In March, the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV debuted. Clocking in at just over a minute, the preview provided an eager gaming public with its first look at the forthcoming Rockstar Games title, which is the first complete overhaul in the now-storied series since 2001's Grand Theft Auto III. That title introduced free-roaming gaming--and widespread controversy--into the game industry, and spawned a pair of sequels: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), two of the best-selling games of all time.
The first GTA IV trailer was titled "Things Will Be Different," and showed an in-game-engine video montage of the new Liberty City, which is directly modeled on New York City. Its contemplative tone, aided by a Phillip Glass anthem from the art house documentary Koyaanisqatsi, raised the possibility that the forthcoming sequel might not feature quite the same level of ultraviolent criminal activity as its predecessors.
However, the (faint) possibility of a nonviolent GTA IV was shattered today, when Rockstar released the second trailer for the game. Titled "Looking for that Special Someone," the preview shatters any notion that Nikko Bellic, the game's Eastern European protagonist, will be a pacifist. Although Rockstar has given the impression that Bellic will be a reluctant criminal--much like San Andreas protagonist C.J.--the trailer shows that he will indulge in the automatic weapons-aided shootouts that have become the franchise's hallmark.
With the Shy Child remix of "Arm in Arm" from NYC-based indie band the The Boggs playing in the background, the trailer begins with Bellic driving a classic "Stallion" muscle car over a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, called the Broker Bridge in the game. It then shows a montage of him arguing with various criminal types while searching for an unnamed individual. The arguments are intercut with various shots of Bellic walking the streets of Liberty City, with landmarks based on real-life NYC locales, such as the Empire State Building appearing in the background.
The trailer also contains some details about the game's story. It shows an unidentified blond woman urging Bellic for "No more killing," a SWAT team surrounding a bank, and several car chases with the police. Also on display is the first video evidence that the game will feature motorcycles and helicopters, and sports numerous clips from building interiors--indicating GTA IV may have as much activity inside buildings as outside.
Grand Theft Auto IV will ship for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in North America on October 16 and in Europe on October 19. GameSpot's previous coverage has more details on the game.