Seen the Grand Theft Auto IV trailer yet? If not, and Gamevideos is being brought to its knees by traffic, you can watch a Standard Def version here and an HD version here. Here's what some of our editors had to say about Rockstar's next GTA game.
Dan "Shoe" Hsu, EIC, Electronic Gaming Monthly
Goodbye cartoony worlds and boxy people! Finally...a GTA where the technology (specifically: graphics) is as ambitious as the game itself. This chapter's vibe seems a bit on the serious side, though, what with our grim hero/antihero, music, and setting... But then the "America's Top Hooker" billboard reminds me this is still good ol' Grand Theft Auto.
Andrew Pfister: 1UP Reviews Editor
With next-gen power, there were two routes available to the GTA team after the exhaustingly expansive playground that was San Andreas. They could either make the next game even bigger, stretching out the GTA concept across an entire "country," or they could go back to the beginning and pour every available development and design resource into the life of just one, massive city. It's fun to think about the former, but the latter option is far more logical.
Go back just a mere three years and look at Spider-Man 2 -- the physical scope of that virtual New York was impressive at the time, but there was so little to do when you weren't swinging through the city. Look at this year's Crackdown, which was a giant leap beyond that graphically, but still boiled down to "blowing stuff up and shooting dudes" (as fun as that was). Now look at this trailer, and imagine Rockstar's signature storytelling, characters and mission variety all laser-focused on a reimagined and revitalized Liberty City.
Serious questions about actual game mechanics remain (hopefully it won't be the same old missions and spotty gun targeting), but it's certainly an exciting start.
Jeremy Parish: 1UP Features Editor
Well, that's pretty much completely what I expected -- a fly-by of the city, some music, and not a damn jot of gameplay info. Looks pretty nice, though, in a bleakly realistic way. And I do have appreciate their classing it up by riffing on Koyaanisquatsi instead of just recycling Flock of Seagulls (or whatever pop fluff comes up next on their Billboard Hall of Fame CD collection).
Brooks Huber: EGM Editorial Intern
Very impressed with the overall structure and modeling. New York, Liberty City, "That East Coast City..." whatever you want to call it looks remarkably accurate; you won't need to go to New York anymore to visit, looks like you could just play/watch IV instead. I especially like the water effects in the last few seconds of the clip -- hopefully you'll be able to take a drink (scuba gear would be cool Rockstar). Oh, on my third viewing I scanned the sky for any traces of aircraft (helicopter, airplane, etc.) but there was nothing. Of course this doesn't tell us that flying is out of the question, but I can't help but feel that it might not be implemented. Prove me wrong, Rockstar.
Demian Linn: Gamevideos Managing Video Producer
GRAPHIXX. Finally a GTA game that, thanks to 360/PS3 processing power, can ditch the cartoony look and go for grit. What's going on with that (I assume) main character, though? Russian mafia? Another plus: I'm finally going to learn my way around New York City. Could this game train a generation of NYC cabbies?
Ryan Scott Reviews Editor, Games for Windows
Wow, a bunch of pretty-looking city shots and a voiceover by a career criminal. Stop the presses for this important and totally unexpected revelation! Seriously, though, I imagine this will be a lot like the GTA games for PS2, except -- obviously -- better looking. Kinda like...I dunno, every single next-gen franchise installment ever?
Luke Smith: 1UP News Jerk
The good: It's exactly what you'd expect a Gen Now GTA game to look like. Liberty City appears present-day; no hokey-mobster 20s fantasy will play out in IV. The protagonist is foreign, he's "smuggled" and "killed" -- he's looking for a fresh start and hoping Liberty City is where he'll find it. The bad: It's exactly what you'd expect a Gen Now GTA game to look like. With the series branding moving toward the "IV," ID, I hope that we're going to see things shift in a pretty radical direction -- if so, now probably isn't the time for Rockstar to reveal that change.
Jeff Green: GFW EIC
My first impression would be (without having seen it yet):
Is this what it's come to? That we're posting impressions of what is essentially a commercial? Whether it's good or bad, aren't we just adding an extra layer of hype to what is strictly a moment of hype as it is? Rockstar's gotta be wringing their hands with glee to see the press falling over ourselves to do their PR for them. Bah.
Now that I've seen the trailer, though, nice Koyaanisqatsi reference
Scott Sharkey: 1UP Staff Writer
Well, we can stop with the "what decade will it be" crap, at least. If it wasn't too obviously contemporary the "Who Will Be America's Next Top Hooker" sign nails it down to damn near present day, while at the same time reassuring us that the series signature "humor" will remain intact.
Also, I can't say for sure, but those environments don't much look like they're going to be destructible. All my little dreams, crushed like a prostitute's skull.
But hey, I think I saw a subway in there somewhere. Maybe they actually put together a New York underground, complete with abandoned-subway-cocktail-parties for people who should know better. I'd like that.
Greg Ford: EGM Reviews Editor
While I'm a little disappointed -- wish it were longer and showed actual gameplay -- what's there impresses. The level of detail is sick: Did you notice the driver fixing his rear-view mirror or all the signs in Liberty City's Times Square (or even that fact that this is Liberty City)? But given the character with a sketchy past and the fact that the game appears to be focusing on one hyperdetailed city, seems like Rockstar is focusing on story more than ever before. That's cool and all ... now I want to know how this bad boy plays.