The first trailer for "Grand Theft Auto VI" has hit YouTube in a surprise, ahead-of-schedule post, promising a 2025 release for the latest installment in the mega-popular video game franchise.
True to rumours, the video game will be set in fictional Vice City, reminiscent of Miami, and appears to feature the first playable female character in the franchise.
The early release of the trailer on Monday, prompted by a leak online, came on the eve of Tuesday's scheduled first glimpse for GTA VI and zoomed to almost 40 million views on YouTube in just over six hours.
"Our trailer has leaked so please watch the real thing," Rockstar Games, the company behind GTA, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
"I feel like this GTA will lean much more into the absurdity of America, much more than GTA V did," wrote a member of a Reddit forum devoted to spotting references in the trailer. "Oh absolutely," replied another member of the forum.
"Florida is the #1 craziest place in America, a place where you can get an AR-15 (assault rifle) and a free turkey with a roofing service. I'm so hyped."
Set to the Tom Petty song "Love Is A Long Road," the GTA VI trailer opens with a female character named Lucia being released from prison in what appears to be Florida.
In one scene, an alligator walks in through the front doors of a corner store. In another, a woman in a bathing suit is twerking on the roof of a moving car.
There are also flashes of the usual GTA themes: police raids, car crashes, arrests, and illegal car stunt gatherings referred to as "sideshows" in the real world.
"Grand Theft Auto VI continues our efforts to push the limits of what's possible in highly immersive, story-driven open-world experiences," Rockstar founder Sam Houser said in a statement. (AFP)