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Grand Theft Auto IV - 3rd Trailer Analysis

GTA IV Trailer #3 Analysis article

This game sure looks exciting! How's it shaping up? Should we expect a next-gen experience? (by Adam Brown)

Since we can't play GTA IV until next year now, it is at least nice to see Rockstar giving fans a look at the game's box art and a new trailer to help ease the long wait. While this does seem like a bit of a consolation prize, GTA hungry fans should still be happy that Rockstar is at least letting us see more about the game before next year. When the first trailer for the game was released, I was astonished at just how good the game actually looked. Surprisingly, the graphics looked even sharper in the second and now third trailers that were released.

GTA IV Trailer #3 Analysis article

In this new trailer there seemed to be a major emphasis on showing a lot of interactions between Niko and the various other characters in the game, especially his cousin. The characters all look fairly amazing, even though most of the footage appears like it has been taken from the game's cutscenes. Niko conveys a lot of character through his mannerisms and well detailed facial expressions during these scenes. There is one specific scene where two men ask Niko "So you in big guy, or are we going to have to kill you?" and Niko replies with a shrug "Well, since you put it that way, I'm in". This scene really helped to showcase Rockstar's patented humor and made Niko seem very real to me for the first time.

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Aside from all of the character interactions, this trailer was definitely action packed. With car chases and gunfights galore, you really get a good sense of just what to expect from GTA IV. There are many details in these action scenes that, although they seem fairly small, may provide really observant fans with clues about new possibilities in the game. In one scene Niko walks towards the screen. As he proceeds you will notice that there is a decent amount of blood, someone else's I presume, on his shirt and jacket. In another scene, Niko is crouched and firing some sort of rifle. If paused at just the right time, you can clearly make out a cut on Niko's head. These two seemingly trivial details lead me to speculate that accurate character damage may very well be realistically portrayed in GTA IV. This would be a huge improvement for the series, and I really hope that this turns out to be the case.

Graphically, there are just a ton of little things in this trailer to get excited about. The draw distance, viewed from behind Liberty City's version of the Statue of Liberty as the trailer opens, is really impressive. Even at a great distance you can see that the city is all there and looks fantastic. There is also a lot of water in this trailer. It seemed to react realistically to external factors such as boats and the wind from a helicopter's propellers. It is definitely beautiful to behold, especially when viewed in the moonlight. Fire also looks incredible in GTA IV, as seen billowing from the windows of a burning building as Niko just calmly walks away. GTA IV's environments appear to sustain damage during combat as well. During one of the major gunfight scenes in the trailer you will actually see debris flying from shattering pillars and splintering boxes that are being used as cover.

GTA IV Trailer #3 Analysis article

With GTA IV looking better with every new trailer that is released, I personally can't wait for my chance to play it. While it may be a little disappointing that we will have to wait a little longer than we expected, I am sure that in the end it will be well worth the wait.

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