Dissecting The New Grand Theft Auto 5 Character Trailers

The World

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.

Grove Street?

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.

The Therapist

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.

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8 Comments on Dissecting The New Grand Theft Auto 5 Character Trailers


On April 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

The GTA series has never evolved as a game. Its the same copy and paste as other AAA titles like halo, Assassins creed, Call of duty, God of War, Gears of War etc. Whats there to be excited about?

I’m more interested in Saints Row 4 and that game evolves with every new installment. I mean you can customize you own character for crying out loud. Just look at the GTA roster its just the same old crap and just to add a little fire they have 3 guys and no women characters. The music doesn’t mean crap if the game is not fun and quite frankly I can add my own soundtrack.

I’m really tired of these watered down games and dumb people that buy them.


On April 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

So, according to Michael, pretty much the majority of gamers, including me, are dumb.
These games are amazing, fun, and in my opinion, don’t need to COMPLETELY change everything about them in order to continue to be fun. GTA at it’s base is a certain kind of sandbox game. And they’re successful as hell for good reason… They’re not gonna turn around and make a Dark Souls-esque game now… just for the sake of being different and pleasing the “Oh so much more intelligent” people who think that the only good game is one that has never been done before.. They make what they want to make, and that’s normally what their fans want as well. Most fans of this series look forward to what they decide to make next. Each game may be similar to the others that came previously in their basic form… but they’re not all the same… They’re not “copy and paste”. And one thing I can say I absolutely love and respect about Rockstar is that they don’t have a set time frame for their GTA games to come out. They let the teams work on it to make the best possible GTA game they can make for the fans. Unlike EA… Or even Activision with CoD. GTA in my mind has always been one of those higher quality series. Saints Row can be it’s own game, but quite honestly, I don’t really care for them too much anymore. I enjoyed the first 2, the third was funny, but to me, SR will always kinda be the little brother to GTA.


On April 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Interesting and Yes.

Everyone who buys the games I listed are dumb as well as the people who make them. The main problem is that nobody wants to try anything new and challenging and they just want to keep playing the same dumb games over and over.

How do you feel if you eat pizza everyday and never bother to try anything new?
Not me I have to try new games even though I know they might suck. Thats what makes me a gamer unlike everyone else. In January I purchased Ni No kuni which I believe deserves Game of the year. February was Dead Space 3 which was far better than the second game. MArch was the disappointing God of War Ascension which I didnt want to play and regret it, but I wrote my take on this game in this site. Lastly Dragons Dogma Dark Arisen which I’m enjoying more than I did Skyrim.

But as for GTA I’m done with it since San Andreas and will never play another one because I don’t want to support a game that does not evolve. The only game Rockstar made that will always be awesome is Red Dead Redemption because they took the sandbox of there GTA series and created something new with it that we didnt see in gaming and it was a huge success.


On April 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Micheal, you’re missing the point. the GTA games are social commentary. Their messages evolve and each games talk about the times they are in. They use familiar elements in what are often interesting ways.
You criticise GTA for a lack of innovation when the simple fact a AAA game tries to do something has subtle has a satire and is so well written it actually succeeds is revolutionary in the gaming landscape.
You seem to confuse taste (has in yours) with actual worth. In that way, I agree, you are a gamer (has in a very typical, hypocritical, stereotypical one).
You shouldn’t be so proud of that.


On April 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm

That’s all your opinion.. And if that’s how you feel, you can watch the rest of us playing GTA V. You know why some games don’t change their formulas to much? Because when something isn’t broken, why fix it?


On May 1, 2013 at 12:39 am

@Robert and that is your opinion. gta4 was so broken I couldn’t bear to finish it. It deviated from the GTA SA formula something awful, and it showed. I’ve read more bad things about 4 than any other GTA game made. It sucked hard, and if 5 is more like 4 than SA, I won’t touch it.


On May 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

See? And even GTA IV shows that they were trying to try something different and the mood of the game showed it… And people didn’t like it. So it looks like they’re trying to go a bit more old school with 5… Although, they’re trying it in a different way by making three different characters in one game and making each a different type of GTA character to balance out what the game is like. Michael seems more like the dramatic GTA 4 character, Trevor is the old school crazy GTA character, and Franklin is the SA type character (at least as far as I see thus far). So, they’ll be trying to cater to the different types of GTA fans. I see it as genius. I love the GTA games, but I love new games as well. It just depends. I play whatever video game looks like fun to me, which is exactly what a gamer does. I don’t know when the definition of gamer changed to “someone who only plays brand new, obscure games”.

Actually, Watch Dogs looks like a great game, and it’s something different… I’m pumped for it.

And @Swcloud99 I like your comment. You put words down that I wish I could’ve thought of. haha


On May 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

Actually “Remembers Me” looks interesting as well, but yeah, I am definitely looking forward to “Watchdogs”.
Also cant wait for the new “Thief”. Now that one really has my attention.