GTA: San Andreas - appetising shots

These nine new shots of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas depict various facets of the new prominence that food has taken on in Rockstar's follow-up to the awesome GTA: Vice City.

Main character Carl Johnson has to eat to stay in shape as a lean, mean fighting machine. If he neglects to hit a healthy daily calorific intake the poor boy will become a skinny wreck. This situation isn't just represented graphically (for instance his clothes becoming loose fitting), it also has gameplay consequences, such as greatly reduced stamina and strength that curtails his performance when he's engaged in any physical activity.

Conversely, if CJ is prone to pigging out, he'll bang on the pounds and wobble around San Andreas with similarly affected stamina and strength issues. He's even ridiculed by the locals for his portly demeanour!

The way to keep in shape in San Andreas apes real-life and will have you taking CJ down the gym for regular workouts, while keeping his food intake at the right level. The game calculates a fat and muscle statistic and if CJ builds up his muscle value he'll be faster, stronger, hit harder and have generally superior stamina.

Of course, San Andreas hasn't become a fitness videogame all of a sudden and the violence and interactive experience that is the hallmark of recent GTAs is still the crux of the game. However, the new food/exercise mechanic is a welcome additional feature that should make the experience even more involving.

GTA: San Andreas will be strutting its stuff on PS2 come 22 October