Although still only officially announced for PlayStation 2 this October, we'll challenge Tommy Vercetti to a chainsaw duel if we don't see Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on PC by this time next year. Here's the major revelation - San Andreas is actually a huge US state similar to California, with three fully-rendered cities the same size as Vice City - Los Santos (Los Angeles), Las Venturra (Las Vegas) and San Fierro (San Francisco). Not only that, but you have all the countryside in-between, with mountains, strange locals and a definite road movie feel.
Crips And Bloods
San Andreas is set in the early 1990s, complete with those infamous period radio stations. You play through the game as Carl Johnson (CJ), a street kid who's recently returned to his home of Los Santos to find in-fighting in his family and his gang, the Orange Grove Families. CJ is soon dragged back into the gangsta lifestyle when a couple of bad cops get on his tail and everything goes tits-up.
Rockstar has included more real estate to buy, including casinos, and many more interiors of buildings have now been fully modelled - important, as you can now go robbing houses for money. CJ has to eat to maintain his stamina meter, but don't go scoffing too many burgers and fries or you'll put on weight, affecting speed and strength. If you're getting too porky, it's time to get down to the gym and slim down.
San Andreas also promises new vehicles including bicycles, more satisfying weapons with ragdoll physics, improved NPC AI and the ability to recruit gang members for four-way drive-by shootings. By our reckonings, this is going to be B.I.G.