GTA IV trailer dissected

Enough about bags. Doing horrible things to cars is one of the hallmarks of any decent entry in the GTA series, and the trailer gives us a fleeting idea of how GTA IV will handle damage. When Niko's bullets start plinking into the red car, for example, pay careful attention and you'll notice that - in addition to the sparks and bulletholes you'd expect - there's a visible blast of air from the tire as it realistically deflates. And then there's the bullets hitting Niko's windshield, which leave huge spiderwebs on the glass before Niko corners rapidly past a Binco clothing store, his tires kicking up a cloud of smoke from the friction. One thing strikes us as weird about the following car chase, though - when the police cruiser goes into a midair death-spiral, it's after slamming into a lamppost. How many times have you seen that happen? Maybe we're missing something.

Finally, we get to see Niko ditching his car at high speed, sending it careening into a gas pump and proving that cars in GTA IV can still explode. That's nothing new for the series, but damn, are we ever glad to see that we can still do it. Even so, it almost seems like a pity to wreck the game's beautiful rides, given how detailed they are; rewind to the beginning of the video, and you'll see detailed interiors, working rear-view mirrors and realistic chrome ornaments. We don't just want to steal these cars and ram them into walls; we want to drive them. And if the demo we saw a couple months ago is any indication, they'll be a lot easier to drive in IV than the series' usual brick-on-bacon-grease road-skimmers.

Above: Niko looks over his shoulder twice while driving in this trailer - we hope it's something he does automatically, because just thinking about a "check blind spot" button kills our souls

Speaking of things getting wrecked, check out the detailed damage the apartment door (belonging to "B. Crane," whoever that is) takes when Niko boots it down. The chain lock snaps, the deadbolt tears away from the door (along with the surrounding chunk of wood), the door frame itself takes some serious ripping and splinters fly everywhere. It's awesome, but - again - is it something we'll actually be able to do during normal gameplay? Despite the cutscene-like presence of the Niko's sidekick, we're going to guess that, yes, this is how you'll be able to get past locked doors. And we're looking forward to it, as it'll beat the hell out of hunting for keys.

Speaking of Niko's pudgy, cowering, tracksuit-wearing sidekick, we believe he's none other than Niko's relatively upright cousin Roman, who runs a taxi service (and who at one point was rumored to be the game's real protagonist). We could be wrong, but the fact that he shows up no fewer than three times in the video, and that his tastes in fashion are strikingly similar to Niko's, leads us to think he's important. Whatever the case, we're pretty sure it's Roman's voice saying, "Don't do anything stupid, cousin!" midway through.


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