The return of storyline mode in Snapshot 3.4
Most versions of GTA: Underground, excluding Snapshot 2.1 and its patches, do not allow the player to play the GTA: San Andreas storyline. We will re-introduce the ability to do this as of Snapshot 3.4 in the form of an optional modification which has to be installed separately.
Why is the storyline unavailable in the first place?
Mostly because of technical reasons, and because of the fact that we believe that the majority of people simply play this mod for a short time to try out whatever it offers. Introducing the storyline would raise questions about whether or not we should have everything which comes with UG unlocked from the start or not. Snapshot 2.1, as said, did allow you to opt-in and play the storyline, but also giving players the "sandbox experience" which most total conversions for GTA: San Andreas offer.
How will the storyline be implemented?
By default, the mod will still offer "sandbox mode" where all in-game shops, vehicle modification garages, and side missions are unlocked and available from the start, while "storyline mode" will come in the form of an optional mod, rather than by walking in to the red sphere within a certain time after starting a new game, as was the case in Snapshot 2.1.
We held several polls in the past about the details, such as whether or not the player should get a four-star wanted level when flying to Vice City or any other map area introduced by GTA: Underground. This is a common practice in GTA games to keep the focus during a certain part of the storyline on a single part of the map, rather than the entire map. A good example of this is how in both GTA: Vice City and GTA: Vice City Stories only one part of the map is accessable to the player because of hurricanes. Attempting to visit the other areas of the map will result in the player getting a four-star wanted level.
Any map area introduced by GTA: Underground will be unavailable to the player in the same manner.
At least, until the "Saint Marks Bistro" mission is completed. This mission consists of the protagonist (CJ) flying to Liberty City to take out a major Forelli member at the bistro in Portland. This means that players would have to complete more than half of the story just to unlock Vice City, Liberty City, et cetera.
It should be noted that, like in GTA: San Andreas, airplane tickets for flights to Liberty City and Vice City are also unavailable prior to completing this mission.
Here's a screenshot of this in action:
As for unlockables, they will become available after completing the following missions:
- Safehouses in any map area from any 3D era game outside of GTA: San Andreas and the custom ones exclusive to GTA: Underground will be available after completing Saint Marks Bistro.
- Ammu-Nation stores outside of San Andreas will become available at the same time as the ones in San Andreas after completing Doberman.
- The Phil's Fully Cocked stores in Liberty City and Vice City will become available after completing Doberman.
- Barber stores, tattoo parlors, and restaurants (such Well Stacked Pizza and Burger Shot) outside of San Andreas will become available at the same time as the ones in San Andreas after completing Ryder.
- Gyms outside of San Andreas will become available at the same time as the ones in San Andreas after completing Drive By.
- Vehicle modification garages outside of San Andreas will become available at the same time as the ones in San Andreas after completing Cesar Vialpando.
- As for clothing stores, we have not decided on those yet, but we will most likely look at when they become available in GTA: SA and follow the same pattern.
How close is the feature to being completed?
Pretty close. We already took care of most unlockables with the exception of vehicle modification garages, safehouses, and clothing stores. Some minor changes may be needed for compatibility reasons. Outside of these two things, the feature is complete.
Here's how the in-game looks after completing Ryder - unlockables which are not unlocked yet are not shown on the map. The unfinished ones however are marked on the map because well, they're unfinished.