Grand Theft Auto V: 4 Questions

Rockstar has released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, and as expected of a game with no release date in sight, it doesn’t reveal much. The narrator speaks of returning to southern California -- the fictional Los Santos, presumably -- to get away from “that line of work” and to start a family, his voice accompanied by establishing shots of the city and of crimes in progress.

Grand Theft Auto V: 4 Questions
With so much information left off the table, here’s what I really want to know about Grand Theft Auto V, the next major sequel to one of the most iconic video games of all time:

Who's the Protagonist?

I think we get some glimpses of him in the trailer -- a thick-built white guy with no major defining features -- but the trailer doesn’t give him a name or even clearly state that he’s the star of the show. The last two major Grand Theft Auto games, GTA IV and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, have respectively been tales of redemption for an immigrant with a dark past and a gangbanger from the ghetto. The protagonist is a major detail that Rockstar isn’t talking about for now.

Is Cartoon Violence Coming Back?

Grand Theft Auto used to be kind of silly. Its violence was unbelievably over-the-top. Grand Theft Auto IV was different. The story’s subject matter was more sombre. The emphasis on playground mayhem dimished. I expect GTA V to have a similar tone, but I wonder whether Rockstar will restore some of the series’ old playfulness or cede that territory completely to Saints Row.

Why San Andreas?

Sure, Rockstar revisited Liberty City (the fictionalized New York) for Grand Theft Auto IV, but why keep returning to the same old haunts? I hope Rockstar has a good reason for going back to Los Santos instead of celibrating another city.

Is This a Next-Generation Game?

Most video game trailers list their platforms -- Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, etc.–at the end of the video. But that information is conspicuously absent from the GTA V trailer, causing speculation that Rockstar is working on the game for the next generation of consoles. Don’t expect to hear more on that front until console makers announce their next systems, probably around E3 next year.

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