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GTA IV Trailer - Ten things you didn't see

Feature: Blink and you would have missed them

The internet was grinded to a halt last night by the arrival of the first massive trailer of this year's biggest game, the legendary fourth instalment of Grand Theft Auto. Hit this link and download it now, in case you've just woken up.

After pushing our office hours to the very limit and wrestling with old Captain Bandwidth to get at the biggest video size possible, we've dissected to the GTA IV trailer thoroughly and picked out all of its little secrets you may have missed the first time around.

So magnifying glass in hand, here's what we've discovered...

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It's Liberty City!
Despite internet reports claiming otherwise, GTA IV is indeed set (at least partially) in Liberty City - or more likely Liberty State, the area beyond Liberty City. If you're still not convinced, you can see the words 'Liberty City' plastered on a docked tanker in the trailer, a ferry and of course there's also a glimpse of the 'LCPD' patrolling the GTA IV streets.

As you can see from the comparison screenshots at the bottom of the page, the layout of GTA IV's Liberty City seems to resemble we remember from the PS2 - though obviously there's a whole lot of extra detail washed onto the streets.

As for what's beyond the walls of the famous GTA III locale, the trailer confirms GTA versions of the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and a fun park including rollercoaster, which were all missing from the PS2 instalment.

The time setting
While there's already plenty of debate over what time setting the next game takes place in, there are plenty of cues in the trailer to suggest a modern day setting for GTA IV.

The vehicles in the trailer all look pretty 2007 to us - including a BMW look-a-like and a sports car that has a very post-2000 design. There are also plenty of advertisements plastered around Liberty City that also cropped-up in the 90s-set GTA III, including Burger Shot and Cluckin' Bell.

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Is that really the main Character?
The narrator in the trailer is a Russian character whose background seems to revolve around murder, smuggling and erm, selling people. The internet is already shouting from the electronic rooftops that this Eastern European chap will be the main protagonist in GTA IV, but really the trailer confirms nothing of the sort.

What it does confirms is that the story will somehow bring Eastern Europeans into the equations, which leads us to wonder what's happened to the Leone kingpins from GTA III.

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Hit the water
Multiple-viewings make the GTA IV trailer's emphasis on water-based travel even more apparent; there are shots of bridges, ferry ports, a dock and some of the prettiest water effects we've seen to date in a sandbox game.

A realistically floating buoy 16 seconds in seems to suggest dynamic water physics for the fourth instalment, and of course you can see the gorgeous refraction effects later on in the trailer. A spot of boating for GTA IV seems a near-cert then, but - for as much as we hope - we just can't see jet-skiing going down in the Liberty City harbour.

Cast Your RAGE
As has always been heavily assumed, the next GTA ditches Renderware to make use of the graphically-spectacular Table Tennis RAGE engine (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine).

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