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The first trailer for the upcoming fifth installment in the world famous Grand Theft Auto series was released today at 4pm UK time, confirming exclusively the setting and vague storyline of the game.

I watched the trailer as soon as the clock passed the hour, and I must say I was mildly impressed… mildly. As many people had predicted, Grand Theft Auto V is set in San Andreas, the setting of the aptly-titled 2004 offering Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the best-selling game on PlayStation 2 ever. The trailer opens with a voiceover from (presumably) the player-character of GTA V asking “Why did I move here? I guess it was the weather”, and an image of a luscious beach at sunset. Instantly this led me to believe that the game was set in Vice City, and I was excited. With images of people running on what looked like the Sunset Strip, palm trees, golfing and speedboats, the evidence for a return to the incredible locations of GTA: Vice City began to pile up.

But then you see mountains, urban areas resembling Los Santos and a sign pointing towards Los Puerta, and your San Andreas sense begins to tingle. Skyscrapers, cornfields, jet planes and finally the famous sign for Vinewood confirm your suspicions: the brand new Grand Theft Auto game is set in the place the best Grand Theft Auto game was set. Here’s hoping that the whole of the world — Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas — is open to play, although I can’t say I saw any casinos in the trailer. Either way, it’s awesome news, although us British fans are still inevitably going to be upset that Rockstar appear to have neglected our poor old London.

The game looks pretty much exactly the same as Grand Theft Auto IV, which isn’t surprising or disappointing considering the incredible graphics and engine that game had, and it will be extremely interesting to relive the wonders of San Andreas in high-definition. As usual the story is pretty vague, but what we know so far is that the protagonist moved to San Andreas (or Los Santos, if it is so limited) in order to “escape it all”, but has ended up in a world of crime. You know, the usual. The oh-so-loved car chases, explosions and shootouts make a welcome return to the franchise, as well as a jet plane at the end of the trailer which hopefully is available to fly (one of the main early criticisms of GTA IV).

Overall, there’s not much we can really tell from the trailer, but what we do know is that Grand Theft Auto V is returning to San Andreas and looks pretty much the same as Grand Theft Auto IV. If the story is riveting enough, there are plenty of new features, and the world is as massive as before, Rockstar Games are onto another winner. Here’s hoping.

The trailer for Grand Theft Auto V is available for viewing on the Rockstar Games official website here.

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