Grand Theft Auto V trailer is revealed by Rockstar

Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V moves the action to the United States' west coast

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Rockstar Games has revealed the fifth generation of its Grand Theft Auto series will be set in a city based on Los Angeles.

The developer released a trailer revealing just over one minute's worth of footage.

It features masked gunmen, car chases, an exploding car and prostitutes.

Grand Theft Auto IV sold 926,000 copies in the UK alone in its first week. However, it attracted criticism because of its violence and other content.

Rumours about the new title were widely covered by gaming websites before Rockstar offered confirmation of its existence last week.

Previous iterations have only been released after updates to the major videogames consoles. There had been speculation the firm would wait until Sony and Microsoft released updates to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Although Rockstar has not revealed the release date, it is thought this latest version will run on the current hardware.

However, experts note these types of teaser trailers can appear more than a year before a game's release.

Criminals

The trailer's voice-over suggests the main character is a retired criminal who has moved to the city to enjoy its warmer climate, golf courses and beaches. He says he wants to become "a good guy" and to raise his family.

But later scenes show the more seamy side of the area including tequila bars, homeless people, and a provocatively dressed woman propositioning a motorist.

There is also a hint at some of the criminal schemes the player can become involved in. They include boiler suit clad thieves raiding a jewellery store, and police officers pursuing a tattooed man.

A still from Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar take liberties with some of Los Angeles' most famous landmarks

Based on what he had seen, one analyst said it could be the first title in the series to generate over $1bn (£627m) in sales.

"It's a combination of the criminal setting with the open world gameplay experience that makes these titles sell so well," said Piers Harding Rolls, head of games at IHS Screen Digest.

"Inevitably it will have a controversial edge because of what you will have to do to make progress, but the overriding experience in previous titles has been one of great entertainment."

Violence

Thailand banned Rockstar's previous title after it was linked to a taxi driver's murder.

The US lobby group Mothers Against Drunk Driving also criticised the game for allowing players to drive a car while their character was intoxicated.

However, that did not stop the title from shipping more than 22 million copies worldwide, not including add on content.

Take-Two says the whole franchise has shipped more than 114 million units to date.

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