No really, it's chicken
The demonstration kicked off with a general introduction to the main character, CJ, and his San Andreas surroundings. If you're a regular reader, you might be familiar with much of this already. These fundamental additions to the gameplay have provided an extra layer of depth to the action-adventure formula, and at times San Andreas seems like it could almost be an RPG. Of course, there's not a statistic or experience leveller in sight; but there is a new emphasis on customisation and skill building, and the expansive gameplay looks set to near the 100-hour mark for the most unhealthily obsessed.
Lard and carbs - all part of a well-balanced diet
At its most fundamental level, this is reflected in the need to eat food and get your hair cut. Instead of the surreal heart pick-ups seen in previous games, if CJ is feeling weak, he simply needs some food. In fact, when hunger really strikes, the controller itself starts rumbling, and CJ's immediate mission will be to satisfy his appetite. Of course, this nutrition thing goes beyond mere pragmatics. If, for one reason or another, you want to challenge the Nutty Professor (who incidentally doesn't appear in the game - although that's still unconfirmed by Rockstar) in a scale-breaking competition, CJ can keep feeding on fried chicken, pizzas and burgers until he swells to the point of Rick Waller proportions.
CJ sports an impressive set of boy boobs
If you're an overly obese, waddling mound of gangsterdom, or indeed if you're a waif-like weakling, respect on the streets will not be particularly forthcoming: although being adorned by tattoos displaying gang loyalty might help slightly. This is one of the reasons that CJ needs to keep into shape. As in previous games, this can be done just by running around a lot; and this time round, swimming is also a viable exercise option. But perhaps most interesting is the addition of various gymnasia.
These gyms and dojos also double as fighting schools. In the preview demonstration, we saw CJ visiting the first of these schools, where an amusing Mr. Miagi-alike schools him in the art of kung-fu. Naturally, from the start of the game CJ is blessed with the usual GTA street-fighting style, but as the game progresses, new moves and styles can be added to his skill-set. Although details haven't been confirmed yet, there will be several other fighting styles available: we'd imagine they would be along the usual lines, although probably more ‘Mexican Death-Grip’ than ‘Oxford Blues Duking’.