Grand Theft Auto VI, like its protagonist Lucia, keeps finding itself in an awkward spot because of “Bad luck, I guess.”
The trailer for Rockstar Games heavily, mightily, impossibly anticipated sequel in its record-breaking series landed on YouTube Monday evening, earlier than its previously published Tuesday morning release. That’s because a pop-up, quickly suspended X (formerly Twitter) account posted it early, and Rockstar rushed to get its official version out, ending with a “Coming 2025” notice.
It’s a mishap far smaller in scale than most leaks, but it’s notable for Rockstar, which typically lets out very little about its games beyond official trailers. GTA VI had nearly an hour of early gameplay and testing footage leak out in early September 2022, following a network intrusion. A teenager in the UK was arrested on charges related to the leak quickly after Rockstar confirmed its veracity. TikTok videos have also recently surfaced, with computer monitors showing off images of the game’s setting, according to The Verge.
The trailer, in less than 90 seconds of entirely pre-rendered, cutscene-style images, confirms a few things suggested by the leaked footage. The setting is once again Vice City, the series’ fictionalized Miami. The protagonists are indeed a Bonne-and-Clyde-type duo, which includes the first female protagonist in the series. And Rockstar’s dim, satire-soaked view of American culture, filtered through the lens of one of its most iconic cities, seems to be entirely intact.
How this is handled in the narrative and side quests can’t be gleaned just yet. But there are a lot of bikinis, a man tangling with an alligator using a pool skimmer, and Instagram/TikTok-style videos celebrating the kinds of things that become popular on those platforms.
If you don’t have 90 seconds to spare or the right screen for the job, allow me to offer a non-exhaustive list of things in the trailer for you:
- The protagonist, Lucia, in prison, being asked why she was there, and responding with the line, “Bad luck, I guess.”
- Lots of tall buildings, beaches, and palm trees
- Tom Petty’s “Love Is a Long Road”
- Flamingos and fan boats, hinting at Key West and Everglades locations
- A woman in evening wear flailing rhapsodically above a convertible
- An obligatory strip club, with a banner advertising “Make it Rain Mondays”
- A re-creation of an Ocean Drive, complete with brightly colored Cadillacs and heavy neon
- An alligator entering a convenience store through the automatic doors
- A man in a Speedo running from the cops
- A man in a Speedo watering his garden
- A mugshot of a man covered in facial tattoos, broadcast on Spanish-language TV
- A clip from “Weazel News” noting that “Dirt-Bike Dirt-Bags” continue to terrorize Vice City
- Lucia and her partner in romance and crime, doing a stick-up and peeling out in a non-IP-infringing Dodge Charger.
GTA VI is the first major Rockstar title that will be produced without Dan Houser at the lead. Houser left the company in 2020 after being a lead writer and major force in nearly all of the studio’s games for two decades. Houser is noted as having shaped the tone and style of Rockstar’s games throughout its long, steady ascent.
This post was updated at 7:25 pm ET on December 4 with details of the trailer’s content and a note about Dan Houser’s departure.