Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
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SWIMMING A way to pass the time in the GTA: San Andreas will be to take a little dip. You'll be able to dive into San Andreas' many rivers--or even the ocean--to cool off, exercise, and more. Plus, getting onto boats from a pier will be a life-or-death affair no longer. Swimming will be easy in San Andreas. Jump on into the water and you'll immediately begin treading it--and you'll be able to do so indefinitely. You'll then be able to swim around at a leisurely pace by doing the breaststroke, which requires you to simply move the left analog stick. Alternatively, you'll be able to do the equivalent of sprinting on land by switching to a freestyle swimming stroke. This is handled by pressing and holding the X button; tapping X will make you swim even faster still, but this causes your stamina to drain quickly, so you'll only be able to sustain this pace for so long. Still, swimming as quickly as possible may be just the ticket to a clean getaway. Cops got you pinned down on a bridge? Just dive on down, and wave good-bye to those suckers. Speaking of diving on down, you'll be able to dive under the surface of the water when you press the circle button. There you'll be able to explore San Andreas' watery wonderland as much as you like--at least until your breath-o-meter runs out, in which case you'll drown. So just remember to come up for air. Expect to see aquatic life (sharks, perhaps?), as well as a cool refraction effect when you look up past the surface of the water. Incidentally, you're not the only one who knows how to swim in the state of San Andreas, so expect to see other folks swimming in the drink along with you. The fact that the main character can swim may not sound like a big deal, but anyone who's spent some time with recent GTA games and anyone who spends a few moments thinking about the ramifications that water in the game is no longer equivalent to molten lava will realize the potential here. For one thing, you'll now be able to survive situations in which you send your car careening into the water. Again, let's say you've got some unfriendlies in hot pursuit, and there's no way out. Now you can just head for the nearest body of water so that you can get the heck out of your car as soon as you're immersed. There won't be much time to escape from the waterlogged vehicle, but you're not going to need much time if you can swim. Getting out of the water is going to be easy. Just mosey on up to any nearby beach or embankment, and you'll get right out. Ledges or piers will also allow you to automatically climb out--if they're realistically low enough to the surface of the water for you to reach. This doesn't mean that you'll always need to swim to shore. A nice city by the bay, like San Fiero, is sure to have plenty of boat traffic, so why not try to swim on up and grab yourself one? The sheer terror of having someone clamber up onto their lovely overpriced yachts will generally be enough to cause these former boat owners to dive the heck off the sides of their floating palaces, thus leaving you with a convenient means of getting back to solid ground. Careful, though, the waters won't always be calm along the San Andreas coast. New weather patterns and waves may rock you and your little schooner like nobody's business. SWIMMING IS A GREAT NEW FEATURE OF GTA SO USE IT AT WELL AS IT SHOULD BE USED.