Matthew Walker, Project coordinator
June 28, 2007 - Having watched the second trailer for Rockstar's latest installment into the GTA series, I can say this: I could not feel a higher level of anticipation unless the game was finally going to be in my hands next week. The truly amazing thing about the trailer this time is that it appears to be in-game graphics. This alone sparks my interest due to the feelings I had the first time around. Granted, these do not look as crisp and clean as the teaser trailer, but at least we have a general idea of what to expect come this October when the game infects our systems. Just like the teaser, this one had several hidden elements that will spring up in the game you may not catch the first few times around.
For example, during a "walking" montage in the trailer you will see a helpless kid being beaten up off to the right. This could be a playful nod to Rockstar's Bully. A few other things make me a little giddy about the graphics. During a scene about halfway through the trailer, Niko is sidestepping along a graffiti covered wall, and if you look close enough you will see at least one image of a character from a previous GTA installment blended into the graffiti. Niko's fluid movements are another impressive aspect. In the past, one of my problems with the series has been the graphics. This time around, it does not appear to be the case at all. In addition to Niko's realistic mannerisms, the facial mapping amazingly depicts real emotions in all of the characters shown so far. Rockstar has definitely broken the mold for graphics in the series with this installment, and I could not be happier.
There is another aspect of the game done in the past that now appears to be capitalizing on the genre it comes from. To clarify, we have been able to watch our game as we play it through a cinematic camera, but it always seemed to be missing that special movie magic spark. Judging by a few of the scenes from the trailer, the cinematic viewpoint will be more dynamic and will capture that of a Hollywood chase scene with a GTA twist. Since I was so impressed with the graphics of the city in the first trailer, I feel the need to touch on them again. However, I can say that getting a view of the city from the stepping rail of a helicopter could help me take in the cityscape a little better. Apparently, Niko seems to think so as well, considering one scene showed him dangling from a helicopter. This could be just a one-time scene in the game, but I can hold on to hope that we might have a couple of missions that will require us to leap from a building to continue our pursuit of our target.
Motorcycles appear to be confirmed with the scene of Niko astride a bike. The interesting thing here is that he is wearing a helmet. Now I know that may not make him as cool as Tommy and CJ riding along without helmets, but the idea behind Niko potentially putting on a helmet every time he hops on a bike could only add to the level of detail. There also seems to be a stronger sense of time sensitive missions in this installment. Maybe it is just me, but with the passing of the trailer I feel that time will have a huge impact on our missions.
Then, there are the mysteries surrounding this trailer. Initially, the title leads you to believe that maybe Niko is looking for the potential "love" interest in the game. However, after viewing the trailer it is obvious he is not looking for someone to share his nights with. Instead, he is looking for someone that has possibly done him wrong. The fact that Niko states he has been looking for ten years and the tone in which he says it suggest that horrible things transpired a decade ago, and he is going to settle the score. What is this event? Who is this person that Niko makes someone swear to do everything they can to find this person? Not a clue, but one thing is for certain: when he finds them it is not going to be pretty for the other person. Another hint dropped about the events of ten years ago potentially is the statement "I was the only one to survive!" Again, no real clue on what it is that he survived, but I feel we can be certain of one thing - this time around we will have a very deep and complex storyline to follow for our protagonist.
With every aspect of the game pointing to a different take on what Rockstar has released in the past for the series, there is no reason to not fully buy into the tag "Everything will be different." I know I have and could not be happier about it. The only thing that disappoints me at this moment is that I have to wait until October to finally see how things will be different. At least there might be another trailer come August or September to hold me until then.
Read on! There's more analysis and lots of screenshots on the next page!