11/02/2011 03:33 pm ET | Updated Jan 02, 2012

Grand Theft Auto V Trailer Hits The Internet (VIDEO)

Gamers from Vice City to San Andreas are rejoicing.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rockstar Games released a trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, giving video game fans their first taste of the hotly anticipated new title -- though its release date is still unknown.

As had been predicted, Grand Theft Auto V swaps Liberty City, the gritty, faux-New York setting of GTA IV, for San Andreas, a thinly fictionalized California backdrop that has been used by GTA before.

The trailer shows an impressively rendered version of a Los Angeles-like city (Los Santos), complete with a verdant golf course, a Santa Monica-like boardwalk, and plenty of winking cultural references, as a grizzled-sounding man explains why he found himself in San Andreas.

"Why did I move here? I guess it was the weather," the narrator begins. "I wanted to retire from what I was doing, from that...that line of work. Be a good guy for once. A family man."

As fans of the GTA franchise can surmise, things don't quite go according to plan, and the end of the trailer gives a glimpse at some of the unbridled criminality players can expect.

Early reaction to the trailer was downright giddy. TechCrunch called it "spectacular", while Lane Brown at Grantland commanded readers: "Hot crap, look at this thing!"

The Grand Theft Auto franchise was born in 1997, but really hit its stride with Grand Theft Auto III, its first 3-D iteration, in 2001. Along with the meticulous design, GTA has became famous for its seedier elements. In past versions of the game, players have been able to patronize and abuse prostitutes, for instance. Grand Theft Auto IV won widespread critical acclaim and broke a multitude of sales records upon its release in 2008; it has now sold a reported 22 million copies.