Trevor Philips, The Character We Didn’t Know We Needed

Trevor Philips, The Man, The Legend

Trevor Phillips is the epitome of a bloodthirsty maniac. This is fitting since the Grand Theft Auto games have always pushed us in a, particularly violent direction. Prior to Trevor’s introduction in GTA V, we hadn’t yet had the benefit of doing things with our playable character that would be believable and natural for them as a person.

Even so, this never swayed us from shooting down helicopters with Claude, or flying around in a jet pack with an assault rifle and laying waste to Los Santos. But it never did feel right. It just didn’t seem like something our protagonist would do, if given the choice.

The Big Idea Behind Trevor

The beauty of GTA is that we, as the player, get to choose which crazy acts we want to pursue. After 2013’s release of GTA V, it was evidently clear that Trevor’s inclusion in the game was a choice made by Rockstar to address that kind of unrealistic portion of actions that anyone who has ever played GTA engages in.

Indeed, it’s almost like they said, “What if we gave them a playable character who would not only do the typical violent stuff GTA allows but would go even further in their own personal lives?” And the story mode of GTA V proved that.

Whether it was his stomping of Johnny in the opening scene, heating up human chili, or his vicious solving of the problem that was Floyd and his fiancé, Trevor made us believe that he was that guy. Not only were the things we were having him do in free roam believably, but they were actually mild compared to the Trevor sequences which Rockstar chose to show us in cut scenes. 

Since it was Rockstar who chose to make Trevor this over-the-top, larger-than-life maniac monster, we can reasonably infer their motive. They were trying to give us a blank check to let us go crazy inside the walls of the game and not feel guilty about it.

After all, GTA games have always featured comedy and satire, as well as a healthy portion of the good old ultra-violence. But prior to GTA V, we never really got a character quite like Trevor Phillips. With that in mind, it’s notable that Rockstar made him sympathetic as well.

 

The Softer Side of Trevor Phillips

Rockstar deliberately chose to make Trevor the injured party in Michael’s plot to escape his life of crime. Trevor was the one who was lied to, living his life with the incorrect knowledge that his best friend was dead. 

After playing through the game’s main story, one can see the vulnerability of Trevor. He takes things to heart. This isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a mass murderer and maniac, but it makes him a complicated figure.

Although most characters in the Grand Theft Auto series are sympathetic in one way or another, the level of comedy involved in the game makes it hard to see these characters clearly. Trevor’s interactions with just about anyone who bumps into him is meant to be scary and funny at the same time.

While Trevor is someone we should fear, he is also kind of a stand-in for the player as well. The player, for fun, wants to do crazy things that they couldn’t do in real life. So you grab your controller and switch to Trevor. You hop in his big red truck and make your way to a local hospital of the police station and have at it. For any other character, such as Michael or Franklin, a rampage like this would be unlikely given their character and disposition.

Trevor is actually the only player in the game who can activate his special power in a way that allows him to commit more efficient violent acts. This speaks to what the product designers had in mind when writing for and developing Trevor Phillips as a character.

Trevor’s Influence On Future GTA Protagonists

Trevor is the most exciting protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto Series. You might connect better with a different one, but no character better captures the energy of the player. Trevor allows us to do all the silly things that the game was built for.

In the future, say for GTA 6, we can only imagine that the savage nature of Trevor will contribute to one or more new protagonists. People loved Trevor and the actor who portrayed him, Steven Ogg.

Ogg was praised for his performance and it earned him a coveted spot on the cast of the extremely popular The Walking Dead. Ogg put so much energy and vulnerability into the role that he was hard not to love as Trevor.

While news of GTA 6 is scarce, at least verified news, we can reasonably assume that some kind of Trevor-ish character will find their way into the new game. Overpass all protagonists from now on will exhibit a maniacal violent streak. It would make gameplay more believable and more fun. That’s exactly what Rockstar had in mind when they made Trevor Philips.

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