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Grand Theft Auto VI: What we learned from the trailer

Grand Theft Auto VI: What we learned from the trailer

Fans around the world exploded with excitement Monday when Rockstar Games released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI — the most hotly anticipated game of the decade.

The first look at the next instalment in the blockbuster series follows years of feverish speculation about the setting, characters and atmosphere of GTA VI.


What does the game look like?

The trailer shows Vice City, in the state of Leonida, in breathtaking detail — a major upgrade from the graphics in GTA V, released 10 years ago.

This is a fictional version of Miami, Florida, where the 2002 hit “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” was based.

Set to “Love Is a Long Road” by Tom Petty, the video contains all that people across the globe have come to love — or hate — about GTA: high-octane chases in fast cars, a vast open world rendered in rich detail, scantily clad women, and numerous references poking fun at social media culture.

Sam Houser, Rockstar’s founder, said GTA VI “continues our efforts to push the limits of what’s possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences”.


What is the biggest change?

For the first time, a GTA game will feature a woman as one of the protagonists. Front and centre of the trailer is Lucia, introduced at what appears to be a prison in an orange inmate jumpsuit.

She is later shown partnering with a man — unnamed in the trailer. The duo are seen breaking into stores wearing masks, and racing away in their car from pursuers.

The introduction of Lucia — and the focus on her in the trailer — follows decades of criticism against Rockstar over its depiction of women in its games, in particular the lack of agency and the violence and denigration they suffer.

“From what we can tell at this stage… It is a noteworthy decision, and one that other game companies haven’t necessarily made in the past when there’s an option between gendered protagonists,” Esther Wright, a games historian at Cardiff University, told AFP.

“That said, it instantly looks like the GTA people know and love… this is still very comfortably in Rockstar’s wheelhouse,” she added.

“We’ll have to wait and see whether commitment to the GTA branding, and players’ expectation of it, leaves enough space to meaningfully engage with a different perspective.”


Who will get to play GTA VI, and when?

If gamers were thrilled by what they saw of GTA VI, they were left slightly frustrated by the release date revealed at the end of the trailer: 2025.

The game will be released on Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, Rockstar said.

It did not mention a PC version.


How did fans react?

There appeared to be near-universal praise from fans on social media, and the trailer swiftly became one of the hottest topics online.

“Gave me goosebumps,” commented @sachinbhujel909 on YouTube. “We (have) all been waiting for a good part of our life… RIP to the ones who never made it to see this.”

In just over 10 hours, the trailer racked up more than 54 million views on YouTube.

It led to speculation that it might challenge for the record number of views in the first 24 hours — reportedly more than 100 million for the “Butter” music video by K-pop superstars BTS.

GTA VI and related topics became the top trends worldwide on X, formerly Twitter, soon after the trailer was released, inspiring a flood of memes.

Some poked fun at how long they will have to wait to play the game, including users who posted videos of people switching to a healthier lifestyle to survive until 2025.


Wasn’t the trailer due on Tuesday?

Rockstar had announced that the trailer would be released at 1400 GMT on Tuesday.

But someone leaked the video nearly a day earlier on X. The account was suspended swiftly but the leak forced the company to share the trailer ahead of schedule.

Some online joked about the fate of the leaker, speculating about how Rockstar — a famously secretive company — could punish them.

X user @vidsthatgohard shared an image of an explosion at a house, with the caption: “NOOOOO they got the gta leaker.”

AFP has contacted Rockstar for details about the leak.


About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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