GTAIV: Things Will Be Different

Short, stunning trailer reveals key details about the setting and lead thug

After months of anticipation, the first official Grand Theft Auto IV trailer has finally gone live. And while it's essentially a teaser, it does offer up a meaty look at what the game's about - just as Rockstar promised.

Specifically, it's about New York - or so it would seem. The trailer reveals beautifully rendered time-lapse shots of Manhattan, Coney Island and Brooklyn, all filled with familiar landmarks. The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Times Square, the Flatiron Building and Grand Central Station are all prominently featured.

But something's not quite right. And if you take a careful look at the video, going frame-by-frame, you'll see it: the words "Liberty City" writ large on ships and storefronts. There's also a big sign for the Liberty Tree newspaper, which is a dead giveaway.

So there you go, GTA fans - the developers at Rockstar have redesigned Liberty yet again, this time making it a much closer facsimile to New York than it was in its previous incarnations. Of course, there are still plenty of things we don't know - will it still have a similar shape, with three islands, or will it be completely redesigned as a multi-borough monstrosity? The trailer seems to indicate the latter, just by dint of showing us landmarks from Coney and Brooklyn, but there's no way to be sure just yet.

Then there's the character we're introduced to at the end of the video - a bearded, haggard-looking man with an indeterminate accent that might be Eastern European or Middle Eastern. Either way, we know he's "killed people, smuggled people [and] sold people," and that he's apparently hoping to escape his past by coming to Liberty. So assuming he's the protagonist, that by itself speaks volumes about the game's plot.

As for the ultra-polished look of the trailer, Rockstar has the following to say: "We can confirm that all footage in the trailer 'Things Will Be Different' was captured directly from 720p gameplay running real-time in RAGE [the game's engine] on a next-gen gaming console."

March 29, 2007

Specifically, it's about New York - or so it would seem. The trailer reveals beautifully rendered time-lapse shots of Manhattan, Coney Island and Brooklyn, all filled with familiar landmarks. The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Times Square, the Flatiron Building and Grand Central Station are all prominently featured.

But something's not quite right. And if you take a careful look at the video, going frame-by-frame, you'll see it: the words "Liberty City" writ large on ships and storefronts. There's also a big sign for the Liberty Tree newspaper, which is a dead giveaway.

So there you go, GTA fans - the developers at Rockstar have redesigned Liberty yet again, this time making it a much closer facsimile to New York than it was in its previous incarnations. Of course, there are still plenty of things we don't know - will it still have a similar shape, with three islands, or will it be completely redesigned as a multi-borough monstrosity? The trailer seems to indicate the latter, just by dint of showing us landmarks from Coney and Brooklyn, but there's no way to be sure just yet.

Then there's the character we're introduced to at the end of the video - a bearded, haggard-looking man with an indeterminate accent that might be Eastern European or Middle Eastern. Either way, we know he's "killed people, smuggled people [and] sold people," and that he's apparently hoping to escape his past by coming to Liberty. So assuming he's the protagonist, that by itself speaks volumes about the game's plot.

As for the ultra-polished look of the trailer, Rockstar has the following to say: "We can confirm that all footage in the trailer 'Things Will Be Different' was captured directly from 720p gameplay running real-time in RAGE [the game's engine] on a next-gen gaming console."

March 29, 2007

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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