First impressions after watching the video in its entirety:
- Unfortunately, definitely current gen for consoles.
- I’m going to have to schedule more vacation days at the office for this.
Yes, the trailer makes the game look that good, even if it is on current gen. here, take a look for yourself:
I’m not even sure where to begin. So much happens so fast in the first 20 seconds. The trailer begins with a quick and scenic shots of several locations: From downtown Los Santos strip (Los Angeles), bird’s eye view of a helicopter pad, Scuba Diving towards some kind of wreckage, a trailer park at the foot of the mountains, and ending with a plane zipping across a waterway flanked by red rocked hills. Immediately after the plane flies by, we see our first clip of actual gameplay, and we’re actually flying the plane!
Yes, within the first 15 seconds of the trailer, Rockstar confirms that we will, in fact, be able to fly a plane in this game. And then, only a few seconds later:
We’re on a boat! Now, individually these scenarios aren’t all that impressive or significant. It’s the fact that they’re all together in the same game that also has such a massive world to go along with them that makes it impressive. It’s clear to me that Rockstar is bent on pushing the limit on what the current gen hardware is capable of.
A great example of the massiveness of the world is shown at 0:28:
As the camera pans by, we get a feel of how high up we are as we the scale of the mountain becomes evident. We even get a brief “eagle cry” to reinforce our altitude. Our narrator also begins to go into description of the different environments and scenes that will be present:
“Covering mountains and oceans, expensive stores and stip malls. Urban decay and untouched wilderness, beaches and backwoods, the sublime and ridiculous, greed and hypocrisy”
All of these descriptors are paired up with their philosophical opposite, again reinforcing the far stretching scope of the designer’s endeavors. As seen in all of these shots, the crew at Rockstar upheld a fantastic level of detail and authenticity from previous games.
Ofcourse, it’s not all picturesque views of a re-imagined Los Angeles and it wouldn’t be GTA without the smart-ass remarks. I’m sure this guy will be one of many segments where the characters will be put in their place with a “zinger”.
Now that we’ve been introduced to the “pretty” side of the GTA world, it’s time to get in to what this game is going to be all about. Right after the logo splash, we see the first shot of all three “heroes”, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor.
For an overview of the main character’s individual trailer, see my previous blog post: T.A.O. of GTA V
Not exactly sure who’s residence it is, but I’m guessing Trevor had something to do with the decor. The dated couch Michael is sitting on is torn and faded, there’s a bottle of booze on a messy coffee table right beside a large hunting knife jammed into it. There’s also some kind of splatter on the floor, but I don’t suppose we need to go in to that too much. Being that Franklin is giving Michael a fist pound, this isn’t the first time they’ve met. Also, no one seems to be shocked or put-off by by the rooms appearance, so this isn’t the first time they’ve met in this location. As the Trevor states that they’re “working”, the camera switches view to this:
It looks as some kind of pier, with a crudely drawn boat at the top center circled in red. The main entrance to the pier is located at the bottom left, with additional docks coming up towards the target boat. There are also 2 other smaller entrances, possibly walkways, that have been X’d out. A few other notes are written on the striped wall paper, and additional photos taped to the wall with duct tape. Oh, and we also see more of the coffee table’s contents, including an open pizza box and some kind of take-out bag.
Since it’s been awhile since Rockstar has first introduced us to the would-be heroes, they take this time to bring us up to speed, just in case.
First up is Michael. As it turns out, Michael’s backstory includes that he’s a former bank robber that seems to be trying to go clean. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s taken up the fascade of “Family Man”, and it’s not working out so well. In his reveal trailer, it was mentioned that he was “rich and miserable”, which sounded like a fantastic combination. Now that we know more about his past, we see that it’s not that he’s turning to crime as a way out, he’s actually turning BACK to crime.
Next up is Franklin. The other man shown in this screen shot was giving him a hard time last we saw him. This time around, looks like Franklin has had enough and is letting him know how it is. They seem to reinforce the idea of Franklin wanting to get out and away from the street life. The narrator even goes as far as to say that he feels that he’s “convinced that he’s surrounded by morons”. Ha! Watch the news on any day of the week or read through the comments section of any online news article and you yourself may start to think the same thing. Still, we would have the option of not watching the news or skipping the comments. Franklin’s reality doesn’t give him that luxury. He’s ready to get out, and by any means necessary.
Aaaand then there’s Trevor. White trash comic relief, purveyor of…what the hell is in that toilet?!? It looks like a human foot, but when he stomps it down, it seems to fold in an unnatural way. Is that a Blow-up doll he’s trying to flush? I’m not entirely sure which would be freakier: a disembodied foot or an inflatable sex toy. Wait, what’s that tattoo on his KNUCKLES?!?!
Moving on, we next see a preview of what a major heist is going to look like and how it is going to operate in this game. They are taking on quite the challenge with this! From here we get to see quick glimpse of the in game HUD. In this scenario, Michael has rappelled down to a swanky meeting room, busted in through the glass and is looking to take an executive hostage. Franklin is posted up in a neighboring building with a view and a sniper rifle. Trevor is…..flying the helicopter…
First, we take control of Michael. for this job, he has to rappel down the side of an office building.
- Controls box. Here you will see which controller inputs do what in this specific instance. Here, “Use L-STICK to rappel. Jump by pressing X to descend faster. Hold X after jumping for a longer jump.”
- Mini Map. There not much going on here since, well, we’re the only idiots 100 stories up, rappelling down a perfectly good office building from a helicopter that is piloted by Trevor!
- Mission Objective. Here, it is “Rappel down to the Agency office window.”
During the kidnapping, Franklin offers fire support from a neighboring building.
- Mini map – The blue dot is where we (Franklin) are, and the red dot is the target.
- Status bars – Looks like we’ll be able to track several factors of our heroes. In this case, Franklin is given the traits of Special, Stamina, Shooting, Strength, Stealth, Flying, Driving, and Lung Capacity. Obviously, not all of these skills are required for the act of Sniping, but they are shown anyway, just in case the get-away demands some spur-of-the-moment creativity.
- A Selection Wheel with the pictures of the heroes in the top 3 quadrants. In the 4th and bottom quadrant, there is the text written “83 days”. Not sure what that refers to at this point.
Once we have the target and fend off the last of the corporate thugs/bodyguards, we call out to Trevor to get us out of there. But, just incase you were hoping for a clean get away, we have to fend off a few choppers, just to round out the day.
Now that we’ve got a sample heist for us to dream about, the trailer then goes in to a few more aspects of the game. As it turns out, now that the player can act as 3 separate characters, you can bounce around the city and take control of them at any point, just to see what they’re up to. In a quick sequence, we see that Franklin just picked up his prescription at the dispensary, Michael just got back from a bike ride, and Trevor is leading the police on a not-so-high speed chase in his pick-up truck.
And once you’re done spying on what our new friends are doing, lets take a look at what else there is do to in this world. Obviously, you can customize your appearance in a variety of ways
As with previous games, there are activities you can partake in. Here, we can practice your golf game, and look at this level of involvement!
- Player’s name
- Club selection, wind direction, and what shot you’re on
- the mini-map is now the golf course
- Swing meter
- Pin info: Strength – 100%, Distance – 137 yd, To Pin – 169 yd, Height – 0 ft.
You can also do some more peaceful things, like get some Yoga in, Scuba dive, go on a hunting trip in the great outdoors, people watch a few neighborhood freaks, and score a few bounties.
While all these new features add an immense amount of content for players to explore, we must remember that this is fact GTA, and we’ve got a job (eh, jobs?) to do. The next few segments in the trailer deal with how the gameplay mechanics have been revamped. See the updated combat HUD for an example:
- Minimap. This time, the map is glowing red and has plenty of red dots for enemy locations
- Weapon Selection Wheel. Looks like Franklin’s got quite the selection of weapons to choose from. Also notice that there is a green line on the outside edge of the currently equipped weapon (pistol) and all the weapons have current ammo capacities listed beneath them.
- Gun Stats. This will update based on which weapon you select. Stats include Damage, Fire Rate, Accuracy, and Range
- Bullet Proof Vest. For added protection.
- Character Select Wheel. Towards the end of this combat sequence, you be able to see that Franklin actually has a Blue-Tooth headset in. Good to see that he’s not alone in this fight, and he’ll be able to communicate with Michael and Trevor at the appropriate time.
Other examples of game mechanic redesign also include driving (a pretty significant part of the series), shooting practice at a gun range, Tennis, Biking, and even Sky Diving. Looks like everything possible has been touched, tweaked, and rebalanced for a fluid gaming experience.
Moving on from the mechanics, the trailer gets deeper in to the main intent of the gameplay: pulling off the heists. Being that we’ve already spent a good deal discussing how we are going to be able to switch between the 3 main characters, expect these heists to get significantly complex, increasingly so as the game progresses. As it turns out from this screen shot, it looks like the trio will have some help from another criminal mastermind. No information is given about who this man is, but given Michael’s evident success as a bank robber I’m going to venture a guess that he’s an old “friend” of his that’s been dragged out of retirement.
- Jewel Store Blue Prints. We’ve got the layout of the store with a few key locations marked out.
- Crew. As it turns out, we’ll be able to make use of more than just the 3 main heroes. In this case, they’re selected the options of Eddie, Gustavo, and Paige. Each Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB, get it?) dossier has their name, expertise, associated skill rankings, and expected cut. Match up who you need, and get to heisting!
- Photos of the interior and surrounding area.
- TO DO list. listed here are Evaluate Security, Photograph Interior, Decide Approach, Pick Crew, Get Carbine Rifles.
Once these are taken care of, you can then attempt the heist. Here, it is shown 2 distinct methods of approach: Smart (gas the place and then sneak in while everyone’s passed out) or “Loud and Dumb” (Classic Hollywood Hold-Up Scene).
Ofcourse, once you (eventually) complete the heist and grab your cash, you are then free to spend it on (you guessed it) MORE CUSTOMIZATIONS! This time around we are shown some more frivolous things, like tattoos and sports cars. But then we are shown to some interesting things, including stock trading and investing in real estate. With those last 2 thrown in the mix, there is a definate potential to create your own virtual empire in this game, and possibly begin to amass a great deal of wealth in a more legal (GASP!) fashion.
If this STILL isn’t enough GTA for you in one trailer, not to worry. At the very end, viewers are treated to one last aspect that can open up an even more immersive experience, GTA Online. As our man walks over to the window and looks out over the skyline, there are more than just a few gamer tags floating around. No details on how the online/multiplayer world will work, but none of that matters when you suddenly see a Jet Fighter whiz passed the window!
So, who’s ready to get all Ocean’s 11 in Los Santos?