Saying that the next Grand Theft Auto is highly anticipated among video gamers is about as accurate a statement as pointing out that this one dude from Wilmington, NC was okay at throwing a leather ball through a metal ring. But while Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has recently given a time frame for a potential release of part VI of the series, that window (April 1st 2024 to March 31st 2025) is as wide open as that kid was when he knocked down that jumper against Georgetown.
So, since the ‘when’ is still up in the Air like that 23-wearing fella, why not put some thought into where GTA VI might take place!? While the franchise has certainly focused on US cities so far (and leaks might hint at a return to familiar shores), this is not a prediction but rather a list of five cities that would be dope to explore as part of the next chapter of one of the most popular video game series of all time.
Rio de Janeiro
Yes, yes, this one’s on the one American continent that has not seen any action in the series, but if you crafted a GTA map in a lab (which Rockstar Games is essentially doing) the chance you of passing by Rio is about as big as the chance you passing by a Copacabana beach body. You’re going to take a second look.
From the landmarks to various distinct areas of the city to the spectacular nature that surrounds it, Rio de Janeiro has it all.
Surrounding swamps, rivers, mountains, a busy downtown and infamous trap houses: An Atlanta-style-map certainly might make for a versatile scenery. Given the game series’ close connection to hip-hop music, on which Atlanta has had a stronghold for decades, GTA Online’s “The Contract” mission starring Dr. Dre might find a worthy successor here: ‘Bring home the stolen Cadillac’ featuring Outkast, anyone?
Rockstar Games also loves a good social-satirical comment, for which the American South might provide one or two opportunities.
Unleashing the creatives behind the GTA series on a city that boasts the density of internationally recognizable landmarks that London calls its own would be a treat in and of itself. Plus, it has the river, it has the airport, it has the grandeur of the metropolis (and the traffic that comes with it). And as a bonus, the possibilities for DLCs would be virtually endless, from a coach ride to the peaky blindness (blinderness?) of Birmingham to a train ride across the channel to Paris for more Euro flavor.
This might be a biased pick, but having the opportunity to outfit the main characters with the latest premium sportswear and athletic footwear at BSTN’s London flagship store in Brixton would be the cherry on top of the virtual cake.
Amongst other rumors circulating about the sixth installment of the game, including the protagonists being twin brother and sister, one has it – as mentioned before – that GTA fans could switch between sceneries from past games. What if that switch would enable you to jump between continents as well?
If so, Tokyo could be a (virtual gangster’s) paradise: Yakuza syndicates. Film noir vibes with billions of neon lights. Plus picturesque temples alongside a spoof Tokyo Tower we would not be looking forward to scale though – we’re still recovering from the Maze Tower missions in GTA V.
Known for frequently incorporating real-life personalities of the underworld, the GTA series unsurprisingly has paid homage to Al Capone before. So the home town of the Public Enemy No. 1 suggests itself, with massive potential for mob stories, its sheer size, and with visual highlights like Chicago River boat rides or potentially spoofed landmarks like The Bean (‘The Bone’?). Not to mention a possible Chief Keef cameo.