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Recession Comes to San Andreas. Is Occupy Los Santos Soon to Follow?

The very first trailer (embedded after the break) for Grand Theft Auto V released today at noon, Eastern . . . about three hours ago. If all goes according to the series’ established schedule, then there will be a total of three more trailers (two story trailers, and one box art unveiling) before release, and we’ll be playing this masterpiece in six months (sometime in May 2012) . . . at least on console, but the video looks like it was taken from PC; there are a lot of effects there, that consoles do not handle very well. So possibly we’ll see GTAV on PC as well next spring, and not have to wait until next October/November to see it. We’ll see. And while May 2nd looks like a tentative date, if you want to place the release date exactly six months from today (and the 2nd of May, does fall on a Tuesday), if recent tradition at Rockstar is to be trusted, then it very well could be May 15, or May 22 (both also on a Tuesday). Either date, if you are a GTA fan, you are going to be playing this game in six months, so start saving your pre-order pennies now.

Looking over the trailer, is it me, or has the recent recession and economic crisis finally come to the great city of Los Santos? Things certainly are looking grim for much of the citizens of San Andreas, that is for sure. And nothing makes a great backdrop for a crime drama, than the desperation that comes when the world has been so turned upside down, that even the most affluent of the middle-class who followed all the rules their entire lives, wake up one day with no job, no home, his entire world, and the entire world of his family has been thrown into complete chaos, through no fault of his own, and no chance of getting either back anytime in the foreseeable future. That’s the kind of hopelessness, that has been known to turn men into things they never realized they could be. Man get’s desperate, man does desperate things to survive. Now throw in a handful of career criminals, who chose the exact wrong time in history to attempt to turn their lives around into something straight laced, and . . . well this is not going to be a very nice story, now is it. May even wind up making Niko Bellic’s story look like some light reading on a sunny day in Middle Park. Fans of the classic GTA series, for is throw all your cares to the wind, over-the-top cavalier attitude towards crime and life’s hardships, are likely going to hate this game more than they hated GTA IV.

Then there is the matter of recent rumors surfacing of multiple protagonists featured in the game. Sounds like the kinds of gritty noir anthology novels that used to come out in the 1950s to me. Perhaps Rockstar has gone from L.A. Noire, to LS Noir. Anyone has ever read David Lapham’s Stray Bullets, you are already realizing the possibilities here. Just read the first fourteen issues. By the time you get that far, your mind will be sufficiently blown in understanding the possibilities that multiple protagonists can have for gritty pulp noir crime thriller. And looking over the trailer, you can definitely make out two and possibly three potential protagonists for GTA V. So what started out as an experiment with The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony, seems to be getting turned into a full blown experience out the gate. And while the GTA IV trilogy was a bit ham-fisted experiment at this sort of thing, Rockstar is not known for not learning from their past mistakes. If they craft GTA V‘s multiple narrative anything like Stray Bullets, then prepare to see a plot with more layers and subtext to it than The Matrix . . . prepare to be just as shocked by the game’s denouement as you were the very first time you watched The Sixth Sense. The potential is most certainly there, so let’s see where they take it, and what they do with it.


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