Rockstar continues to flesh out the world of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas this week as part of its understandably fastidious promotional campaign with news of some of the extra curricular activities available to CJ in his hometown of Los Santos. Basketball and burglary are in evidence today, along with the opportunity to dress the man up to gain some respect from the locals. Scroll down here here for a bunch of new screenshots.
Playing dress-up is more complex than ever before. While in previous games it was possible to switch outfits every once in a while, it was largely mission dependent or just plain vanity or curiosity that fuelled Tommy Vercetti's desire for new threads. In San Andreas, CJ's appearance will be closely tied to how he's perceived by the locals - gangs, police, and of course women.
We've already heard about how his eating and exercising habits play a role - now we're getting closer to his shopping routine. To start off with, he wants to start looking like he belongs, which means shopping at a place called Binco for low cost shirts, khakis and trainers that suit his role in the Orange Grove Families. Getting some of these threads singles you out to rival gangs and police, but earns respect with the chaps and chapettes-of-the-night on CJ's street.
Moving up, a place called SubUrban deals with some of the Los Santos brands like Mercury and Base 5. These are apparently more popular with the Ballas gang, which means more respect from some quarters, but, for the ultimate chav look, the ProLaps label is the key - high price, athletic gear that shows off the physique - and of course you'll also want to pick up a motorcycle helmet, boxing headgear or perhaps a hockey mask while you're there. Why not?
Wearing a hockey mask is a good idea until you've visited one of the game's many barbershops anyway and got that clump of fluff on your head and face under control. A place called Reece's is the best place to go early on; CJ can sit down in the chair, check out his reflection, and decide whether he's after a bald look, an afro, a jheri curl, cornrows or something else - and he can also craft a rather fetching Tom Selleck moustache. (We hope.)
Good looks and the right clothes may earn respect, of course, but they cost - which is where the game's expanded burglary feature comes in. We bet the tabloids will love this, but we doubt Rockstar cares, to be honest. Suffice to say it's rather more exciting than darting into a random garden and stumbling upon a flamethrower in a fountain - it's almost a sub-game all of its own. CJ will need to grab a ski mask or balaclava first, and then he can slip into sneak mode and bust into anywhere he likes.
He's going to need a baseball bat, a shotgun, a knife or some other means of suppression though, because if he happens to make too much noise, or chances it during the day, in all likelihood he's going to run into some opposition - and they will call the police given half a chance. If successful though, CJ can make off with all sorts, like TVs and stereos for a start. Then all that remains is to 'fence' the gear and head off to ProLaps for some trendy threads.
We're starting to wonder if San Andreas has authentic carrier bag physics. See yesterday's preview and our coverage from E3 for more on the game, which is due out here on October 22nd, and check back later for more on GTA: San Andreas, and later in the week for an official trailer.