Let me guess, you were cruising down the strip in a convertible Porsche that, for legal reasons, couldn’t be called a Porsche, with “Atomic” by Blondie blaring out. Then, suddenly, you accidentally clip, and we mean slight flesh-wound clip, maybe a broken bone, a pedestrian. Stars flash up on the screen and you are chased by the police. The song changes to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, and you drive on the wrong side of the road and mount curbs just to escape. Then, at full speed, you fly off the road like you have been shot out of a cannon and land in the water before immediately drowning because, for some reason, your character can’t swim. We’ve all been there…….we think.
What game could you possibly be playing?
What game mixed mad gameplay decisions with an incredible soundtrack and beautiful vistas?
What game allows you to cause mayhem in a very fetching blue Hawian shirt?
What game had Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s that, for legal reasons, couldn’t be called Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s?
Well, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Obviously! For us, and we will have to say this quietly, the original Vice City is still our favourite GTA game. *cue outrage*
A recent leak from the resume of a mo-cap actor suggested that a successor to Vice City, and San Andreas, IV and V, GTA6, is in active development. Normally this would be big news, but if you didn’t believe GTA6 was being developed then you believe Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive don’t want to make quarries of cash.
With GTA6 in active development, the question of its setting inevitably followed, and we think it’s time to return to the beaches, waters, and vistas of Vice City.
GTA is synonymous with sunshine and chaos; it’s why Liberty City was a relative failure and why a game set in London wouldn’t work. No one wants to play a GTA game with long nights, and slight drizzle. That sort of climate would elicit the responses of a more grounded, possibly darker game, and that is not GTA. Vice City is the city of sun, sea, sex, and drugs–perfect to drop a player with questionable morals, at least digitally, and the resources to cause mayhem. It also has that familiar and slightly nostalgic vibe that is selling at the moment. (though, it’s hardly like the GTA series needs help selling!)
Apart from the climate, Vice City would bring our criminal activity away from bank heists and back to drugs and drug running. It goes without saying that we don’t advocate drugs, but they make a great gameplay mechanic for the criminal we will no doubt play. The city is called Vice City for crying out loud. It’s got a party atmosphere that probably means people are on drugs, and if people are on drugs, someone is selling them. That, we imagine, will be where we come in. The ‘American Dream’ is an ideal that seems to permeate all the GTA games, selling or running drugs will be the way the protagonist gets there, akin to the heists in GTA V.
Of course, the elephant in the room during any ‘we wanna go back to Vice City’ talk is, do you want to go to the city or the era? The original game was set in the 80’s when Florida was struggling with drugs, and the music was great. Drug lords like Pablo Escobar were not only working but also part of a growing celebrity culture. Much of the reason the original game is so revered is because of the era it was set in, not the city itself.
Yes, it would be great to go back to Vice City in the 80’s, but we would not be disappointed by a modern day interpretation. Ok, we’d miss the music, but there could be an 80’s music channel, no problem. The same story could be spun, but a modern-day Vice City would rely more on its charm than an 80’s inspired one.
A criticism of Los Santos was that it had no charm, it was a big city, possibly too big, with the backwoods and desert one side and the beach on the other. It was well designed of course, and well populated with great characters, but we never felt the place itself had its own character. Vice City would be a much easier city to create a character for. Its eclectic and different to the Hollywood/LA inspired Los Santos with an unmistakable style running throughout–neon lights and sandy beaches.
Let’s not forget that Vice City could also open up new gameplay areas like the alligator infested Everglades and possibly Cuba or Columbia, named differently of course. I mean, dat contraband gotta come from somewhere.
Vice City, 80’s or not, needs to be the place GTA6 is set, it has to be. Seriously, Rockstar, DO IT.
Oh, and a small game called Red Dead Redemption 2 will come out before, so, you know, guess we’ll play that while we wait.