The first GTA 6 trailer has arrived – and a little ahead of schedule thanks to a leaker trying to ruin Rockstar's long-awaited reveal.
Returning to Vice City, the latest in the crime drama sandbox shows off plenty of promise in its early stages, especially with a 2025 arrival date on the cards.
So we've watched this thing over and over to dig out what we like the most from Grand Theft Auto's tropical getaway, and what to expect when the game does finally arrive.
For a game series that so pointedly points a satirical lens at the Great American Experiment, no other state is as perfectly suited to be a stage as Florida. The original Vice City's '80s stylings made the game's version of Miami out to be the same sort of glamorous, drugrunners playground as police procedurals of the era did. But Florida has moved on from that image now, and is home to a new kind of mythical anti-hero: Floridaman.
GTA's biggest hurdle – beyond Rockstar's perfectionist approach to tech that saw them spending dev time simulating the effect of air temperature on your horse's gonads in Red Dead Redemption 2 – has always been its attempt to stay ahead of modern life. Satire has a shelf life, after all. But search any news site for "Florida man" and you'll be presented with an entire library of headlines that look like they're already straight out of the world of GTA. So what better way to inoculate yourself against missing the window on your funmaking than going to the place where the veil between crime fiction and reality is thinnest.
Plenty of the characters and scenarios spotted in the social media sizzlereel midway through GTA 6's first trailer show exactly the sort of Floridian exploits the denizens of Vice City should be getting up to. And we're excited to see bit-part players in the dual protagonist lovers' stories played out by characters similar to those in Trevor's adventures in GTA V's backcountry. This time out in the boonies and swampland of the Everglades.
The water tech has evidently been labored over for many times longer than horse balls, as those waves and sprays look phenomenal already. We look forward to getting out on all the types of water you'll find down Vice City way in a variety of boats; flat-bottomed fanboats for the swamps; souped up V12s for outrunning border patrol; a sailing yacht for when you've finally hit the big time after that one last score.
All that perfectionism on RDR2 has been paid forward it seems, with a wealth of animals in Vice City too. No, we're not talking about those creatures drinking CHAMPAGNE in a rooftop POOL (think of the yeast infections, friends!!!) we're talking about all the fun wildlife shown in the trailer. Gators, flamingos, a teeny tiny chihuahua that we want to carry around in a handbag. Clearly they won't all be necessary for crafting a new belt holster or whatever Arthur Morgan would be doing with them, but a birdwatching side mission would be nice. And maybe letting a gator loose in a pool party would be an efficient way of carrying out a hit. As long as it doesn't get drunk on all the alcohol in the water first.
Speaking of side missions, there's plenty of activities that aren't murder or liquor store robberies in the trailer, too. BikeLife has arrived on the East Coast with a gang of dirtbikes hooning through the streets, so you can bet there'll be races and missions for those hoodlums. There's also a drift meet at an intersection organized by the High Rollerz Lifestyle magazine, the Thrillbilly Mud Club (some kind of Tough Mudder competition/British summer music festival with monster trucks) and Make It Rain Mondays at the strip joint. A packed week for sure.
For a trailer that was packed with little details to unpick, one was ever-present throughout: how busy everything is. The crowd density is leagues above any of Rockstar's previous titles, and the variety of body sizes and shapes on show is akin to the streets of CDProjekt Red's Night City – with a roughly equivalent amount of synthetic parts. Outside of the packed beaches, the traffic on the roads, waterways and even the skies also looks bafflingly busy. Container ships, yachts and speedboats pass beneath a Key West bridge, while in the air above the beach in one shot there are 5 helicopters, a passenger jet and a light aircraft towing a banner for NINE T NINE, whatever that's a joke of. There's even a fully functioning port lifting crates off a tanker. Everything happens so much, all the time.
Obviously, part of constantly trying to stay ahead of modern times while lampooning them involves spoofing the ways we interact with our current world. So that TikTok/Instagram Reels section suggests the Life Invader and Bleeter of previous iterations have been thoroughly supplanted as the social media of the day. We can only imagine what terrible name this app will have, but seeing all the casual mayhem that gets posted to it in the trailer it could turn out to be a fun way of finding new missions or seeing story beats play out "in real time" while you're exploring elsewhere.