA:SA - at least, there's one in the screenshots, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't usable (for delivery missions?). The motorbikes were a really well-implemented addition to Vice City, so I've got high hopes for BMX hijinx...

    Might be a kick in the teeth going from the Xbox Vice City back to the PS2 for San Andreas, but screw it. I enjoyed VC well enough the first time through on the PS2, and Rockstar's Manhunt is a lot smoother than Vice City on the PS2, so hopefully
    • But BMX action... woo and hoo!

      We should be glad Acclaim isn't involved with this game...
    • Not to nitpick, but I don't think that's a BMX bike. It'a probably a lowrider bike [lowriderbike.com]

      They're a little more fragile than your typical BMX because they're just made for show. It goes along with that whole "West Coast" "Gangsta" thing. Bike missions would be pretty sweet though.
      • Re:Not BMX... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nicky_d ( 92174 )
        Well, I defer to your bike knowledge. Either way, it's got to be promising, and I can't see Rockstar making the bikes all that fragile... I'm envisaging and uzi-enhanced game of Paperboy, stunt courses with great controls (the bike control in VC is wonderful) and insane back-yard / alley getaways, venturing where cars can't follow.

        Plus the gentle art of bikejacking from 13-year-olds...
  • Sooo, what, you are runing around in a perpetual sunset?

    I agree, multi-player would be bad ass, even if it were nothing more than connecting two (or more) PS2's together in a battleship/capture the flag-type-setup.

    Another interesting feature would be working in natural disasters like earthquakes, which cause riots, where you need to complete a mission under the guise of a distraught gang member because the man is keeping you down so you loot, pillage and take on PD.

    We can all dream, just gotta sit tight
  • Hmm... I thought the PS2 exclusivity contract ran out after VC, and that's why Rockstar was able to release GTA3 and VC for Xbox. Did they sign a new contract with Sony, or are they leaving out the Xbox for other reasons this time?
  • that just from the hype resulting from those screenshots, African American advocacy groups are gonna have a field day with GTA:SA.

    Bah, more free advertisement for R*.
  • Hey Sony! How about a PS2/GTA-SA bundle for $149, instead of the new one with worthless network adaptor?
  • I noticed in the screenshots that characters are riding bikes. I hope that they put in some real bikes like early 80's Schwinn freestyle, Hutch, GT (non-Walmart), Mongoose (not Wal-goose), Diamondback, Kuhara(spelling?), etc. That'd be pretty sweet. Ah, the good old days of riding my hand-me-down chrome GT and wrecking while trying to immitate my brother going down the street standing on the frame and steering with his foot.
    • Screw bikes, it's all about spraying bullets while busting a fat darkslide. There must have been some reason for all those empty pools in GTA VC.
  • Complaints (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @01:11AM (#9136213) Homepage
    Alright, first off, their website is Flash...and if the only reason is so they can have that stupid changing main page, well...that's dumb.

    Next...am I the ONLY one who's completely fed up with all this rap/hiphop 'gangsta shiznit'? I'm 21 and I am so fucking sick of this stuff its ridiculous. Is this how old people feel about young kids music today? Am I getting old? I mean, yeah, there's a couple of decent songs, any genre has that, but the lifestyle they sell is just as fabricated if not more so than the teenybopper pop lifestyle, but it just SEEMS more genuine 'cuz its from da streets'.

    I can see why a game set in modern times might have this theme, but it most certainly should not have the entire game revolve around it. Ugh, way to ruin the game Rockstar.

  • by obb ( 775751 ) on Thursday May 13, 2004 @07:53AM (#9137779)
    The setup for the game's been released as well: "Five years ago Carl Johnson 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." This is interesting in that A) You're not a criminal at the beginning of the game. This could mean you might be able to stay that way... or not. B) It mentions the STATE of San Andreas, not city. This means more than just what we can see in 3 screenies C) It's early 90's so it's not the current gansta rap scene. 1And there's lots of good 90's music. I was worried it would be like True Crime radio wise, but Rockstar knows what they're doing and I'm confident that they'll have good tracks.

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