The recently released GTA 6 trailer features Tom Petty’s 1989 anthem “Love is a Long Road” as its underscore. This song choice offers insights into Rockstar’s new game and what players can expect. Petty was undeniably at the height of his power in 1989, and this could be how Rockstar views itself in 2023. However, there is more to this song choice than meets the eye.
Petty’s 1989 debut album, “Full Moon Fever,” marked his first venture into going solo. This solo endeavor coincided with “Love is a Long Road,” suggesting that Rockstar may be signaling a desire to shake things up after the long-running success of GTA 5. This longing for change is mirrored in the lyrics of the song, which we will explore further.
The use of an 80s rock anthem evokes a sense of nostalgia, transporting players back in time to the original Vice City games set in 1984 and 1986. This deliberate choice not only appeals to fans’ fond memories of the past but also sets the tone for the game’s setting in sun-drenched highways. It’s a perfect fit for a game that will likely involve a lot of cruising down these roads.
As we delve into the lyrics of “Love is a Long Road,” we can draw parallels to the mood portrayed in the GTA 6 trailer. Petty begins the song by mentioning a girl he knew, alluding to the Bonnie and Clyde-style relationship between the game’s characters. Notably, GTA 6 features its first female protagonist, Lucia, a Latin American woman engaged in a romantic relationship with her male counterpart. However, the lyrics also hint at the inevitable downfall of this love story.
The desperation mentioned in the chorus of the song echoes the shots of Lucia and her partner together in the GTA 6 trailer. This connection suggests an underlying theme of redemption, a recurring motif in Rockstar’s games. Just as characters like Franklin, Niko, and Vince often engage in criminal activities to distance themselves from a life of crime, Lucia’s relationship with her partner may be fraught with attempts at redemption.
Beyond the deeper themes, “Love is a Long Road” is fundamentally a song about cars, driving, and navigating through a somewhat apathetic world. This choice aligns perfectly with Rockstar’s decision to incorporate the song into the trailer, as GTA games often involve vehicular gameplay and exploring a gritty world. Petty’s lyrics offer a sense of depth to the game, while also providing an obvious reason for drawing on his music.
The use of Tom Petty’s “Love is a Long Road” in the GTA 6 trailer not only establishes a nostalgic ambiance but also hints at Rockstar’s intentions for the upcoming game. The song’s lyrics and themes align with the portrayal of characters’ relationships, the pursuit of redemption, and the overall atmosphere of navigating through an immersive open-world setting. As players eagerly await the release of GTA 6, the accompanying music will undoubtedly continue to offer further insights into the game’s narrative and gameplay experience.