Rockstar finally dropped the first trailer for the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6 on Monday night after it leaked early. In less than 24 hours, it has already amassed over 77 million views. Outside of what’s featured in the trailer, Rockstar isn’t revealing much more about GTA 6. Rockstar Games founder Sam Houser simply stated in a press release that Rockstar wants to “push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences.”
Because the trailer appears to be in-engine and features scenes that will be in the final game, there are several things to discern from this tease that Rockstar showed off. I’ve watched the trailer multiple times, and these five things stood out to me the most.
GTA 6’s reveal trailer emphasized Lucia, but it appears she won’t be the only “protagonist” of the game. We see her driving around and robbing stores with the help of a still-unnamed male partner. This trailer, along with the leaks from 2022, indicate that GTA 6 will tell a story inspired by the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, a pair of robbers and lovers who pulled off a series of robberies during the Great Depression. Like the relationship between Michael, Franklin, and Trevor in Grand Theft Auto V, it seems like this duo will be pivotal to the narrative of GTA 6.
While some fun Bonnie and Clyde antics might make up most of GTA 6’s story, I doubt this relationship will last. Most obviously, the trailer begins with Lucia in prison and ends with her and her partner reaffirming their trust in each other. If there’s one thing GTA players know from the series’ narratives, it’s that betrayals are common. This all seems to be reaffirmed by the trailer’s song choice: Tom Petty’s Love is a Long Road. Looking more closely at that song’s lyrics exposes that it’s about giving up a lot to be with someone you love and how hard it can be to give up on a relationship like that. The groundwork for an emotionally devastating betrayal twist is already being set up here; it remains to be seen if it’s Lucia or her partner who does the betraying. And it’s worth pointing out that Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death by police
This first trailer was more cinematic than gameplay-focused, so it doesn’t explicitly reveal a lot about significant gameplay features. It still emphasizes the vehicles players will be able to control, from boats to planes to motorcycles to cars. The trailer also contains quite a few shots of people that have climbed onto the side or on top of cars, which is something that’s not really possible to do organically in GTA V. GTA 6 could potentially let people climb around or on top of cars, rather than just letting people drive and shoot from the driver or passenger seat. This is actually something the much-derided Saints Row reboot did fairly well, so implementing this could potentially be a way for Rockstar to show how other open-world games influenced it.
Historically, GTA games were third-person affairs, but that changed in 2014 when GTA V came to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with a new first-person gameplay mode. Multiple shots in the trailer appear to be from a first-person perspective. Although this may only be a stylistic choice by the people who made the trailer, I also think it’s a fairly solid indication that a first-person gameplay mode will return in GTA 6. Hopefully, it finds a good balance between the two, like Starfield, and doesn’t leave third-person gameplay behind.
If you were worried that GTA would lose its satirical edge because of how utterly ridiculous world events have felt in the decade since GTA V’s release, this trailer disproves that notion. It doesn’t hold anything back, highlighting and criticizing the excess of American culture. Vice City is a city in Leonida, GTA’s fictional version of Florida. Rockstar Games takes aim fully at the “Florida Man” trope in this trailer, with people wrangling alligators or leaving behind a trailer of mayhem wherever they partied. When it comes to internet, politics, and generational culture, a lot has shifted since GTA V came out in 2013, but Rockstar still seems keenly aware of what it needs to make fun of with Vice City.
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