It's coming on for a decade since the last GTA was released and I can't wait to see what GTA 6 looks like after the insane level of detail we got in Red Dead Redemption 2. It's really going to be mind-blowing, especially with the enhanced tech of the PS5 and XBSX, don't even get me started on the PC version.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has imagined what the next GTA will be like, and I've come to the conclusion that the best step would be to take it away from the modern-day setting. Both GTA IV and GTA V were set in the modern-day and they both did a great job in commenting on modern-day America. GTA IV explored the idea of the American Dream through the lens of an immigrant hoping for a better life, and GTA V explored it through the lens of a successful but bored middle-aged man, a young and hungry kid just starting out, and a deviant totally outside of conventional society. The only uncharted territory left for Rockstar to explore in a modern-day setting would be if you played as a female character. Now, that could be very interesting but I think the best plan of action is to have the next GTA set in a previous decade.
GTA games being set in the past is hardly a new idea. Two of the most popular entries in the series were set in the past, with Vice City being set in the 80s and San Andreas is set in the 90s. There's a lot of good things to be said about both these games, from their gameplay to their stories, but one thing they both share is how well Rockstar nailed the feeling of being in those decades. The song choices made it a joy to cruise from the streets listening to classic 80s or 90s tunes, depending on which game you're playing, and the detail of the cars, buildings, and pedestrians all helped you feel like you were exploring a bygone decade. It's not a part of the GTA series, but LA Noire (which Rockstar published) did an equally great job of letting you explore 1940s LA. The quality wasn't as on par with GTA as most of us would've liked, but it still had a great vibe. With that in mind, I think it would be a great idea for Rockstar to set the next GTA in the past, as Rockstar has a great track record of creating the feeling of bygone decades, and this would help the game feel more distinct from the last two games, as well as feel like a breath of fresh air to those tired of open-world games based on two of the most famous cities on Earth.
I've thought for a while that it would be cool to see the next GTA go back in time, and recently watching Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cemented that idea. If you haven't seen it, it's set in the late 60s and made me feel like I got a little taste of what it might've been like to live in Holywood back then, even though I was born decades too late. It's got fast cars, larger than life characters, tension, humor, and sudden bursts of violence that make it feel like it could exist in the world of GTA. With today's tech, Rockstar could create an even bigger and more detailed recreation of the past, just like they did with Red Dead Redemption 2. A setting like the 60s or 70s would be a goldmine for Rockstar, with plenty of themes to pull on from America's wealth following WW2, racial inequality, sexism, the free love movement, the Cold War, and Vietnam, not to mention the style and aesthetics of those eras. There's so much for Rockstar's writers to work with, especially if the ey presented it from the perspective of a minority or female player character. Many people have expressed a desire for the next game to be set in Vice City again, which would work nicely with the VI logo, and I agree that would be a lot of fun. How about a GTA game set in Vice City 10 years before the events of the first Vice City game? It'd be a great opportunity to see some of the characters from that game reappear and revisit the areas we saw all those years ago. Hell, it could be a prequel like Red Dead Redemption 2.
I don't think the should go too far back in time. As much as I enjoyed LA Noire, cars just weren't as advanced in the 40s and driving in that game wasn't as fun as driving in more modern GTA games, but a GTA set in the 60s onwards could feature loads of fast and interesting cars, as well as cool radio stations, adverts, and celebrities that are definitely not at all based on real people. Oh, and the music, don't even get me started on the music. As Pierce Hawthorn once said, baby boomers didn't invent music, but they perfected it. We could have The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Creedence and Clearwater, Pink Floyd, The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Doors, Iron Maiden Simon and Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, The Bee Gees, oh, and this little indie band you probably haven't heard of called The Beatles. Look 'em up, they were pretty good for a bunch of English boys with daft hair. What's that, the game is set in the 70s? Well, let me give you Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Queen, The Eagles, Kiss, Journey, Abba, Rush, Blondie, and Electric Light Orchestra. Oh, we're in the 80s now? Well, tune into hits from Guns N Roses, U2, Duran Duran, Motley Crue, REM, Bon Jovi, Dire Straights, RUN DMC, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, and this new chick on the block called Madonna. Look me in the eyes and tell me you're not sticking that soundtrack in your cassette player.
Or hell, why have it set in the US? What's say you to a GTA game set in London during the Thatcher years? Or Tokyo in the 90s, or Australia, or Rome, or Athens, or Rio de Janeiro, or Morrowind, shit, wrong series.
What I'm trying to say is it's been way too long since the last GTA game.
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