Dissecting The New Grand Theft Auto 5 Character Trailers
In focusing more on the personalities and (possible) story arcs for each character, these trailers aren’t as revelatory as previous clips have been, at least in terms of the world it takes place in. Most of these trailers’ action set pieces, locales and vehicles we’ve seen before in one form or another. Despite this, we do catch glimpses of a few things for the very first time, elements that manage to expand, somewhat greatly, our understanding of what to expect when GTA V drops.
I’m especially excited about the scaleo GTA V. I’ve been playing San Andreas quite a bit in anticipation, and while it holds up remarkably well, the inclusion of three major cities made the countryside feel much smaller than it could have. With Los Santos the only urban center in the game, there’s a lot of potential to make the surrounding countryside feel much vaster, even if geographical variety remains more abbreviated than real life. Based on what we’re seeing in these trailers, the game is going to feel much bigger, and contain a lot of diverse locales. All the better for dumping bodies.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the player character was a high ranking member of the Grove Street chapter of the Families gang, loosely based on the real life Crips. Where the Crips wear blue, in San Andreas the Families wore green. Rockstar has already said no characters from the PS2-era of Grand Theft Auto will appear in GTA V, but the fact that we are seeing more than one gang-affiliated character wearing Families green is enough to make me speculate that the gang itself, if not any of the characters we saw previously, will be referenced.
Strippers have been a GTA staple since the Vice City era, and beginning with San Andreas you could even visit strip clubs. I’d hoped they’d be back for GTA V, and the prominent placement of strippers in Franklin’s trailer seems to confirm it.
GTA V IS Southern California
Rockstar has been crowing about the size of the GTA V map for a year now: it’s supposedly bigger than “Red Dead Redemption, San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto IV combined.” That’s a huge map, especially when you consider that word from Rockstar is that 50% of the map is urban space connected to and within the city of Los Santos, with the rest countryside, farmland, desert, forests and the like, all based on the greater Los Angeles area. Emphasis on greater, apparently, as the image above from a place called Sandy Shore suggests. That photo is a parody of this real life sign out by the Salton Sea, which is almost at the border between California and Mexico. Point: GTA V is going to be a giant blob comprised of elements from all over SoCal. We approve.
Incidentally, having unrepentant criminal and drug dealer/addict Trevor living out by the GTA V equivalent of the Salton Sea is clever: the 2002 crime film The Salton Sea involved a gang of crazy hillbilly meth dealers who based their operations out there.
A Gorgeous Recreation Of LA
Yet another bit of scenery porn, we include it here just to note how big this version of Los Santos looks. Scale-wise, it looks every bit as vast as the real-world equivalent in Downtown Los Angeles.
Until now, I’ve only noted the therapist as a cutscene event, and assumed it takes place during the beginning of the game. However, every time Michael has been featured in GTA V advertising, we’ve seen his therapy sessions. That’s enough to suggest to me that Michael’s therapy plays a much larger role in the game that simply establishing tone. I’m not saying there will be therapy mini games, though that would be hilarious, but I will guess that the therapist – or, if this one quits, a therapist – will end up being important to the plot.
JUGGALOS. What The Hell?
Finally, these trailers have given us hilarious glimpse into the GTA Universe’s pop culture as of GTA V, with this teenage kid dressed up in full Juggalo-esque makeup. It’s highly unlikely there will be a Love Fist-style fake band with real songs recorded for the soundtrack, but I look forward to seeing how the Juggalo subculture ends up getting served during the game.
My guess: American law enforcement’s ridiculous assertion that Juggalos are a gang (and potential public threat) will be ruthlessly mocked.