Play Magazine Preview Summary – Proper

“prepare yourself for the biggest most ambitious grand theft auto to date”

Yesterday’s summary of the Play magazine preview was made from incomplete and blurry scans, today we were able to read the article in its complete form thanks to rory @ gtaxtreme. Just because of the scale of the new information, we think it deserves a proper summary.

The August Play Magazine UK (issue 118) has a 10-page feature on GTA San Andreas. Rockstar have begun showing publications areas outside of Los Santos, particularly the countryside, and this article focuses greatly on that.

One screenshot shows CJ and Ryder, talking outside The Well Stacked Pizza (Similar screenshot published in OPM Australia) from a new angle. Another shows the OGF cycling down a city street on BMX Bycicles, whilst others, introduce the idea of countryside in San Andreas; Men in lumberjack shirts, an American farm, and a forest hideout, home to the �mysterious� character R* haven�t told us about. Several screenshots focus on forestry, and we witness many new vehicles; articulated trucks, sanchez bikes, a combine harvester, quad bikes and the return of the Walton. We also catch our first glimpse of Mount Chiliad, nearly half a mile high with spectacular countryside views from the top.

you can’t miss the scale of the great outdoors and the freedom it affords

Read more for the summary split into sections.

Related link: topic.


  • The cities are laid out in San Andreas in the same geographic manner as east-coast USA.
  • Each city will feature its own unique sub-culture, enabling the player to be presented with a whole variety of different situations.
  • Everything you do with your CJ will reflect in him. Food, haircuts, preferences (bikes/cars), weapon precision, speed, etc.
  • Depending on how you treat your CJ, different paths through the game will open up. For example if you’re overweight, it will restrict your abilities to some missions.
  • A bigger chunk of the game is open to player interaction. Shooting out police helicopter lights for example will enable you to sneak away.
  • Scale and impact of the countryside is unimaginable to us right now. It affords freedom never before witnessed in a GTA game. No need to stick to paths or roads, just dodge into the forest with an offroad vehicle and do whatever suits you.
  • The mountain has been identified as Mount Chiliad. “Half a mile tall”, it is the largest object in the game. At the top of it you will be immersed in clouds.
  • Countryside will include numerous villages and towns, not just open land. So beside the three cities, there will be numerous little towns and villages to explore. One of these is Angel Pine, a tourist town near Los Santos.
  • There is wildlife in the game, but don’t expect this to be ‘Deer Hunter’. The wildlife is there to make the game look complete. More on this at PlanetGrandTheftAuto.


  • CJ’s brother Brian died at the age of 10, CJ’s mother died just recently. He’s back to find out who killed his mother.
  • Each city will feature its own unique sub-culture, enabling the player to be presented with a whole variety of different situations.
  • A female character from a previous GTA will be returning. Our guess would be Catalina, purely because of the numerous hints given in the Liberty Tree.
  • More interactive missions where you won’t be a solo warrior. One mission will include a female character and you raiding a gas station in the town of Dillimore/Dillamore and stealing gas in a gas truck.


  • New technology resolves the problem of empty surroundings. Wherever you go, the game will be crawling with pedestrians, cars… life!
  • When locking onto an enemy, the camera will stabilise on CJ’s shoulder to allow for better aiming. Holding down ‘R1’ will enable headshots.
  • The game is seamless, no loading screens between countryside or city. One huge state, no sections.
  • Draw distance in the cities is twice that of Vice City, in the countyside it’s 4 times that of Vice City.
  • A “procedural rendering technique” is being used to render the foliage. This means only what’s visible is rendered.

New Vehicles Introduced

  • 4×4 a la Jeep Wrangler.
  • Articulated trucks with detachable trailer.
  • Little quad bikes for offroad races.
  • Combine harvester working the field.
  • 2-door SUV truck.
  • Four-wheeler monster truck. ‘R1’ activates four wheel drive to pass through marshland or shallow rivers.
  • Sanchez dirt bike similar to the one from Vice City.
  • “..those cars with massive bouncing suspension..”
  • “ dog vans..” (hot dog sale possibility).
  • A hummer lookalike.
  • Farm pickup truck.


  • A caption is attached to a screenshot of a helicopter: helicopters were fun to fly, but due to the size of san andreas, “perhaps ‘other’ flying machines” will help you move around the game.
  • A countryside caption tells us that the mentality of the folks living in rural areas is different from the urban people. Their tolerance of city-people is also possibly different.