Laura Branigan - Self Control

The song from the 10th anniversary GTA: Vice City trailer.

All GTA: Vice City trailers

GTA: Vice City was released in 2002 for PS2 with three preceding trailers. The video quality is outdated now, but we can still get a glimpse at the game atmosphere.

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What inspired GTA: Vice City

Since many rumors claim that GTA 6 will be located in Vice City in the 80s, we start a new group of articles about the wonderful atmosphere of the 80s which is now forgotten or unknown for many people of the new generation.

First we will get familiar with movies and TV shows that inspired a previous Miami based Rockstar hit — GTA: Vice City. Released in 2002, it featured a breathtaking colorful and sunny atmosphere of the 80s which makes it one of the most favorite games ever.

The first thing that influenced the GTA: Vice City storyline is a 1983 movie Scarface directed by Brian De Palma. It tells us about a 1980 Miami where a determined Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (prototype of GTA: Vice City protagonist Tommy Vercetti) takes over a drug cartel building his own empire and becoming more and more greedy.

The most evident reference to this movie is the Vercetti Estate in the game:

Another iconic inspiration is a TV show Miami Vice that aired in 1984—1990. Along with two undercover cops Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs from vice department fighting major drug lords, it featured authentic 1980's music, fashion, cars and vibe.

SPOILER ALERT!

By the way, Scarface brings up an important lesson which can be summarized as "the higher you fly, the harder you fall". If you choose a wrong path you'll have to face the consequences. Whereas Miami Vice is really ambiguous. The protagonists are good guys catching bad guys. However, in almost every episode bad guys manage to kill innocent victims and come out of jail later because of lack of evidence or thanks to skillful lawyers. Of course this show was telling the viewers that the system is far from perfect. But a dangerous conclusion could be made that it's OK to be a bad guy since there will be no punishment. And the good guys lose their families, relatives, friends, everything. It's a miracle they didn't commit suicide. Some episodes are so cruel that it's not clear if the writers had a heart at all. But people still loved this show because of the exotic Miami atmosphere, cool cars and outfits.

SPOILER END

House M.D. – everybody lies, Miami Vice – everybody dies

When you get a three star wanted level in GTA: Vice City, two undercover cops in a Cheetah car start chasing you. They are named Officer Cracker and Officer Butts, which is an obvious reference to the main characters Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice. Furthermore, the Cheetah itself is based on the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, the car Crockett and Tubbs used to drive in the last three seasons of the show.

And the last but not least. Lance Vance's voice belongs to the actor Philip Michael Thomas, who played Tubbs in Miami Vice.

Lance Vance is voiced by Philip Michael Thomas

Rumor: Rockstar is scouting Florida for GTA 6

A popular data miner Yan2295 recently posted a letter from Leah Sokolowsky, a location manager. The letter is a request to some client for the study of locations in South Florida.

It states that a group of 4-6 researchers and developers from Rockstar Games wants to come to Florida in October (presumably 2019 or earlier) to scout locations for their video games.

The scout team's mission is to tour and photograph interesting locations throughout the state of Florida. The material they gather will be used to inspire Rockstar's developers to build environments in their games. The team is primarily interested in scouting interior spaces. This may imply that we will be seeing much more interesting interiors in GTA 6 than before.

It is worth noting that such trips are quite a common practice for many game developers. Of course, it's impossible to prove this letter is legit or determine the date of writing. However, according to Yan2295, Leah Sokolowsky, the location manager mentioned in the letter, is a real person. And not so long ago Sokolowsky participated in the Film Florida podcast where she claimed to be working together with some major media company. Here is a quote from the podcast:

Recently as you're aware we've had a change in the types of productions that are coming to our state. So I've also been very fortunate to get a large client that has hired me to arrange basically site tours and visits. It's a digital media company. And I've signed an NDA so I can't disclose who it is. But they've been exploring various areas of our state, and of other states in the south east. And I've been planning and arranging those visits for their personnel and that's been kind of a very interesting expansion of what I normally do, as well.

As you can see, her words perfectly fit the letter. Apparently, Rockstar visited Florida to collect material for their future project, presumably GTA 6. There is, of course, a slight chance that someone listened to the podcast and created a fake letter. Let's hope not.

VI for Vice City

If we take a look at the original GTA launched in 1997, it had three cities. At first you played in Liberty City. After earning a sufficient amount of money San Andreas was unlocked (back then it used to be a city not a state). And after completing it you moved to Vice City. In that specific order.

The game featured a top down view. It is often referred to as 2D era (although the buildings looked volumetric).

Liberty City was based on New York City. Obvious reference to Statue of Liberty.

San Andreas was clearly based on San Francisco, California.

And Vice City is definitely Miami, Florida. The name comes from the TV series Miami Vice which was popular in the 1980s.

This pattern was broken when GTA: London 1969, GTA: London 1961

and GTA 2 came out. GTA 2 was located in a fictional Anywhere City.

But the pattern was renewed in 3D era with the next three game titles: GTA 3 (located in Liberty City),

GTA: Vice City

and GTA: San Andreas.

Unlike GTA 1, the latter featured San Andreas as a whole state with three cities: Los Santos (based on Los Angeles), San Fierro (based on San Francisco) and Las Venturas (based on Las Vegas, Nevada). This time Vice City came before San Andreas, not after. It makes sense because San Andreas was way bigger and longer to create. Since 3D cities are much more difficult to design than 2D, Rockstar didn't put them all together but placed them in different games. This gave the time up to several years to work on details of each city separately. And the results were worth it.

HD era started with GTA 4 revisiting Liberty City but in much more detailed manner. HD textures and graphics were magnificent in 2008. The lights, the reflections, the shadows. It was a music for the eyes.

It took 5 more years to create a new HD version of Los Santos in GTA 5. The game was released in 2013. We know that Los Santos is located in the state of San Andreas (take a look at the license plates in GTA 5).

It's been 7 years since then. Rockstar is definitely working on GTA 6. If we look at the pattern, the order is reversed again, like in GTA 1. What comes after Liberty City and San Andreas? Correct, Vice City. Can you imagine the scale of the new city if it takes them so much long to create it?

Of course there may be several cities in GTA 6, hence the delay. But the rumors confirm Vice City. They also say about some Carcer City which we don't know if it will fit the Vice City atmosphere. But maybe this experiment from Rockstar will also be successful.

Let's summarize.

2D era (original order):

  • Liberty City (GTA 1)
  • San Andreas city (GTA 1)
  • Vice City (GTA 1)

3D era (reverse order):

  • Liberty City (GTA 3)
  • Vice City (GTA: Vice City)
  • San Andreas state (GTA: San Andreas)

HD era (original order again):

  • Liberty City (GTA 4)
  • San Andreas state (GTA 5)
  • Vice City (GTA 6)

Still not convinced? Then how about this. Usually GTA eras are not connected to each other. There are no inter-era references. San Andreas city from GTA 1 is never mentioned in 3D and HD eras, as it later became a whole state. Vice City is mentioned in GTA 4, GTA 5 (billboards, in-game TV) and Episodes from Liberty City (Vice City FM radio station). If it's not a reference to GTA: Vice City from 3D era then it's about a new Vice City in HD era. Rockstar has been hinting us since then.

And of course the first two letters in Vice City would perfectly fit for a GTA VI logo (Roman numerals have been used since GTA III). "VI for Vice City" — sounds like a heck of a great movie.

Compare with the GTA: Vice City logo.

Rumor: GTA 6 will have amazingly realistic nature, clouds and water

A new GTA 6 leak occured on Reddit. A user herenthere4six posted that he did quality assurance testing for RDR 2 and GTA 6. He claims the latter started preproduction in 2014. He was using a PS5 devkit (although PS5 isn't there yet, large game studios can receive special pre-release device for testing called developer kit). The game entered large scale development sometime around 2016 during the timeframe Rockstar begin marketing Red Dead Redemption 2. Half the studios went full force on RDR, the other half on GTA 6.

Here are the main points:

  • RDR2 was a huge project, a ton of passion and blood was put into it. The heads kept pushing the studio to create a state of the art game with attention to details in the wildlife. This project sucked the soul out of just about everyone. But RDR2 was also a graphics test before GTA 6. Rockstar wants GTA 6 to be a new generation game that pushes the bar, that's why it won't be suitable for PS4 and Xbox One.
  • GTA 5 is the main game that still brings Rockstar profit after so many years (since the era of PS3 and Xbox 360). The game that just "keeps on giving".
  • RDR 2's engine is a predecessor of GTA 6. Although there is only one mission to fly in the sky in RDR 2 and see the amazingly realistic volumetric clouds, this graphics will be reused in GTA 6, where air travel will be an important focus. The author states he was able to fly a military jet called Sunsiege and the world in GTA 6 looks astonishing. It will raise open world games to unseen limits. It almost felt like a privilege to play this game, even in a development stage, before anyone else. On the ground everything is not so pretty yet. Many buildings and locations are still to be done. However, the results seem to be very promising.
  • There will be realistic atmospheric effects like hurricanes, morning fog, etc.
  • The map is incredibly huge. That's why air travel plays an important role. GTA 5 looks like a schoolyard playground (it's scary even to imagine).
  • The playable game territory (which implies there will be also locations without open world) consists of two major cities: Carcer City (dirty East Coast area based on Boston, Massachusetts) and Vice City (based on Miami, Florida). There are three states on the map. Every county has its name.
  • It's easy to get lost in Carcer City since many roads are swirling. It also has satirical landmarks. Blue line train can take you to the airport.
  • There are numerous towns, waterfronts, suburbs and wilderness between the two cities. A military base is located in Vice City area.
  • The landscape varies from farmland and seasides in Massachusetts, red oak forests, fields and towns to marshy grassland and swampy Florida countryside. Although it's weird to see no major cities between Boston and Miami.
  • There are small chunks of islands based on Florida Keys archipelago (south of Miami) with a highway bridge connecting them. The bridge is shorter than in reality.
  • The water effects are stunning, like in "Sea of Thieves". It is possible to explore the underwater world.
  • The map design in GTA 6 is the most authentic ever from Rockstar. The game world is insanely huge and richly detailed. The nature feels spacious and not compressed like in GTA 5. It will take many hours to memorize this map without using a radar.
  • GTA 6 may feature multiple protagonists. Two of them are probably siblings. One of them is an undercover cop.
  • Mission system is updated. You can permanently abandon some missions or take different routes. Of course there will be consequences. Each protagonist can create their own stories, but the general story line ends the same way.
  • Some vehicles resemble those from GTA 4 and GTA 5 but more detailed than ever.
  • Shooting system, running and climbing animations are still under development. At the moment they are using the driving system from GTA 5. It will be refactored eventually but the main focus currently is the map.
  • First person mode will be included.
  • HUD is still far from being over. There is a basic circular radar like in RDR2 and GTA 4 but this will most definitely change. They haven't picked a font for vehicle names and ammo count yet.
  • GTA 6 has a weapon selection wheel from GTA 5. Weapon range already includes AK47, pump shotgun, glock, baseball bat.
  • Police features a very robust and tactical AI. NOOSE agents and cops can split into teams of two to surround you. NOOSE can use riot shields and shoot tear gas from grenade launchers. They can even walk behind a slowly moving SWAT van covering each other like in a movie. Police can get shotguns from the trunk.
  • Unlike in GTA 5, the maximum wanted level is now 6 stars (like in GTA 4). The military is involved at six stars. It takes time for them to arrive from the military base.
  • The author says the game is a technology beast. A splendor of modern game design with a Hollywood budget. Hard to imagine how much money was spent on it.
  • Conclusion: GTA 6 feels like Rockstar's ultimate game, so huge and realistic that they could retire in peace and never have to make another GTA. It's impossible to imagine how they can outmatch it. This game is definitely worth all the waiting.

The author finishes by telling that he thought a leak would be fun to heat up the interest of fans. He is also confident he won't get caught.

As usual, the post was removed from Reddit. Luckily someone made a screenshot:

Rumor: GTA 6 will feature huge map distances and enterable buildings

Another user on Reddit, gfk53, posted a leak about the upcoming GTA 6.

He states that he was shared this information by an inside source and was asked not to spread it. But he did. And here are the key moments:

  • The game takes place in North America and South America. Its current code name is "Project Americas".
  • GTA 6 will be released for the next generation consoles (PS5, etc.).
  • The map includes 3-4 major cities: Vice City / Everglades, Havana (Cuba) and somewhere in Panama / Brazil / Colombia (these parts of the map are still under development).
  • Vice City will serve as the major focus but we may not start out there.
  • All the cities/islands outside the US will be named by their real names.
  • It is unknown how many times bigger the GTA 6 map will be compared to GTA 5, but it is very spread out. So it will "feel" bigger (apparently, due to a number of locations).
  • The cities will have depth as opposed to scale. Meaning more enterable buildings and interactability.
  • Each city will be separated by large distances of water. The player will likely be able to skip the travel (like the taxi ride in GTA 5), but on your own it might take you 10-15 minutes to fly to each city across the map (impressive, isn't it?).
  • GTA 6 is in very early stages of development, and not much is known about the story (it's been almost 7 years since GTA 5, Rockstar, time to hurry).
  • The time period spans over multiple decades (70s, late 80s and present day).
  • A drug smuggler named Kacey is an important part of the story.
  • Time progresses through the game as you play. So each "chapter" will be set in the 70s, or 80s, and as you play through the mission. Songs will change, buildings will become closed, cars and characters will decay with time. This was concluded by the insider person because cars that predate 2000 are being designed in multiple stages to mimic the progression of time. And there's a lot of vehicles being made that predate present day. At the moment, almost 70% are before 2020. 30% are present day.
  • Weather conditions can now cause hurricanes (category 4-5).
  • There is a huge prison in the game, possibly a variant of Guantanamo Bay. It may definitely play a major role in the story. Maybe break out missions.
  • Drones are being modeled in the game.

There is also some information about Bully 2.

  • Bully 2 is the next Rockstar project. The protagonist is a freshman Jimmy Hopkins, but this time it's in a university next to a large fictional city.
  • The map will be as big as GTA 5. However, the city will have a grittier tone.
  • There will be three equally sized environments (university, city and woods).
  • The game will also feature cars.

Again, everything sounds plausible. Many things are the same as in the leak from JackOLantern1982. True or not, we'll see it soon. The Reddit user who posted it (gfk53) was deleted (it's interesting why?). But the post somehow managed to survive. Here is a screenshot:

Rumor: GTA 6. Code name: Project Americas

There is an interesting website called Reddit where people can discuss topics based on their interests, submit content to the site such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members. Of course, there are also discussions about GTA.

Not so long ago a user with a nickname JackOLantern1982 posted on Reddit a very interesting piece of information about GTA 6 (although no official announcement about this game has been made so far). According to him, this information was provided by some former employees of Kotaku and PC Gamer websites, as well as Rockstar Games (developer of GTA titles).

Here is the summary:

  • GTA 6 has been in development since 2012 (a year before GTA V release). But intense development started in 2015. However, even at that time the team's main focus was on Read Dead Redemption 2.
  • All divisions of Rockstar Games (yes, there are many of them) take part in GTA 6 development, as well as Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • GTA 6 code name is Project Americas. Obviously, two Americas, the North and the South. This implies a vast extent of the game world.
  • There are several locations in the game: Vice City (based on Miami) and some new location based on Rio de Janeiro (Rockstar has experience in modeling South America locations since Max Payne 3). Some story missions will take place in Liberty City (without open world) — sort of Ludendorff which was at the beginning of GTA V.
  • Also, there was a rumor about Cuba, but this is not confirmed.
  • GTA 6 gameplay will include realistic and arcade elements. The game will not be as realistic as Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Despite many rumors, the protagonist is not female. And he is the only one.
  • The time period is the 1970s and 1980s (presumably, the first mission starts in the 70s, and then we skip several years into the 80s, like in GTA V).
  • The protagonist is an uprising drug lord Ricardo (hopefully, not Diaz). At first, Ricardo is a minor drug smuggler from Vice City, who eventually finds connections with major drug lords and gradually develops his own career. That looks a lot like Tommy Vercetti from GTA: Vice City. But who cares. We loved it!
  • GTA 6 features several cities. There is also a huge prison which is a part of the story (maybe, one of the missions will have a prison break).
  • GTA 6 story mode consists of chapters, just like Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Weather is an important factor as well. You won't need mods to see hurricanes and floods, like in real Miami (no rhyme intended).
  • Buildings and vehicles change over the eras. Older, rare classic cars get more expensive as the time progresses. Next level of economy.
  • GTA 6 is heavily inspired by the TV show "Narcos" on Netflix.
  • Rockstar wants to put a stunning soundtrack of the 70s and 80s in the game, but it is still under discussion (outshining unforgettable soundtracks from GTA: Vice City and GTA: Vice City Stories is a challenge).
  • Young Martin Madrazo will appear in GTA 6 along with his father, who was a major drug lord at the time. You will do some jobs for the Madrazo family, e.g., raids on other gangs.
  • Creating a drug empire will resemble GTA: Vice City Stories, but will be much larger and harder.
  • The protagonist will be able to carry only a limited number of weapons, rather than a huge arsenal in his pockets. A similar thing appeared in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Max Payne 3.
  • Your personal vehicles will be something like saddle bags in Red Dead Redemption 2. You can keep your weapons and armor in the trunk. Remember L.A. Noir? By the way, after putting on a body armor, it is now visible on the protagonist.
  • Get used to reading subtitles. Many characters speak their own languages. If you are in South America, don't expect everyone to speak English. The same was in Max Payne 3. You can hear several languages in Vice City, but English is still dominant there.
  • GTA 6 will raise the topics of HIV and the migration crisis — current issues at the time. There will also be a peculiar version of Fidel Castro.
  • Unfortunately, GTA 6 will not be released for PS4 and Xbox One. This is a project for next gen consoles. But since PS5 is only to be released at the end of 2020, it is obvious that we might not expect GTA 6 in 2020.
  • Rockstar is now focused on GTA 6 and some other project. Probably, Bully 2.
  • Currently, GTA 6 is in the pre-alpha stage, so location names, character names, and other details may change.
  • There is still no indicative release date.

This post was quickly removed from Reddit (if it's fake then why?). Fortunately, someone managed to save a screenshot.

Of course, the information provided is not verified. Nevertheless, it seems fully plausible. But judge it for yourself.

GTA 6: to be or not to be

After GTA V was released more than 6 years ago in 2013, the fans have been wondering about the next GTA game. When will it come out, where will it take place, how many protagonists will there be and, most importantly, will GTA 6 even be created at all?

We will try to answer that last question, since all the other ones depend on it.

Let's take a look at the latest GTA title, GTA V. According to Wikipedia, it is the third best-selling video game of all time with over 115 million copies shipped and about $6 billion in worldwide revenue. Can you believe that? Its success is only superseded by Minecraft and Tetris. Also, the previous GTA titles, like GTA IV, GTA: San Andreas, GTA: Vice City and GTA III, are also in that top list. It's pretty clear that people love GTA.

Why? Huge list of reasons. Open world, freedom to be whoever you want, vast range of things and pastimes to do. Freedom to do stuff you can't actually do in reality. This is why people like GTAlity. And it's not only about GTA V. Currently, it's the latest GTA title and has the most impressive graphics (although, GTA IV arguably had even better graphics and physics which was way ahead of its time). It has a huge map and is still actively playable due to the new DLCs coming out regularly which add new online modes. And it is definitely fun to play together with friends. Alternatively, if you feel like a sociopath, there is still a single player mode that allows you to conquer Los Santos by shooting cops from a rocket launcher. And let us not forget about endless mods created by thousands of fans around the world that make your gaming experience even way more fun. You can become a Spiderman who jumps between rooftops, then take a Batmobile, escape from a tsunami and shoot a dragon flying nearby. And even if you get bored in Los Santos after this, you can bring the old good Vice City in GTA V. The creators, Rockstar Games, don't mind players using mods, as long as they aren't used for cheating in GTA: Online. Thanks to this, doubtfully any game can ever repeat GTA's success.

Now why would Rockstar Games put sooo much effort in just a video game? Along with every GTA game they create a whole world — a map, locations, vehicles, characters, missions and even radio stations. The answer is obvious — they like it. And, of course, the money. Because that's what business is for. Making money. So after reading this, do you really think Rockstar would stop doing what they like so much and earning billions of dollars (that's right, billions, with a B)? Especially when gamers all around the world are thirsty. Could Dan Houser (Rockstar Games co-founder) one day say: OK, that's it, we're done with GTA, I'm retiring to buy a villa with ocean view (no pun intended) and drink tequila for the rest of my life?

But if you still want some solid proof, here is a quote by Leslie Benzies, the former president of Rockstar North (a subsidiary of Rockstar Games), dated in 2013:

We've got about 45 years worth of ideas we want to do. We don't know what GTA 6 will be, but we've got some ideas.

How do you like that? Not only we're expecting one upcoming GTA game, but many more. Breathe out with relief.

We are stuck in Los Santos with GTA V for almost 7 years. We really need to get out somewhere else.

So it's obvious that the verdict is: GTA 6 to be!

Welcome to the 20s!

A new decade just started - the 20s. And you sure hope it will bring a better life and all your will dreams come true. Well, no, man. Nothing will happen... Unless you do something. So go ahead and make your dreams come true. Do it yourself, without waiting till the weather changes.

Oh, and BTW, a new decade is just a summary of the past, not the beginning of something new. Something new will come only if YOU change something in your life.