GTA Trailer #3: What do we see? What's up with Niko? And who are all those people? (by Pete Richards)
The trailer begins by panning over our new playground. Within seconds it's obvious this GTA's Liberty City is designed to mimic New York City to nearly every extent, including their version of the Statue of Liberty called the Statue of Happiness and a building that resembles the Empire State Building in the backdrop.
The game's protagonist (and probably your new alter ego for the next couple years) Niko Bellic arrives at the harbor. Niko is an Eastern European immigrant in his mid-thirties who comes by boat. He is greeted by his cousin Roman. Apparently in the opening sequences of the game, Roman messages Niko to come to America, convincing him he has women, cars, and money, and that he too can achieve the same level of success. When Niko arrives in Liberty City, he finds Roman has lied to him and is actually thousands of dollars in debt, which is why the trailer shows your new ramshackle apartment with Niko asking, "This is the mansion?" The cockroach on the bottom of his shoe is a nice touch.
As Roman drives Niko to his apartment, you see several pedestrians roaming the street. They look a lot more realistic, and no two characters shown are alike. The pedestrians are said to do a lot of different activities while going about their business such as smoke, sit on benches, and read - something GTA fans have been crying out for. In the second GTA 4 trailer, you see one pedestrian ordering a hot dog from a street vendor. The Artificial Intelligence of the NPCs has reportedly received a huge overhaul so pedestrians do a wide variety of things and react in different ways.
There is only a split-second where the trailer shows policemen closely. It's raining, and Niko is running through a park with four policemen drawing shotguns. The officers look to be wearing different outfits - large, hefty jackets with no police caps - perhaps because it is raining in that scene. One officer is plainly visible, while the other three are in the background, making it hard to tell how different their features are, through they all look to be wearing the same outfit. Rockstar worked with crime experts and ex-policemen on the making of GTA 4 and found that police presence in larger cities has increased during recent years. Thus, you can expect to see more police in Liberty City and more random pedestrians getting arrested in the street. The trailer also shows a firefighter running from an explosion, which is a completely different character model than we're used to. I think the trailer is trying to give us the impression that there is more variety of police officer, fireman, and paramedic models.
Another thing you might notice with all the speaking characters in the trailer is that none are truly recognizable. It seems like Rockstar North purposely hired voice actors we wouldn't be familiar with to make the characters more individual and to also suit their attitudes better. I'm wondering if there could also be movie plans in the future, and by hiring voice actors we don't know, it leaves the casting open to decision if there is ever a motion picture planned. The mob will be featured in the game, though they won't be lead characters. Additionally, Rockstar says 'hardly any' of the characters from previous games will return.
The trailer still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Rockstar has said there will be multiplayer functions, yet no massively multiplayer online mode. What the trailer has done, however, is further tantalize my taste buds and make me anxiously await for spring.
What does this new GTA have in store for us? Is it action-packed? Will Niko become a new game hero? (by Matt Cabral)
Forget about Master Chief and Mario; they're so 2007. Next year belongs to an all-new gaming icon: Niko Bellic. The scruffy, Middle Eastern anti-hero of Rockstar Games' next entry in the hugely successful (and controversial) Grand Theft Auto series has got the Internet buzzing again with GTA IV's newest trailer entitled "Move up, ladies." This third peak at the blockbuster-to-be shows lots more of Niko and, more importantly, what he's capable of. Where the first official trailer showcased GTA IV's NYC-based Liberty City, and the second focused on Niko's introduction, this latest entry is all about the gameplay.
Each new entry the GTA series has evolved in terms of giving the player things to do. The pinnacle of this being the vast variety of ways GTA: San Andreas' CJ Johnson could interact with the world; swimming, eating, working out, playing pool, dancing, dating, piloting aircraft, and countless other activities ensured players were always immersed in San Andreas' enormous world. Well, if the action in GTA IV's new trailer is any indication, it appears we'll be keeping just as busy in the shoes of Niko. Over the course of a very well-produced 30 seconds or so we see Niko playing pool, party-goers dancing, Niko being asked by a lady friend "where are you taking me?," and then receiving a peck on the cheek from what appears to be a different female admirer--apparently Niko is quite the playa (could a coffee invite be in his future?) The trailer continues to roll with shots of a silhouetted stripper slithering on a pole, and Niko getting rolled during a torturous interrogation. In most games all this activity would appear to be nothing more than flashy cinematics, but in GTA's world all of these scenarios point to promising in-game play.
Read on! Check out the rest of the analysis, screenshots, and the new GTA IV trailer!