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GTA 6 trailer shows how much Rockstar is "pushing the limits" of current hardware, says former GTA 5 animator

“When you play this game, it’s really gonna look like this.”

A sign saying VIce in the GTA 6 trailer.
Image credit: VG247/Rockstar Games

If you’ve spent the past day or so watching GTA 6’s first trailer over and over again, you might want to check out this breakdown of it from an ex-Rockstar developer.

Animator Mike York, who worked on both GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 during a near 6 year stint at Rockstar New England, now has a YouTube channel called York Reacts. As you might expect, the latest thing he’s reacted to is GTA 6’s first trailer, offering some interesting perspective on it.

Watch on YouTube

First of all, after giving the trailer an initial just watch to take in the magic, York shares a bit of a glimpse into what it feels like to work on a GTA games as a developer. “When I worked on [GTA 5], I knew that it was going to be something special,” he says. “As you’re working on the game and working on different cutscenes at in-game scenes as an animator, you can just kinda get a feel for it. Everyone [else] doesn’t know yet that the game is going to be so cool, and that’s how they are feeling right now over there at Rockstar.”

York then goes back through the trailer almost frame-by-frame, picking out certain details to discuss. A lot of what the developer points out are details that he thinks demonstrate how much Rockstar’s developers will be “[pushing] the [current] consoles and the hardware to the limits with their level of detail”.

“I’m really impressed with how far they’re bringing the graphics for an in-game kind of version of this,” York says at one point, continuing: “a lot of times you see [cinematics used], this is not that, when you play this game, it’s really gonna look like this.” One example the developer cites of this is the bikini-clad NPC shown partway through the trailer, who, assuming they’re not a main character, looks a lot more detailed than the background NPCs of older Rockstar titles.

York also sheds some light on what goes into the “hundreds of thousands of animations” required for a game like GTA 6, saying: “You never know what the character or the player is gonna be doing [in the game] you have to kind of accommodate the player with all of these separate animations.” He also emphasises how much the range of different animations and models for different NPCs on display all go into making the game’s world feel unique and alive.

If you’re craving more GTA 6, make sure to check out all of our in-depth coverage of the trailer itself and the reaction to it. Also, just because we can, here it is with added farts.

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In this article

Grand Theft Auto 6

PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Grand Theft Auto V

Video Game

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Red Dead Redemption 2

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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About the Author
Mark Warren avatar

Mark Warren

Senior Staff Writer

With 2 years' games media experience, Mark (he/him) has seen more mods for Bethesda games than any person ever should. You can often find him enjoying an RPG, getting too invested in Madden’s terrifying franchise mode, or crashing expensive virtual cars into things.