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GTA V: Great Trailer, But Where’s The Gameplay?

You’ve seen the new GTA V trailer, right? Of course you have. Still, here it is again anyway.

It looks all kinds of awesome, that we can’t deny. But for all its impressive moments and gorgeous presentation, Rockstar’s trailer is lacking one crucial thing for us – actual, hands-on gameplay. A couple of brief cuts look like they could, just about, possibly be cinematic shots of interactive moments, but for a game that claims to be radically shaking up its own formula, that’s simply not enough.

We get it, we really do – Rockstar has mad love for Hollywood (both in terms of emulating it and sending it up) so this cinema trailer approach is exactly what we expected to see. But after hearing about exciting new elements like the switchable main characters, we wanted to see that in action. Yes, it would have made the trailer look more like (shock horror) a videogame than an action flick. But it would also have given us a far better idea of how the game actually plays than the montage of good bits we actually got – a vignette of sequences that bookend story missions, tiny snippets of pseudo-gameplay and ‘Press A to do something impressive’ payoffs.

Other recent trailers have managed to show off a blend of gameplay and cinematics while remaining impressive and effective – Ni No Kuni’s playable sections look just as good as the Ghibli story scenes, for instance, while Metal Gear Rising’s lightning-fast gameplay actually sells the game better than its more pedestrian cut-scenes do. And GTA lends itself even better than these games (and most others) to selling itself by showing off the hands-on freedom that makes the franchise what it is.

As much as we respect and appreciate what Rockstar has done with this slick trailer, it’s absolutely nothing new. And that almost undermines the ambitious nature of the game itself. So let’s see some actual, impressive gameplay in the next trailer, yeah? Ta.

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