Dissecting Grand Theft Auto V Trailer #2

Plot And Story

Nope, the trailer didn’t reveal anything concrete about the story. Duh. But enough details were included that we can finally take a stab at a general outline. SPOILER ALERT: It’s a crime story.

The three protagonists have obviously different motivations for their lives of crime. Michael appears happy, but bored and anxious. Rockstar has repeatedly described him as having been dragged back into his life of crime, and his voiceover narration at the beginning of the trailer sounds a lot like he’s actually telling someone, perhaps Franklin (who Michael sardonically calls “the son I always wanted”), not to follow in his footsteps. If we had to guess, Michael is probably pulled back into the game because of something to do with his actual son, James. The scene with Michael’s therapist demonstrates that he has tremendous anxiety about his son; perhaps that boat James and his accomplices are trying to steal in the trailer sets off a chain of events that forces Michael out of retirement.

Meanwhile, Franklin is trying to escape the hood and, apparently, to get rich. Given James’ age and apparent affinity for hip-hop, we think it’s very possible he’s is an acquaintance of Franklin. It would make sense if Franklin and Michael grow close in part due to Franklin’s ambition and Michael’s unhappiness with his own family, and that kind of male relationship is something Rockstar loves to mine, and subvert. Finally, Trevor is a jumped-up redneck from the desert who looks to be carving out a meth and illegal drugs empire. He’s violent and ruthless, and crazy homicidal — “just ignore the bodies” — and our random, unfounded guess is that he ultimately ends up as the antagonist, pitted against Michael and Franklin.

As for the game itself, we know it’s going to have a bank robbery with some spectacular explosions. We can also guess that that one of Trevor’s introductory missions could require you to harass local buyers and sellers of meth and weapons in order to shore up his business. We’re also intrigued by the presence of military hardware. One of the more ridiculous rumors about GTA V is that World War 3 breaks out in the middle of the game. While that is probably bullsh*t, the scene in which a jet fighter blows up a police chopper, and another in which Michael appears to steal an army Jeep from inside an army plane, confirms a military presence in the game. Considering that Rockstar has always played around with basic U.S. history — one of the background events in the GTA III trilogy universe was a massive war between Australia and the US — it would be cool if it turns out some kind of war-related event plays a role in the story.

One last thing: until the reveal that GTA V has three protagonists, it was widely assumed that Michael would be the main character. Interestingly, Rockstar is still giving that impression, as the new trailer is still focused largely around Michael’s arc. This makes us wonder if despite there being three playable characters, Michael’s is the primary story in the same way Nico’s was the primary story of GTA IV. We’ll see if Trevor and Franklin get their own character-focused trailers.

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6 Comments on Dissecting Grand Theft Auto V Trailer #2


On November 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Having one or two of the playable characters with strong familial attachments ought to at least provide something fairly new for GTA. Michael having a family and being pulled back into “the life” is reminiscent of John Marston in Red Dead Redemption, which isn’t too surprising since Dan Houser wrote the script for that game. Given that I find RDR to be Rockstar’s best game to date, and I’ve enjoyed the more serious efforts in GTA 4 and RDR, so I’m looking forward to a character like Michael.

Trevor seems like a good inclusion, too. Having an unattached, nutjob as one of the playable characters will probably allow players to go on the traditional GTA rampages of destruction without feeling like it is out of character.


On November 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

As of right now there is no proof (to my knowledge) that James is Michaels son. And his neck tattoo says “Entitled”


On November 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm


At about 1 minute in, somebody says to Michael, “Your son, James…”

Seems like pretty conclusive evidence that James is his son.

Ben Richardson

On November 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm

@STALKER Not sure how you can watch that trailer and not grasp the obvious: James is Michael’s son. Still, you’re 100% right on the neck tattoo. Thanks for the tip — I’ve updated the article.


On November 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

@RJ and Ben Richardson

I was tired when I posted that, what I meant to say was there wasn’t proof that the kid is actually James. The trailer seems to hint heavily that he is (showing him right after the scene you mentioned, him being in the car with Michael, etc…) but it doesn’t come right out an say, “this person is actually James”

I agree it’s a stretch, but still the point stands.


On November 19, 2012 at 4:46 am