Thursday, March 29. 3pm. We’re huddled over our computer, along with tens of thousands of gamers worldwide, furiously debating the GTA IV trailer on internet message boards. As conspiracy theories are raised - and razed - in rapid keystrokes, while the trailer’s micro-details are held up for inspection, no one seems able to summarize the prevailing mood. Until one gamer glibly taps… “Underwhelmed and overwhelmed.” And the internet churns in chaotic agreement.
Underwhelming? Being harsh, the familiarity of location and lack of action is disappointing. But when you inspect the footage closer, you become overwhelmed by the detail - every frame has new vehicles, pedestrians and landmarks to recognize. Rockstar is shrewd - they know it’s there to be picked at and pawed over, allowing us to slowly shape our own ideas and desires. And like all great teaser trailers, it’s designed to raise tantalizing questions rather than provide answers.