Rockstar teases GTA V protagonist

Rockstar has revealed some sparse details about our next anti-hero.

Grand Theft Auto V will begin the fifth era of the GTA franchise in quarter 2 of 2013. It will be the fifteenth game in the series, and we’ll get to see a fresh protagonist in a new city, just as with all the other main entries. This time the player will be dropped into modern Los Santos, a parody of Los Angeles.

While the upcoming second trailer for GTA V has been delayed until next week due to superstorm Sandy, Rockstar did put out an image depicting the character (at right), who has not yet been named, alongside the date we should expect the trailer to hit the web.

There is also the cover of next month’s Game Informer, which shows that character alongside two others, who remain unidentified, perhaps the characters who pull our protagonist back into a life of crime. Usually, the GTA protagonists have to start at the bottom of the pecking order in the city, and work their way up through the ranks of one or more organization.

The issue will feature a multi-page spread of images and information about the game, but until then, the only further information we get comes from an advance look at this week’s ShortList magazine. The character is an “East Coast gangster,” it says, simply.

Otherwise, all we know comes from the announcement trailer: The character is a career criminal who is trying to retire, but fails to go straight. This is not much different from past Grand Theft Auto games’ protagonists. Also like past games, the primary theme will be the need for cash, and the things that can be done for and around money.

Hopefully, the character will be well-defined, as the GTA games with stand-out characters have been the best of them, making the game more personal, relatable, and sympathetic. I know the story of Niko from GTA IV, it’s an important part of my culture now. I don’t even remember the name of the fairly generic protagonist from GTA III, and the protagonist from GTA III:SA is totally lost, since that one was a wildcard.

In some games, like the Elder Scrolls games, for example, I like open ended character generation because of how open and free the story is, but a game with a mostly linear story (despite the open world) should have a well-defined and developed protagonist.

We’ll have that second trailer soon, but for now we still have that announcement trailer from last year to pick apart:

Grand Theft Auto V will be out sometime in the late Spring or early Summer of 2013. Typical for Rockstar, we likely won’t have an exact date until about a month from release. No platform specifics have yet been announced, but I would expect to see it for all major systems within a few weeks of one another, if not simultaneously.