To say gamers are eager for the release of Grand Theft Auto V would be a massive understatement. Last week's announcement that a trailer for GTA's latest installment would be revealed Wednesday set off a frenzy among fans, and the title shot to the top of Twitter's trending topics list. Now, Rockstar Games, developer of the video-game series (which typically follows the main character's rise from lowly criminal to mob boss), has unveiled the 85-second trailer, and fans have outdone themselves. In the first glimpse of the game (watch the clip below), the presumptive protagonist explains why he's getting into a life of crime before being upstaged by a car-racing, gun-toting action montage. Though the game still has no release date, gaming enthusiasts are already buzzing. Here's what they're obsessing about:
1. The return to San Andreas
The trailer reveals that GTA V will be set in the Los Angeles-inspired fictional city of Los Santos, says Jason Schreier at Wired. Even more exciting is that Los Santos is located in the fictional state of San Andreas, the "amalgamation of California, Nevada, and Arizona" that was popularized in 2004's hugely successful Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The big question now, says Dan Silver at the U.K.'s Mirror, is whether the game's action will be limited to the Los Santos community of Vinewood — "the GTA universe's take on Hollywood, whose iconic sign is glimpsed" — the greater Los Santos area, or the entire San Andreas state.
2. The new character
The nameless, unseen narrator appears to be this game's protagonist, says Matt Goldberg at Collider. As with other Grand Theft Auto anti-heroes, he seems to have had his American Dream dashed. His narration indicates that he's "dreaming about going straight and building a good life for his family," but instead gets tangled up in a life of crime — the "set-up for a fine story." Early rumors suggested, however, that this title may feature multiple protagonists, says Schreier, and the trailer arguably supports that theory.
3. The 'stunning' graphics
"Those fanboys not arguing about the location are probably still picking their jaws up off the floor," says Silver. From the opening shot of the sunset over the Pacific coast to the varied depictions of graffiti-covered ghettos, flashy financial districts, and Beverly Hills–inspired mansions, the "graphics are stunning" — easily outdoing GTA IV.
4. The artful juxtapositions
First, characters are shown golfing, jet-skiing, and hiking, says Kyle Orland at Gamasutra. Then they're shown fleeing police, engaging prostitutes, and committing armed robberies. "Tourist-friendly locales" like muscle beaches and "sun-drenched patios" are contrasted with "less-savory urban scenes" of migrant workers on the side of a highway and homeless people underneath an overpass. Those juxtapositions are quite effective.
5. Its inevitable blockbuster success
The franchise has sold more than 114 million copies of its games since 1997, says Orland. 2009's Grand Theft Auto IV moved 22 million copies. Some analysts predict that GTA V could sell as many as 25 million copies just in its first year.