The premiere Grand Theft Auto V trailer has finally arrived and we couldn’t help but nitpick everything we saw, hoping to get some sliver of what to expect from Rockstar’s new baby. Once our heads stopped spinning and the thick white foam left our lips, we decided to share our feverish findings with you. Check out the new trailer at the bottom of the page and watch along with us!
Every new GTA trailer since “3″ has always centered around its setting before giving us any hints as to what the story is about, and that’s what we really get here. The first few shots are all showing off the new location, which looks to be quite a bit sunnier than Liberty City, where former frontman Niko’s adventure took place. Another interesting thing to note in this shot is the helicopter flying near the building on the right. And that’s not all you’re going to see in the aviation department in this game. No, not even close!
Next we see upper-class citizens on a golf course. Whether this is from a story-related cutscene (Justin Timberlake confirmed?) or just a shot of people about their everyday lives is unclear, but what we did notice was a blimp flying overhead. Is it finally time for GTA to let us recreate our own Hindenburg disasters?
…What? Too soon?
It’s clear that Rockstar is really trying to convey the drastic difference between the settings of GTA IV and V. Shots like this one just couldn’t happen in the previous game’s bustling city environment. Also, seeing backpackers in a GTA game suddenly brings to mind ideas of playing as a serial killer, roaming the forest looking for teenagers to beat to death with a giant purple dildo. Also, this would be a good spot to bring prostitutes (who we would also subsequently kill, of course).
Maybe we should get help…?
We see a guy stopped in his convertible, electronically bringing the top down as he revs his engine at a fair passerby. This could be an interesting gameplay addition, and driving missions immediately come to mind. If you have a crew with you, having the roof attached could provide extra cover for passengers, while bringing it down could give them increased maneuverability while shooting. In these two shots we can also see caution tape and later store awnings flapping in the wind, an impressive addition to the engine from IV. Also note the “e-Cola” sign, a branding carryover from the previous game.
What impresses us about this shot of a beautiful cliffside estate is, ironically, the clutter. It shows a real lived-in quality, which we feel continues IV’s idea of giving every nook and cranny of the city personality. The people practicing yoga on their terrace brings to mind the narrator, who we have only briefly mentioned so far. Since this game is about our hero trying to live a life of relaxation, will we get yoga minigames or other playable small tasks, in the vein of San Andreas?
In case you weren’t sure this was a Grand Theft Auto game by now, here’s a classic low-brow GTA joke for you. We also get a sense of the vertical scale of this city, which is no slouch when it comes to tall buildings. Hopefully there’s a base jumping parachute on top of one of those buildings.
If we were betting men, we’d put money on this guy being the main character. It’s kind of funny that after hearing his voice sound like zombie-killing photojournalist Frank West, he actually resembles him as well, but despite our countless anonymous fan letters to Rockstar and Capcom we don’t think a GTA/Dead Rising crossover is in the cards right now. Rational guesses at who he is easily led us to Tommy Vercetti, king of the world in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as his age matches up, coming from the last game. His status at the end of his last outing also matches the ‘tired mob boss’ outlook of the narrator in this trailer. This would be a strange choice for Rockstar, as they were trying to leave their cartoonish roots behind with this new breed of GTA games, and bringing Tommy back could lead them right down that same path. It’s also possible that if this is Tommy, he is the boss of whoever we play in the game, which would be more conducive to GTA’s “rags to riches” formula. A more wild guess led us to Claude from “GTA 3″, who actually made a brief appearance in San Andreas, so we shouldn’t rule that one out either. Remember, this guy doesn’t have to be the one narrating!
Here we see more flying vehicles for players to hopefully take control of in this new locale, this time a crop dusting biplane. Seeing the way it so efficiently chokes these poor farmers out, we are already thinking of countless unscrupulous ways to use it. Also, we’d like to jump into multiplayer and recreate the scene from classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest, of course, instead ending with the guy getting chopped up into a fine mist by the propellors.
Geez, what is it about GTA that brings out the worst in us?
In these few shots, we see a few key elements of story. First, the guy on the right is almost definitely the same guy we think is the main character. He and his crew are dressed as Bugstars Pest Control (“Putting the FU in fumigate”), and the side of their van clearly reads “Los Santos” (not pictured here). If the setting of San Andreas wasn’t clear from earlier in the trailer, there’s no doubting it now. The crew is also getting ready to rob what looks like a bank, so we can only hope for a mission as sublime as the similar one in GTA IV. We were half-expecting the classic “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in” line, although our hero doesn’t seem quite as broken up about the proceedings as Mr. Corleone was.
Between the previous shot and this one, there are plenty of nice looking images of people around the city, including one of our suspected hero driving a car (after being in three shots it’s all but confirmed at this point), but we were more focused on THIS. Our mouths agape, drool pouring into our laps, we awoke from a sort of trance after seeing this image, only able to exclaim, “WHAAAAAAAT!?!?”
So let’s take a step back for this one. What do we see in this image? A fighter jet flying across the skyline of San Andreas? You’re damn right that’s a fighter jet flying through San Andreas! So after deciding to scale back the plane count for GTA IV (to a whopping zero), it looks like in V they’ll be coming back in style. Now let’s just hope that they have more ‘sex appeal’ this time around…
So here’s the ultimate proof of the game’s setting. If you squint REEEEAL hard, you can see the plate on the cop car says “San Andreas” on top. Also dig the car crash in this scene, as it shows off a bit of the game’s physics (although not enough to base an opinion on). After this is the required “guy running from helicopter” shot for any self-respecting GTA trailer, and we get a nice view of one of the worse-off neighborhoods in the game, from the ground and then from the air.
There isn’t much to say about this picturesque shot of the Vinewood sign other than that you can see a larger airliner flying overhead here and in the next shot. Perhaps this is the main character’s private jet? Maybe we’ll pick up some hookers in it and park it in that forest we mentioned earlier…
And there you have it! Grand Theft Auto V is a real thing, and oh what a thing it is! Personally, we’re rooting for the story of mob boss Frank West trying to relax after recently being retconned into Dead Rising 2, but only time will tell.
And by the way, if you want to check out the actual trailer, here ya go:
Nick Hawryluk is the co-pruducer, director and editor of Press Play the Webseries. He also runs and contributes articles to the Press Play website.