GTA San Andreas's fighting styles are an underrated yet fascinating feature that should come back in a future Grand Theft Auto game.
GTA San Andreas was home to four different fighting styles. Each had its unique combo chain and running attack, which helped spice up hand-to-hand combat. While the styles weren't too fleshed out then, there's still a lot of potential for a future GTA game to take inspiration from.
Unsurprisingly, this type of discussion usually involves GTA 4's unique combat. However, this article will solely focus on different fighting styles akin to GTA San Andreas's martial arts instead of how the fighting styles should work. Some people just love customization, so that's the main focus.
Rockstar must think about adopting the GTA San Andreas fighting styles
Fans of GTA San Andreas adored how much customization there was in the game. CJ could be fat, skinny, or muscular, while it's also the first game to have a more robust clothing system. One customization feature fans fondly remember is the different fighting styles.
As previously mentioned, there were four fighting styles in GTA San Andreas. The first one gets unlocked by default and has no official name. It's the default fighting style in GTA San Andreas and involves CJ doing a punch and then a kick capable of knocking down most fences in the game.
It doesn't do much damage to NPCs, but that unique feature did help make it stand out compared to the more flashy fighting styles.
The other three fighting styles had to be unlocked by going to a gym (it is important to note that the player cannot get the default fighting style back once they learn new martial art).
Not only did this give players an incentive to explore the world, but it also helped them in daily combat in the situations they ran out of ammo (or wanted to save ammo).
The three unlockable fighting styles
There were three fighting styles to unlock in GTA San Andreas. One was Boxing, available in the Ganton Gym near CJ's home in Los Santos. As the name implies, CJ could box after sparring with the gym trainer there.
The running attack wasn't very impressive, but the ground attack was pretty neat. The combo was a left uppercut and a right hook, easier to execute than the default combo.
CJ could also learn Kung-Fu in the Cobra Martial Arts Gym in San Fierro. The running kick was flashy, and it felt more comfortable to land than the other running attacks in the game.
The ground attack was a boring stomp, but the combo attack involved a spinning kick, making it the flashiest fighting style.
Finally, CJ could learn Kickboxing at the Below the Belt Gym. Like in Kung-Fu, the stomp isn't anything too noteworthy, although it does look more hardcore.
However, it's combo attack was the most powerful. The knees plus punch combo would kill any NPC effortlessly.
More notes on the fighting styles
In terms of sheer power, Kickboxing is the best fighting style in GTA San Andreas. However, it's (usually) unlocked near the end of the game, making the power-scaling justified. If something similar happened in a future GTA title, it would be a suitable reward for a side quest or something else.
Players love customization, so having more than these four fighting styles (along with a way to go back to the default style) would be much appreciated. If they were to be incorporated alongside GTA 4's close-quarter combat, that GTA game would easily have the best combat system.
Note: This list reflects only the writer's opinions.