Grand Theft Auto 5 trailer hits Web

The first Grand Theft Auto 5 trailer has arrived. Is GTA headed back to the West Coast? 

Screen grab
Grand Theft Auto 5 is likely to hit shelves in 2012. But the first GTA 5 trailer is already live. Here, a still from the trailer.

On Wednesday, Rockstar published the first official trailer for Grand Theft Auto 5, the follow-up to the 2008 smash hit Grand Theft Auto 4. According to a recent report from Gamasutra, publisher Take-Two has sold an astonishing 114 million Grand Theft Auto games since the series debuted, in 1997. Grand Theft Auto 5 should hoist those sales figures considerably higher. So how does the new game look? 

Well, by GTA standards, this trailer is pretty tame. It opens in a sun-splashed coastal city, where runners jug down a boardwalk, a couple strolls along a beach, and a pair of women practice yoga on their back porch. At first, we are a long way from the blood-splattered, high-octane hijinks that made GTA such a controversial franchise. But after a minute or so of scenery, the obligatory action arrives – a heist in progress, the fiery wreck of a car, a helicopter chase. We can safely assume GTA 5 will keep the series's Mature rating.

So what does the GTA 5 trailer tell us about the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series? Well, for one, it seems to confirm an earlier report, from the team at Kotaku, that GTA will be set in a heavily-modified, alternate-world version of Los Angeles. (In that same report, Kotaku's Stephen Totilo predicted that GTA 5 "will feature more than just one playable character.") 

Meanwhile, in an exhaustive analysis at CVG, Tamoor Hussain speculates that everything in the trailer, down to the digital signage, could be of great import. "During a panning shot we can see two small signs for 'Muscle Sands' and 'Pump Buddy', which may be an indication that players will be able to pump iron like they did in the original San Andreas," Hussain writes. "Of course this would also mean that other customization features such as gaining weight could return."

At the Guardian, Keith Stuart spots a Hollywood-style "Vinewood" sign – which appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – and suggests that RockStar could be planning some sort of call-back to the environments of yore. And as for new vehicles, well, "the private jet scorching through at the end hints that we'll be able to pilot aircraft again," Stuart writes

Planes, trains, automobiles! Well, maybe not the trains. What are you looking for in the next GTA? Drop us a line in the comments section below. 

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