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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Following yesterday's , Rockstar have today revealed yet more about a selection of specific elements in the game, including tattoos, the camera system and, er, dirt on cars.

TATS THE WAY I LIKE IT
As previously covered, main character CJ can change his body shape depending on what he eats and how much exercise he does. While it's also possible for him to visit the barber and alter his clothes, perhaps more significant is the array of tattoos that you can plaster him with.

"We wanted people to be in complete control of their characters," says Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies. "If they didn't like the way CJ dressed, they could earn enough money to buy new clothes. The tattoo feature works in the same way, only the motivation is different. If you were in a gang, you'd get a gang tattoo showing that."

The tattoos themselves have been designed in conjunction with Mr Cartoon, the infamous LA tattoo artist whose intricate black and grey artwork adorns the likes of Eminem, Outkast and, um, Justin Timberlake.

The designs reflect the cities in which you have them done. So the inks for Los Santos residents are often guns, gang names and girls and are heavy and black. In San Fierro you'd be more likely to find Aztec signs and drug iconography while the Vegas-inspired Las Venturas focuses on playing cards and dice.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Elsewhere, Rockstar have implemented a new intelligent camera system while also giving players the opportunity to control the camera manually, both in-vehicle and on foot, with the right analogue stick.

More usefully, when using a weapon, you no longer have to stay in a fixed position - you can now aim with the right stick while using the left stick to run or strafe. You can also look in a different direction while running or driving.

THE CAR'S THE STAR
Seems like the residents of San Andreas aren't too keen on keeping their cars in the best of nick. As you drive around, you'll notice that vehicles get progressively more dirty - although there are car washes dotted around if you want to look your ride looking squeaky clean.

You'll also spot that San Andreas residents are pretty negligent when it comes to fixing bumps and scrapes, with many cars featuring broken windows, loose bumpers and even bullet-riddled doors. Disgraceful.

GANG WARFARE
Finally, Rockstar have also revealed more on how the game's gangs operate. Watch them closely and you'll see a wealth of subtlety to their actions, whether they're drinking, smoking, throwing signs or just talking to one another.

Of course, the benefit of being a gang member is that they'll have your back when you're being chased by the police or a rival gang and, if you're attacked on home turf, they'll come to your assistance without you even having to ask. Handily, this means that you can entice your pursuers into friendly gang territory and allow the rest of your posse to do the dirty work while you escape down an alley.

Conversely, when you enter a rival gang's turf, you could find yourself in a bit of bother: opposing gang members will do their best to pound you into oblivion. They also alter their tactics each time, making it difficult to anticipate their attacks.

"We spent a lot of time getting that level of interaction right and making it unique," says Benzies. "We wanted to convey very clearly that the gangs had a certain way of communicating, very definite mannerisms, and yet had to create signs and language all our own that was faithful to the world we're trying to depict. It was challenging but it adds a startling level of detail to the game."

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will be released for PS2 on 22 October

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