'Grand Theft Auto V' Trailer: GTA Goes Back To Hollywood

Games are constantly trying to become more cinematic, but very few manage the trick. It takes a lot more than a widescreen aspect ratio and some lens flare to capture cinema in a gaming context, but the characters and deep storylines of the Grand Theft Auto games come closer than almost anyone else. The trailer for the fifth game in the series (well, the fifth officially numbered game; there have been many spin-offs and portable installments as well) tells us that this will be a return to the Los Angeles analog city Los Santos, as originally seen in the 2004 game GTA: San Andreas.

Have a look at Grand Theft Auto V below.

I love the detail seen here; GTA IV did a great job rendering a full city, but this looks to be several steps beyond. And is that a tease of at least one returning classic GTA character seen in the trailer, or is there just some (probably intentional) resemblance? I also like the return to brightly sunlit environments; cruising Vice City and San Andreas was always a lot of fun in the glowing sunlight of those games.

The storyline seems more ambitious here, too. Parenthood is the sort of story material that games struggle with, but GTA IV already tried to introduce the development of a romantic relationship with some success. I'm eager to see how GTA V will handle a character who is a parent, in part because the way that Rockstar's game handles the subject will influence how many other games do.

And, from the perspective of a movie fan, just think of all the Heat and Chinatown derived moments that will be in the game. Maybe we'll get a good Sunset Boulevard moment, too.

Oh, and the music in the trailer is the opening title cut from The Small Faces 1968 concept album 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake.' Here's a good TV appearance which, in true '60s TV style, features the band miming a performance of the song.