Rockstar made a big splash in showing off their debut trailer for the latest GTA game, simply entitled: Grand Theft Auto V. After the countdown timer ticked its final tock yesterday, everyone was free to catch a glimpse of auto theft at its grandest:

Remarkably, there wasn’t much violence in this trailer. For a game franchise that exemplifies mayhem and carnage doled out generously by the player, this was almost laid back! Very few guns, no murders or beatings, not even a good old-fashioned car-jacking or hit-and-run.

I wouldn’t say that this is GTA getting soft in its old age, it’s probably just the case that Rockstar wanted to show off the detail of some visually stunning in-game footage before letting rip with the big guns. The variety of settings and vehicles is expansive, suggesting that GTA V will be the most expansive open world of the series.

Perhaps the lack of “all kinds of crazy shit being blown up” is also a tactical bid from Rockstar to further distance themselves from their major rival in sandbox crime shenanigans: Saints Row. If THQ/Volition Inc’s Saints Row: The Third is going to be all out crazy destruction, perhaps Rockstar want to concentrate more on making a character-driven gritty gaming experience, rather than compete directly against the Saints for mayhem points.

Adding to the stark grittiness of GTA V, there’s a chance that things might get a little political, as the trailer makes continual references to the current economic recession. There are homeless people gathering under overpasses, homes for sale and businesses closing down. GTA’s setting may not be the real America, but it seems to have inherited real American problems.

There’s also an absolute ton of detail crammed into this trailer, Kotaku has been good enough to catalog all the cool little extras that eagle-eyed viewers have spotted.

There’s been no confirmation yet on who the game’s protagonist will be. For some reason, every gaming site on the internet has felt it necessary to report that Goodfellas star and Vice City voice actor Ray Liotta wasn’t the trailer’s narrator, even though anyone with one or both working ears could have figured that out for themselves!

Don’t expect to see GTA V on the shelves any time soon as there’s been no official release date from Rockstar. Still, this was a pretty impressive first look at what they’re cooking up.

Let’s just hope that this title doesn’t contain any annoying cousins or family relations whose sole purpose is to badger the hell out of you for a nice, long game of bowling.