"Grand Theft Auto IV" Trailer II — Action, Adventure, Mouths Moving, And The Use of Opposable Thumbs

Above is the second trailer for "Grand Theft Auto IV." The first trailer was released in late March and just about crushed the web servers of Rockstar Games and several major gaming sites.

There were big questions that first time out. 1) Which city or cities will this game be in? 2) Who is the main character? 3) Are there any absurdly difficult missions that require you to fly model airplanes? ("San Andreas" players, you know what I'm talking about)

The answers then: 1) Liberty City. 2) Eastern-European immigrant Niko Belic. 3) Who knows?

Today's trailer raises few new questions, but provides a better view of what the game will look like to play than the first. We're still not seeing the game played from the behind-the-character's-back perspective, but we can see the character animation, the level of detail in the faces, and we can see opposable thumbs (used by Nico to hold his cellphone), a "GTA" series breakthrough if ever there was one.

Niko is shown capable of hanging from helicopters and the backs of trucks. But these glimpses are all all of cinematic scenes using the game's graphics engine. There's no sign that an actual controller is driving the actions in the trailer.

What will Rockstar actually let gamers do with Niko, and how is that going to be different from previous "Grand Theft Auto" games? I guess we have to wait for the next trailer.

Now if you're under 17 and your parent(s) doesn't approve of you playing "GTA" games, trust me that I'll be blogging about plenty of other games to get excited about. And, no, that's not a promise for more "Manhunt 2" coverage.