March 29, 2007 - With the debut of the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV trailer just moments ago (3pm Pacific Time), IGN editors from all over the office flocked to their desks to watch it (it's a good thing too, because the server immediately crashed). Collected below are the genuine first reactions from a myriad of different editors.
Jeremy Dunham, Editor in Chief, IGN PlayStation Team
It's good to see that the location is now a proper New York (or Liberty City, or whatever they're calling it). I was really impressed by the lighting and the level of detail in each of the buildings; the animations and activity shown by the passers-by was great too, and the new Jean Reno lead character certainly looks different from past protagonists. Of course, he's not really Jean Reno, but it definitely looks like him... only with a Russian accent. It's great to hear that everything shown in the trailer, according to Rockstar reps, is all in-game as well. I'm left highly impressed.
Click on the image to view the trailer.
Hilary Goldstein, Chief News and Features Editor, IGN .com
The problem with building month-long hype for a trailer is that each day leading up to the trailer grows fan expectation. There's no way the GTA IV trailer could give fans everything they wanted or reveal too much about the game. But I liked what I saw. Seeing a Liberty City revealed to look almost identical to NY (it fooled me!) with numerous identifiable landmarks, including the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal gave me a bit of a charge. It's about time Rockstar gave up on pussyfooting around the idea of real places, buckled down and gave us free reign in over as close to a representation of NYC as possible. What better place to debut a true GTA adventure than in the city that never sleeps (or its closest representation)?
The trailer showed a day/night cycle, some swanky next-gen graphics and revealed one character who apparently belongs to the Russian mob. If Rockstar uses real gangs, as Erik Brudvig suggested after seeing the trailer, GTA IV could be pretty brilliant. I expect nothing less than a full-scale New York City replica with functional subway system, a true blue Yankees-esque Stadium and lots of innocent pedestrians to endanger. Since the gameplay remains a hidden secret, I am still slightly apprehensive about falling in love with GTA IV. So far it looks fantastic -- but if Rockstar doesn't fix its controls and give me something more than what's come in past GTA games, I'll be disappointed. That said, following the trailer debut, GTA IV is definitely a game that is high on my wish list.
Chris Roper, Executive Editor, IGN PlayStation Team
I'm not exactly blown away by the trailer as it's basically what I expected, but I think it looks pretty good. First and foremost, I'm really glad that Rockstar used only in-game footage for the trailer rather than relying on logos, character drawings or whatever else. The engine looks pretty nice considering the scale of the game. The lighting looks great and the main character looks pretty sharp. The pedestrians aren't amazing by any means, but they certainly look much better than what we saw in previous games. The detail to the world looks really nice as well, so there should never be a boring sight in the game.
I did notice that the bridge that the character walks on near the end is fenced in - how many times are those bridges going to be under construction? Seriously though, everything looks really cool and the trailer has a great style to it. I really want to see some actual gameplay footage to see if the aiming mechanics have changed at all, but what we've gotten a glimpse of so far looks neat-o.
Jeff Haynes, Editor, IGN PlayStation Team
Personally, I like that GTA IV is going back to its roots with the return of the series to Liberty City. To see the realization of a fictionalized New York, with places like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty in very sharp detail is impressive, especially with less than seven months to go before it hits shelves. These are the visuals we were promised before the 360 and PS3 were released, and it's very nice to see Rockstar innovate on a new generation of systems. What's more, I can't help but wonder about the scope of the game, which was another thing that wasn't addressed in the teaser. Are we looking at covering the five boroughs, the Tri-State area, possibly even ranging over into some other states? Is the main character a variant from the movie The Professional (or Leon, if you know Luc Besson's original title)? Since Rockstar raised the bar so high with San Andreas, it'll be interesting to see just what we'll be able to do in the game, and how we'll do it.
That being said, however, I have to admit that the trailer raised a number of questions in my mind that makes me slightly hesitate about the game. For example, it was great to see the accelerated day/night cycles, as well as pedestrians and traffic on the streets. However, because the footage was so sped up, I can't help but worry if the game will grind to a halt as you start blowing up cars in the middle of rush hour traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge or demolishing the various hotels and commercial buildings in Times Square. As GTA fans know, the games are notorious for slowdown once things pop off. But even without knowing everything that I want to know, I will admit that the trailer definitely has me looking forward to Fall.
Jon Miller, Associate Editor, IGN Xbox Team
The time has been ticking away on my screen for hours now. I'm 27 years old but I haven't felt this kind of anticipation in a while. It feels like Christmas morning and Grand Theft Auto IV is one hell of a present. First off, wow. This trailer isn't some logo twisting around with epic music blaring in the background. Here's what we know: it's in New York. There are boats. There are cars. There are people. There are Russian people. There are Russian accents. My opinion? I love that they went big and recreated the Big Apple. With a real city, I'm thinking this game is going to be a lot more "real." Think "Batman Begins" versus "Batman and Robin." Gritty. Less rocket launcher, more concealed weapon. I just hope A-Rod is included so I can lock him and his purple lips in a seedy night-club broom closet somewhere in the Bronx. But seriously, did we have to go with this Russian guy? Why not a New York kid trying to make it big, ala "Goodfellas?" What can I say, I love America. Then again, this may hint that the world of GTA IV is bigger than just New York... GTA Moscow anyone?