Are Rockstar the HBO of Gaming? New GTA V Character Trailers Say HELL YES

Yesterday Rockstar released three new character trailers, each featuring one of the protagonists in their highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V, due to be released this September. Check out the trailers below:

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The three trailers are for Michael, Franklin and Trevor – three wildly different characters with different stories that will no doubt overlap as the game gets more and more crazy. Rockstar have always lived up to their names in the gaming scene, they are the huge, famous (and infamous) Goliath that do what they want and don’t care about what anyone else says. Their games sell huge numbers and are renowned world wide, even if it is for picking up strippers then running them over.

The more I see of GTA V, the more it makes me think of a Goliath in another media, television. HBO has long drawn not only huge critical acclaim but masses have flocked to watch it’s shows. The most recent runaway success has been Game of Thrones, the premier of this current season broke records for highest number of viewers, but Dragons and Wights are not what you think of when you think GTA. Instead you think back to HBO’s first major critical and commercial success in 1999, The Sopranos.

HBO is one of the US’s largest premium channels and when watching it, you are well aware that this is premium stuff, a mile above most of it’s competitors. The lack of advertisements on the network allow the shows to explore the more controversial aspects of it’s programs without the fear of alienating investors, allowing them to show graphic violence, sex and profanity. Sound like GTA to anyone?

They became synonymous with quality, classy programs that pulled no punches but always delivered. Rockstar on the other hand, were busy making Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire and Manhunt. They have been at the forefront of creating brilliant worlds filled with captivating characters and a narrative kick on top. I think the comparisons are easy to draw.

Taking a closer look at the three new trailers – Michael is clearly Tony Soprano. Torn between the desire for a harmonious family life and the thrill of his other life, his therapist suggests he is addicted to chaos. Even having two bratty kids puts him right into Tony Soprano’s shoes. So far, Michael’s character is looking the most interesting for me, but who knows, that could just be because I love me some Queen.

Franklin, if looked at from a HBO perspective, would have to be from The Wire. A kid who grew up among gangs, violence, drugs and strippers but looking for a better way out is all to reminiscent of D’Angelo Barksdale. However, that’s where the similarities look to end. Franklin’s sections certainly look most typically like a GTA game and I don’t remember D’Angelo ever using a sniper rifle in a heist…

Lastly is Trevor. I have to admit, when I look at him I don’t think HBO. I think holy shit Jack Nicholson is in a video game! Maybe with a little bit of T-Bag from Prison Break thrown in for the trailer park aspect. This guy looks balls to the walls crazy, and where would a GTA game be without a little crazy?

At the end of the day, both HBO and Rockstar have a reputation for providing these huge, bombastic, enthralling experiences that draw you in so you never want to leave. The budgets are huge, the casts are phenomenal and the results pay off for an unmissable experience. Make sure you keep your calender free for September because whether you like it or not, you’ll be playing GTA V.