Tuesday 5 December 2023

Rockstar unveils the first trailer for GRAND THEFT AUTO VI

Rockstar Games have (somewhat ahead of schedule) dropped the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI, the latest game in the mega-popular crime/action series.

Thanks to a plethora of leaks over the years, much of the game's premise and story was already known. The game opens with new protagonist Lucia in prison, but apparently about to get out. When released, she reconnects with partner Jason and immediately embarks on/is forced back into a life of crime.

The setting this time is Vice City, Florida (or a GTA-ised version of Florida). Previously appearing in Grand Theft Auto (1997), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006), Vice City is loosely based on Miami and is a den of crime, corruption, drugs, glitz and sleaze. With latest-generation tech, Vice City is considerably larger than its previous incarnations and the game expands beyond the city limits to take in offshore islands (including its own version of the Florida Keys) and surrounding countryside.

As expected, the game's satirical streak sees it tackling phenomena like "Florida Man" and alligators wandering into civilised areas and wreaking havoc. The game will also feature street races, speedboats, shoot-outs, robberies and, apparently, an in-game version of TikTok.

Other details remain to be confirmed, such as if both Lucia and Jason are playable or just Lucia. Lucia is already notable as the first female protagonist of a mainline, single-player Grand Theft Auto game since the original, although characters in the original were tiny blobs in the centre of the screen and had no discernible personality, so that's not saying much.

Also, the game looks amazing. The RAGE Engine - Rockstar's inhouse engine they have been using since 2005 - has been upgraded yet again and Grand Theft Auto VI's in-engine graphics look better than most of their competitor's pre-rendered cutscenes. Given that their previous game Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018) is still one of the best-looking games in existence, and even Grand Theft Auto V (2013) looks incredible after its latest update, GTAVI being a huge improvement over them is quite an achievement. The character animation in particular is phenomenal.

Rockstar are keeping a lot of other details to their chest. There's no indication of how the new game will integrate the uber-lucrative Grand Theft Auto Online, which has generated literally billions of dollars of profit for Rockstar and publisher Take Two since 2013, and a lot of details on the story, characters and factions remain unknown. Rockstar may reveal more information tomorrow (when the trailer was originally supposed to drop).

The trailer confirms that the game is coming out in 2025 (possibly spring 2025, given Take Two's previous marketing spend projections). Platforms are not mentioned, but we can assume that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S will be the initial launch platforms, either alongside PC or with that version following some months later.

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