Why Vice City should not be in GTA 6

Rumours of GTA 6 being set in Vice City are not true and the game should be set in a brand new location.

Your biggest Grand Theft Auto 6 questions answered on the GTA 6 leak, setting, location, characters, and more. GTA 6 has been officially announced, and then subsequently leaked in quite a spectacular way. We got confirmation from Rockstar Games back in February this year that “active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway”

It’s probably two or three years before Grand Theft Auto 6 is going to be out and if it wasn’t for the leaks we’d know exactly nothing about it. Even those leaks, despite some fool going to jail for them, didn’t say much and the only real details are that the leads are a man and a woman and that the game’s set in Vice City. I have a big problem with one of those two things.

Why is GTA 6 taking so long?

A lot of you are wondering why GTA 6 is taking so long to come out. The truth is that, between the success of GTA 5 and GTA Online, not to mention the scope of Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s no surprise that Rockstar is taking its time. The studio said as much when it confirmed that GTA 6 was in development. Rockstar went out of its way to cite the “the unprecedented longevity of GTA 5” – which has been updated and re-released multiple times in the last nine years.

GTA 6 location: Is the GTA 6 setting Vice City?

The GTA 6 location has long been speculated, but it looks like we are indeed heading back to Vice City. Rockstar has confirmed that the leaked GTA 6 gameplay footage is real, which means we have a better sense of the city and the setting. For starters, one screen shows an underground rail system with the words “Vice City Metro” printed on the side, while eagle eyed viewers may have even spotted familiar spots from GTA 3: Vice City like the Malibu Club, Ocean View Hotel, Little Haiti, and Vice Beach.

Naturally, the city looks different compared to when you last visited it. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was set in 1986, and all signs point to the GTA 6 setting being modern day The appearance of NPCs wielding smartphones and modern clothing is evidence enough that Grand Theft Auto 6 is set in a present day pastiche of Miami, Florida, but if that weren’t enough eagle eyed social media users believe a character references the death of LifeInvader CEO, who is killed by Michael De Santa – so it would appear that GTA 6 is set after the events of GTA 5.

GTA: Vice City is many people’s favourite entry, at least before GTA 5, but I would argue that’s based on two main things: nostalgia and the soundtrack. The 80s soundtrack is godly and literally worth playing the game for, just driving around listening to Phil Collins and Jan Hammer was amazing at the time, especially as open world games were still new then and the idea you could go anywhere and do anything whenever you wanted felt really special.

But even at the time I always felt that Vice City was a much less interesting city than Liberty City and anything in San Andreas. I don’t know if that’s because of what the real Miami is like, since I’ve never been there, but it’s a lot flatter and more obviously built on a grid-based block system. Most American cities are but here it feels so artificial and boring. Maybe that’s what Miami is like, but it doesn’t make for a good video game and I really hope they don’t bring it back for GTA 6.

By the sound of it, GTA 6 is going to be based much more on the real Miami, with the first rumours not even using the name Vice City, but I don’t know how much difference that’s going to make. The problem is that Rockstar know the Vice City name is popular, but I’m worried they haven’t thought through what that means in practical terms.

GTA 6 leaks: Are the new GTA 6 leaks real?

There have been a lot, lot more open world games since 2002 and people have a lot of expectations and demands. Every obvious idea has been done multiple times by this point and just driving around a city no longer has quite the excitement it used to, as anyone’s that played Saints Row will be able to tell you.

I just don’t see how a generic looking American city, with flat geography and not many memorable landmarks is going to fly today. The only thing I think most people know Miami for is the beaches and you can obviously make that a big part of it all, but it’s pretty hard to drive on a beach so that doesn’t really help when it comes to GTA’s bread and butter gameplay.

Now, obviously I’m talking about Rockstar, one of the most successful developers in history, and I’m a know-nothing nobody, so if you’re reading this and thinking I don’t know what I’m talking about then perhaps you’re right. But I do know that the original Vice City wasn’t that great and that the idea of going back doesn’t hold any interest to me in terms of the setting.

Think of it this way, if they announced it was set in the modern day and not the 80s how much would that affect your interest? Quite a bit I would imagine and for good reasons. Have Vice City be one of the locations if you want but my hope is that GTA 6 will be primarily set somewhere completely new and a place that’s built for gameplay, not just copying scenes from Miami Vice.

GTA 6 map

While the final GTA 6 map is yet to be shown, there are some indicators from the leaked video and screens that indicate a play space that stretches beyond the confines of Vice City. Much in the same way Rockstar expanded upon Los Santos between Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and GTA 5, a few of the leaked screenshots appear to show all-new areas of Vice City. As you may know, Vice City itself is loosely based on Miami, and there’s now speculation that GTA 6 will push further south toward the Everglades (a wetland) and the Florida Keys (a string of tropical islands). Now, the “Gator Keys” were referenced in the original GTA: Vice City as part of a radio broadcast, but the location was never shown in-game. If the screenshots suggest what we think they are, expect the GTA 6 map to contain a mixture of environment types.

Interestingly, fans are convinced that the GTA 6 map will be much larger than that of GTA 5. Using leaked GTA 6 coordinates, the GTA 6 subreddit fans are trying to map out the map itself, and later started stitching GTA 6’s map together using Google Earth and Paint. Clever folks.

GTA 6 characters: Will there be a GTA 6 female protagonist?

It has been rumored for months now that Rockstar was working on the first GTA 6 female protagonist – at least, a first for the series in the 3D era. A Bloomberg report from earlier this year, which explored the changing company culture within Rockstar North, first reported the news – and it has since been corroborated by the GTA 6 leak. In the early development footage, we’re able to see two new playable GTA 6 characters.

The in-development names for the characters are Jason and Lucia, and it would appear that the character switching system from GTA 5 is returning in some capacity. One leaked clip showed the pair robbing a diner together, with the player in control of one of the characters while the other was piloted by AI. In another clip, we see character swapping – although it is near instantaneous, rather than the slow perspective shift as seen in GTA 5.

GTA 6 gameplay

As Rockstar is yet to release a GTA 6 trailer, it’s difficult for us to say with certainty how this new game will play and how it will innovate on Grand Theft Auto 5. However, it’s clear from the early development footage which leaked out that Rockstar is at least investigating and playtesting some new mechanics. For example, it appears that a new series of stealth mechanics are being introduced – with footage depicting characters crawling while prone, and even carrying bodies.

Additionally, the weapon wheel – which was overhauled for GTA 5 – is returning in some capacity, and the leaked footage suggests that Rockstar is introducing new health buff items such as painkillers. We can also see that the Five Star ‘Wanted’ system is returning, and that the VCPD have improved AI routines for tracking Jason and Lucia after you get on their radar.

GTA 6 release date: When is GTA 6 coming out?

The GTA 6 release date is yet to be confirmed by Rockstar Games. That hasn’t stopped internet sleuths from making some educated guesses. Multiple sources have corroborated a rumor that GTA 6 will release in 2025, which was part of a larger info drop which suggested that Grand Theft Auto 6 would be set in a modern-day Vice City. It’s always wise to approach this sort of speculation with caution, but with the new GTA 6 leaks appearing to confirm a modernized Vice City setting, perhaps a release sometime in 2025 is right on the money.

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Brian Ferdinando
Film Critic

Brian Ferdinando aka Chuckie joined us and has delivered outstanding work. The Gaming Vlogger is a sharp hand with a camera (In front and behind it) with slick editing skills too.

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