GTA5 speculation

I’ve been insanely busy this week and so I haven’t yet written up my thing about Batman: Arkham City (short version: it’s great), but I can’t NOT write about today’s announcement of next week’s reveal of Grand Theft Auto 5.

The reveal trailer comes out next week; in the meantime, we have this logo.

Speculating about the settings of future GTA games used to be a favorite pastime of mine, but GTA4 kinda destroyed that for me, insofar as that it was less about the setting and relevant cultural satire and more about Niko Bellic’s experience in Liberty City, which is something noone could’ve predicted.  I have learned to accept that the Brothers Houser are smarter and more culturally savvy than I will ever be, and I’d rather just be surprised than try to beat them to the punch.

THAT BEING SAID.  I can’t just sit here and not think about it.

The V/Five in the logo seems awfully significant, doesn’t it?  Clearly, that’s meant to evoke US currency.  There have been rumors (leaked casting notices, URL registrations) that this game will have something to do with the financial collapse, and so this logo would certainly bear that out.

Now, when you think of money, what do you think of?  3 places come to mind:

  • Wall Street
  • Hollywood
  • Washington, D.C.

Wall Street = NYC, and since GTA4 took place in Liberty City, it seems unlikely that Rockstar would revisit the same city so soon.  Hollywood is certainly a more plausible possibility, considering they’ve already been there in San Andreas.  It should be noted, however, that L.A. Noire covered the Hollywood locale pretty thoroughly (even if it was in the 40s, and even if Rockstar didn’t technically build it), and Rockstar’s already built a drivable LA in the latest Midnight Club game.  Which is why, if I had to guess, I’d guess this game would take place in Washington, D.C., right around now.  The GTA games have always been outspoken from a political point of view (even if things like Weasel News are less about commentary and more about parody).  The GTA games have been controversial and fodder for politicians for years (and it just so happens that today’s announcement is also the 3-year anniversary of Jack Thompson’s disbarment).  And considering that Max Payne 3, another Rockstar game, is slated for release in the Spring of 2012, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see GTA5 staying out of its way and arriving in or around Election Day.   (Indeed, I’ve been emailing back and forth all day today with a friend, who offered that if GTA5 was indeed set in DC, then GTA5’s version of GTA4’s pigeons would be to punch 100 senators in the face.)

As for the game?  Well, I have a far less nebulous list of demands:

  • Make the combat more like Red Dead
  • Make the penalty for death more forgiving (like Red Dead)
  • Let me save anywhere, instead of having to drive all the way back to a safe house (also like Red Dead)

Anyway, I’m most likely wrong about this, but it’s fun to guess.

EDIT:  Literally 5 minutes after posting this, I checked my RSS feed and saw that Kotaku is reporting that GTA5 will take place in Los Angeles.

Speaking of which.

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