Squint at the Grand Theft Auto V trailer closely and you might pick up some interesting details. We did.
Flip through a gallery of stills from the trailer to see what we spotted.
Near the start of the trailer we see a dog on a beach. If this trailer is running on the graphics tech that runs the game—and it would be against Rockstar's style if it didn't—then we can assume there will be animals in the new game. Dogs, at least. There were pigeons in GTA IV, but otherwise the games have had few animals (I can't remember any). The dog could just be a part of a cut-scene, but if we have hounds running around in this game think of the possibilities. Police dogs. Pet dogs.
There are many blimps in this trailer. Or maybe it's the same blimp lurking over the city. Whatever the case, there's a blimp. And if it's up there, then maybe we're going to get up there, too.
GTA IV was, relatively speaking, less outrageous than most other GTA games. If you're wondering how shocking they might be with this game—if they're turning that dial back up—do note that the Jet-Ski here is called the SpeedoPhile 2000. Rhymes with Pedophile 2000?
The Great Outdoors
GTA IV took place in the city. And only in the city. This trailer has people mountain-climbing, a sign that we could be heading beyond to the great outdoors. The last time Rockstar set a GTA in California in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, they let players climb mountains, ride through deserts and run through forests, so a rural component would fit.
The soda called eCola. It's Deliciously Infectious! It was also in Grand Theft Auto IV, which suggests that we're in the same GTA-verse where Niko Bellic and the other stars of Rockstar's latest GTA efforts were set.
Here we've got Interstate 5, which is a real highway that connects Los Angeles to San Francisco in real life (and goes all the way down to Mexico). It's also called the Los Puerta Freeway, but is it a sign here of how far we can drive in this game?
Weights and Places
There are two things to think about in this shot. The Muscle Sands sign is one of several references in the trailer to Los Santos, the fictionalized name for Los Angeles first used in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' riff on L.A. It's safe to assume GTA V's L.A. bears the same name.
As for the weights... San Andreas let players get fat or bulk up, morphing their hero's physique as they saw fit. No such option was offered in GTA IV. Could that feature be back?
Going out of Business
The 70%-off sign on the left is one of many references in this trailer to the economy in GTA V's L.A. being in the dumps. It looks like we've got a game about the recession, folks, the state of modern America that most major video game creators have ignored.
Man in Suit
Is this our hero? Or one of our playable protagonists in GTA V. The new trailer did nothing to confirm or refute our reporting last week that the game will feature multiple playable leads, but it does imply that this guy is someone we'll play as, just due to how close we're getting to him. Some people think this is Tommy Vercetti, lead character of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. (They also think that the voice actor speaking over this trailer is Ray Liotta, who voiced Vercetti. We're not so sure.)
Working the Fields
We've got a plane in this shot. We didn't get planes at all in GTA IV, to many long-time fans' dismay. Could we fly a crop-duster? Maybe. What's more provocative is the idea that this game will somehow reference the work of immigrant labor, which is what we appear to see here. Imagine if we could play as one of them in this game... and if they were an illegal immigrant? But that's just speculation.
There aren't many guns in this trailer. Not much violence either. But here's one shot. Plus, we have another Los Santos reference.
Check out the license plate. It's blurry, but it sure looks like it says "San Andreas", the name used in GTA: San Andreas to refer to a fictional U.S. state that included parts of California and Nevada, including fictional versions of L.A., San Francisco and Las Vegas.
"San Andreas", Take Two
Our second license plate that appears to include the words "San Andreas".
This truck, for Up-N-Atom Burger, is a joke reference to legendary California burger chain In-N-Out Burger. (Their logo looks similar.)
Poor guys living under an overpass. Another sign of recession?
Check out those Tires
If this trailer is running in-game footage (and, again, that's Rockstar's standard approach but not one they've confirmed yet for this one), then check out the detail on those tires.
Another sign of a bad economy. House in Los Santos are being foreclosed on. Even in GTA, the housing market seems to suck.
Female prostitutes appear to be back, which is no surprise, given their inclusion in most GTA games.
Getting the picture yet? The economy in this game is bad, bad, bad.
The trailer has a crop-duster. It has a private jet. And it also has this: a military fighter jet. If planes aren't returning to the series in GTA V, Rockstar is going to have a lot of disappointed fans. They've literally set expectations high.
Can't have a GTA without cops and cop chases. In this one, we have cops and a helicopter hounding a guy who runs down an alley.
Why, that's the Hollywood of GTA lore. We're not in L.A. in this game. We're in Rockstar's playground.