Feel the tremor? Hear the rumble? Yes, that's the seismic effect of another Grand Theft Auto IV trailer hitting the internet. Websites will crawl. Message boards will ignite. Pointless controversy will ensue.
Luckily, we love that kind of fan-driven frenzy. So why resist any longer? Let the wild and rampant speculation over today's video, "Move Up, Ladies," begin right here and right now.
Analysis and impressions begin below the trailer. We'll update throughout the day.
0:05 - The trailer opens with a sweeping shot of Liberty City, including Rockstar's take on the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty ("Statue of Happiness"). Our first impression is, "Look at the scale and diversity of all those buildings and parks!" Our second impression is, "Why does that statue look so friggin' blocky?"
0:08 - We love the detail and complexity given to a simple rusty tugboat, but will we be able to pilot that huge cargo cruiser in the background? Can you hit the bridge with it?
0:10 - Remember when we did a game-by-game "hand" analysis of GTA's protagonists? Yeah, we're weird like that. But seriously, the days of polygonal ham fists are gone. Nikolai's cousin, Roman, swings his arm towards the camera and you can make out individual knuckles and fingernails.
0:14 - More impressive details. Commuter trains in Liberty City are covered in graffiti and spit orange sparks off their wheels. Still, we won't be satisfied until you can make them fly off their rails and land on a hapless pedestrian.
0:18 - Roman's apartment and your character's first headquarters. A dented fridge, a naked ceiling bulb, dirty dishes in the sink, a banana peel on the floor, a squashed cockroach on Roman's shoe. More memorable are the swimsuit calendar girls plastering the walls. No Candy Suxxx in sight, though.
0:22 - Everything casts a shadow - pedestrians, vehicles, buildings. You can see the car here move from cool murky shade into blinding sunlight.
0:26 - Yup, this is Liberty City. Nikolai and Roman drive by a LCPD station with a uniformed cop standing guard outside.
0:27 - Facial animations are much more realistic - we can see Roman's eyes look from one direction to another. This is clearly a cutscene and not gameplay, though. In fact, is anything in this trailer really gameplay, or at least indicative of it?
0:31 - Some in our office believe the fellow here, with the rainbow jacket, is voiced by Jay-Z. Hard to say for sure, but the physical resemblance is there.
0:33 - Yikes! The graphics may have improved dramatically, but Rockstar's women still scare the crap out of us. We meet a tough looking criminal sort with a lady on each arm... only they look more like pale, sunken-eyed zombies.
0:34 - Looks like you can play pool, as you could in San Andreas. Without any proof whatsoever, we're going to skip ahead and assume you can also gamble, dance, shoot hoops, hit the arcade and skydive.