Grand Theft Auto VI: 5 Places Where It Could Be Set
The neon-infused Vice City or the murky and grim Carcer City for Grand Theft Auto VI?
Predictably, there’s been a lot of hype and anticipation towards the next iteration of Rockstar’s crime simulator – and how could there not be?
Grand Theft Auto V was the quickest selling entertainment product of all time, grossing over a billion dollars in just three short days. It boasted a delightful story, fantastic voice acting, an extremely immersive world, and a list as long as your arm of things to do – and that’s just when you play the game offline! Grand Theft Auto Online has arguably revolutionised online games just as Grand Theft Auto III changed single-player gaming. V gave audiences amazing bang for their buck; and to that end, while the game is still being heavily enjoyed, we can’t help but look into the future and imagine what Rockstar have to offer when VI finally lands in our laps.
We know precisely nothing about GTA VI, which has led to much guessing and conspiring. Who can we play as? What will we be able to do? Will Rockstar pull the trigger on a female character? Where will it be set? With the way Rockstar had totally reinvented and expanded the great state of San Andreas, the last question feels like the most important and most tantalising. What will be the backdrop to the orgy of violence in VI? Based on all available options, I’ve theorised some of the possible locations we could be stealing cars in soon.
1. Vice City
The obvious choice; after all, the HD universe has already chosen to fixate on Liberty City and Los Santos, mirroring the choices exhibited in the original 3D trilogy. Vice City is the GTA analog for Miami and could offer up some tantalising possibilities in regard to setting: if Rockstar decide to riff on the 80s again (which seems unlikely). They could revive the powder jackets and the cocaine beat of the city to a warm welcome. However, that might be a bit of a lazy cop-out.
Instead, the team might want to evoke modern-day Miami, which is racially diverse, meaning that different storyline possibilities could be explored by way of gang violence or the struggles of being a minority in the city. Miami’s also been named the worst city to live in America owing to poverty and heavy violent crime, which could make it prime for GTA satire. It would follow similar themes from Los Santos, but perhaps with a grittier, slightly more despairing edge as Miami/Vice doesn’t offer the same hope for mobility as Los Santos. Couple that in with the surrounding areas of Florida that aren’t usually conflated with the traditional sun-kissed images of the Sunshine State, such as the bayous, the ‘gators, and the Everglades, and Vice could easily be expanded into a world on the level of Los Santos, which makes it a prime pick for Grand Theft Auto VI.
2. Carcer City
This pick is somewhat of a dark horse; Carcer City was the depressing, murderiffic location of Manhunt, a more literal “murder simulator” that deconstructs the voyeuristic and perverse role that players can sometimes play in video game violence. Carcer City is not initially a compelling pick: it’s not explicitly linked to GTA outside of a few offhand references. The city was most recently mentioned in V where Michael mentions pulling off his first criminal job there. Due to the nature of Manhunt, the locale might be too grim and depressing for the overall lighter tone of Grand Theft Auto.
However, some insight might make the location more likely: it’s based off both Detroit and Newark, which were formerly some of the worst places to live in America. Newark famously the murder capital of the north-west, and Detroit’s harshness depicted in movies such as 8 Mile. Yet, over the last few years, Detroit has regenerated itself considerably with the rebirth of the auto industry, and this could make it prime for some storytelling. Rockstar could satirise the fall and rise of the city and finally take a step beyond the three major hub cities that the series is so strongly preoccupied with. Plus, an Eminem parody, a la OG Loc, could be extremely funny.
3. Las Venturas
The smart money might well be on Las Venturas to appear in Grand Theft Auto VI. The strongest reason being this: boot up V, take a drive to Galileo Observatory and take a look out onto Los Santos at night. Now imagine the glittering lights of Las Vegas rendered in the RAGE Engine. Vegas is wealthy in glitz and glamour and would provide an interesting and powerful contrast to the lowly street criminal who has to hustle to survive. Indeed, the city has also been rife with crime in the past. Yet, what many people do not realise about the Nevada city is that the place is overcome with poverty, and has as many impoverished areas and ghettos as there are casinos.
It’s also rife with gang violence – 20,000 gangs are confirmed to exist within the city. As terrible as this is in real life, it presents big storytelling opportunities for Rockstar: you, an impoverished youth, must work your way to the top of the City of Lights. On the way, you can form up your own gang, polishing the gang warfare and territory mechanics already seen in San Andreas. Expanding the city Los Santos-style won’t present too much of a problem, either, as Las Vegas has the surrounds of the Mojave Desert replete with small towns. As such, this means Las Venturas could be a fantastic choice for expansion.
4. San Fierro
San Fierro, the San Francisco analog first seen in San Andreas, is extremely unlikely, but is included for the sake of covering all bases; it’s within the realm of possibility. I would never put it past Rockstar to surprise any of us. The only real conceivable reason to build a GTA game around San Fierro is that its appearance in San Andreas was somewhat disappointing – out of the three cities depicted, it was the least fleshed out and felt like an afterthought between Los Santos (which seemed like the part of the map the developers cared about most) and Las Venturas (which had more exciting source material to work from).
Yet this doesn’t do San Francisco justice. It’s a beautiful and diverse city brimming with life, boasting tourist attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the original Chinatown, Pier 39, and, of course, Alcatraz Island. San Francisco is ripe for the picking for a GTA parody, but isn’t quite as obvious as other choice on this list. Sadly, it may never happen when the audience base clamours to see Vice once again.
This is the least likely of all locations, but given its prominence in Grand Theft Auto V, the snowy small-town landscape could be expanded (or featured alongside a bigger city) for some Fargo-style antics. As we know, Ludendorff was a small town in the state of North Yankton. If lightning struck twice on the grave of Michael Townley and Rockstar decided to base the game there, Ludendorff itself would either have a cameo role in the greater state area or it’d be greatly expanded. In all honestly, Rockstar have better choices, but an optimist can dream; how good would the snowy surrounds of the town look, especially in a fully realised criminal world?
What do you think? Do you want any of these cities to appear, or would you rather go back to Liberty? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.