Trailer Analysis: Grand Theft Auto V

Written by on July 19, 2013 in [, ]

Grand Theft Auto has always been a series I’ve admired, while simultaneously being somewhat critical of it. San Andreas is one of my favorite games of all time, which is why the drastic turn in gameplay styles between Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV was such a disappointment to me. The fun, carefree style of Grand Theft Auto had been changed to a much more self-serious tone. While I enjoyed Grand Theft Auto IV, I found immensely more pleasure in Saints Row afterwards.

So, when Rockstar showed off the first gameplay trailer for Grand Theft Auto V last week, I found myself with a strange sort of excitement that I hadn’t felt for the series in a long time. Yes, I was anticipating what Rockstar could do with a new world but this trailer showed me exactly what I had wanted from Grand Theft Auto. It showed me that Rockstar could still make a game that put fun at the forefront of everything about it.

The first thing that struck me about this trailer was how absolutely beautiful everything about it looked. There has been a ton of care put into Rockstar’s latest open world game and the environments show it. Usually, many open world games, the world itself looks ugly and uninteresting. However, when Rockstar showed off the beautiful mountain terrain, contrasted with the Los Angeles-inspired cityscape, you could see exactly how much Rockstar wanted that contrast to stick out.


The trailer then goes onto give some background and scenes with the three main characters. Michael is shown having the typical, almost stereotypical suburban argument with his family, when his daughter exclaims that he’s “ruining” her yoga. That line alone might be the funniest thing I’ve heard in a GTA game in ages. We then get introduced to Franklin, described as a former street hustler who’s “convinced he’s surrounded by morons.” Then, we get a glimpse into the life of Trevor, the insane hillbilly who, in this trailer, is trying to flush a foot down a toilet.

All of these characters are different enough to give them excellent contrast. Typically, most Grand Theft Auto games have had you playing as a typical “reformed crook who gets sucked back into the criminal world.” In this trailer, I didn’t really get that vibe off any of the characters. They all feel unique to the series, each having their own voice.

The trailer then goes on to show how having three playable characters will affect how you play. In one scene, we see your team trying to kidnap a businessman from a building by using a helicopter. Trevor is piloting the helicopter, Michael rapels in the boardroom and kidnaps the businessman, while Franklin uses a sniper rifle to kill other people in the room. We see how quickly you can switch between characters using a character wheel and get the sense of how fun it could be to actually swap between characters, mid-firefight.

This also extends into the sections between missions. As you travel through the world of Grand Theft Auto V, you can switch to any of the different characters at any point, seeing what they are doing at any given moment. That small ability to glimpse into the world of all three of these characters at any random point could easily be the most innovative thing about Grand Theft Auto V. You get to see exactly how these characters act when the player isn’t around, allowing them more depth than in any previous title.

Starting missions, we learn, involve a lot of planning. You can decide how you want to approach the any mission. Do you go in guns blazing or try to be more stealthy in your approach? This level of choice has never really been at the forefront of many open world games, especially Grand Theft Auto.

Rockstar, in the past, has taken a lot of flak for not having a good control scheme in Grand Theft Auto. Even GTA IV, which had the “best” control scheme of the series feels crude and dated by todays standards. In the trailer, we see a number of refinements being made to the control scheme, with some even taken from Rockstars last open world title, Red Dead Redemption.

Grand Theft Auto V looks absolutely amazing and this trailer has me even more hyped for the game. While I was initially hesitant for this game, I’m now all in with the idea of a new Grand Theft Auto game. The fun that I longed for with GTA IV seems to be back here in full effect and I couldn’t be more excited for it.


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Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

One Comment on "Trailer Analysis: Grand Theft Auto V"

  1. Gregg Sherrod July 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm -

    I am a fan of playing Grand Theft Auto, exciting game like driving cars or any available vehicles then do some mission. The trailer of the GTA V it is like a 3D movie, seems more superb and more exciting to play.