Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks heavily suggest that the upcoming entry will be set in Vice City, a location not unfamiliar to longtime fans.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is one of the most highly anticipated games in development. Following the unprecedented success of its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 5, a game that has spanned three console generations and spawned an entire online community, all eyes are on developer Rockstar Games to see how it plans to move the franchise forward. Since Grand Theft Auto 3 burst onto the scene in 2001, each iteration of the franchise has been met with growing anticipation, and hype for the sixth main installment has reached a fever pitch. Not a great deal is known about Grand Theft Auto 6 apart from the fact that it's in active development, but leaks suggest it will be taking place on the sun-kissed shores of Vice City, a location that fans of the series will know all too well.
Vice City has already hosted a couple of GTA games in Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Vice City Stories and has proved to be a popular, varied location among fans. Managing to strike a fine balance between the hustle and bustle of a city center location and a gorgeous beachfront with stunning vistas, the area was last used back in 2006's Vice City Stories, and both that and its predecessor were set in the 1980s. Following some legitimate GTA 6 leaks back in September, it looks like the next installment will be bringing players back to Vice City's shores, but this time in a modern-day setting, which is an exciting prospect indeed.
The fictional city of Vice is located in the state of Florida. Situated on a beautiful beachfront, it is based on the city of Miami, a popular tourist destination. Players are first introduced to the city in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the sequel to GTA 3. Thanks to its 80s setting and memorable soundtrack, Vice City provided a blueprint for open-world aesthetics which many future games have used.
The game is remembered extremely fondly for its plot, which was full of twists and turns, and for its brilliantly unique cast of characters, led by protagonist Tommy Vercetti, who was voiced by the late Ray Liotta. The characters and story drew heavy inspiration from 80s gangster movies, primarily Scarface and Carlito's Way. The city of Vice was the glue that held everything together, proving to be the perfect setting for Vercetti's life of crime.
The city itself is split into two main areas: Vice City beach and Vice City Mainland. These two areas are each divided into several districts and are separated by Ocean Bay, a large body of water. The city also incorporates two small islands, Starfish Island, the home of gangster Ricardo Diaz until he is killed in a shootout with Tommy Vercetti in 1986, and Prawn Island, a combination of high-end residential homes and industrial buildings. The city gets hot, sunny weather pretty much all year round, with only the occasional rain and storms breaking up the long bouts of sunshine. In the mid-80s, which is when Vice City and Vice City Stories take place, just under 2 million inhabitants live in Vice City.
The city serves as the backdrop for several high-profile drug and gang-related activities in the 1980s. The dominant force before Tommy Vercetti came along was the Vance Crime Family, led by the brothers Victor and Lance Vance. The Vance family seized control of many of Vice City's businesses, both legal and illegal, and managed to drive out most of the other gangs comfortably, establishing themselves as the area's kingpins.
When Tommy Vercetti, a member of the Forelli Crime Family, is released from a stint in prison and sent to Vice City to oversee a drug deal with the Vance brothers, a chain of events is set into motion that would ultimately see Vercetti rise to the top of his own criminal empire. After an ambush at the drug deal, Victor Vance is killed, and Tommy begins working with Lance in order to find and expose the culprits. The two are eventually noticed and recruited to work for kingpin Ricardo Diaz, one of the most ruthless characters in the Grand Theft Auto series.
Eventually, though, Diaz is exposed as the mastermind behind the ambush and is executed in his own mansion by Tommy and Lance. Tommy would continue to slowly build an empire, purchasing several businesses and making further allies with some of Grand Theft Auto's best-supporting characters scattered throughout Vice City, before Sonny Forelli, his old boss, eventually turns up and demands the cash that was stolen at the earlier ambush.
Tommy attempts to use counterfeit money to pay off the Don, but to his surprise, it turns out Lance Vance has betrayed him and sided with Sonny. In the ensuing shootout, Tommy is able to eliminate both Lance and Sonny. This leaves the city under Tommy's complete control, and he swiftly becomes the most powerful man in Vice City, realizing his ambitions, with a criminal empire to dwarf any of his remaining rivals.
The GTA 6 leaks appear to confirm the game's location with several pieces of signage on display with the words Vice City clearly shown, as well as some of the area's most notable locations such as the Malibu Club and Ocean View Hotel being spotted by eagle-eyed fans. Judging by the fact that most of the NPCs shown have smartphones and are dressed in modern clothing, it seems that the game will be taking place in the modern day, most likely after GTA 5's story. Getting a look at how the city of Vice has evolved over the last four decades, and understanding what remnants of Tommy Vercetti's empire still remain all these years later is an intriguing prospect for fans.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is currently in development.
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An avid gamer for over 30 years, there aren't many consoles that Dan hasn't owned at some point. He's also part Italian, which means he's almost certainly related to Super Mario. When he's not here, you can find him over on Instagram where he posts short reviews.