GTA 6 City Of The Week: Detroit

GTA 6 City of the Week is a weekly article series here on GTA BOOM. Every week, we will evaluate a different city in the United States, gauging how well it would fit GTA 6 as a setting.

GTA V News Recap

While there is still a complete lack of news regarding any future installments in the GTA franchise (as is expected), the immediate future of GTA Online has been unveiled by Rockstar. Back when they first teased the massive Further Adventures in Finance and Felony DLC, they also shared plans for another update to be launched sometime during the summer.

The DLC was described as an overhaul to the Content Creator, bringing tons of new props, features and the re-enabling of prop stacking. These changes would be accompanied by a handful of new vehicles and new variants of existing vehicles all tricked out to be ideal for stunting.


Cunning Stunts, launching next Tuesday on the 12th of July, will be bringing all of these promised features to GTA Online. The DLC was announced yesterday along with a trailer, giving players glimpses of what some of the new vehicles may be. No names or prices have been confirmed yet, nor do we know exactly what will be contained in the update.

Either way, this new kind of DLC is a welcome change from the relatively serious approach of the updates we've gotten so far. Cunning Stunts takes the idea that while over-the-top and satirical, GTA has always been grounded in reality, and throws it off a ramp suspended hundreds of meters in the air, winding around a skyscraper.

If you've already gotten your fill of GTA Online, then Rockstar would like to welcome you to the fictional wild west. Again. Red Dead Redemption was recently announced to be coming to Xbox One via backwards compatibility. It was 'unlocked' on the Xbox One today, so you can already play it!

However, if you'd rather spend you time with even more speculation and guesswork regarding the future of the GTA franchise as a whole, we invite you to our next virtual tour of a city that could potentially serve as a setting for GTA 6.



The Motor City has been one of the longest requested locations for us to feature in these articles since the series began, and rightly so. Having been the heart of the automobile industry in the USA during its heyday, Detroit has since slipped into underpopulation and bankruptcy. It is one of the most corrupt cities in the country worth mentioning, crime rates have been high throughout its history and large parts of the city are ghost towns.

Detroit is located in the state of Michigan, wherein it is the largest and most populous city. The city rises on the northern bank of the Detroit River. Lake St.Clair is close by, though technically the city (as far as administrative boundaries go) doesn't  lie on its bank. The great lakes are pretty close by too, as are a number of other significant settlements such as Toledo and Cleveland, which could also be potentially included.

Detroit is also a border city and one of the very few locations in the USA to which Canada lies to the South (or a part of it, at the very least) - this proximity is part of what saved the city after the automotive industry moved out, as Detroit is a major economic link between the two North American countries.


Detroit also acts as a major port, facilitated by the Saint Lawrence Seaway. These two benefits allowed the city to survive various economic crises, primarily the departure of the bulk of the car industry that we've mentioned before. The city now acts as the economic and financial center of the region. The greater Detroit metropolitan area is home to 4.3 million permanent residents.

The geography of the area is prime for a GTA setting. The proximity of the lakes makes it easy for Rockstar's mapmakers to surround the landmass(es) with water if need be. There are some natural areas nearby and the large, abandoned neighborhoods give a great contrast to the modernized and tidied-up downtown area. There is plenty of variety, so the map would hardly be boring to traverse.


Ho, boy.

Detroit was always a city associated with high crime rates. To the uninitiated and those who don't really look into the matter, it is easy to assume that Detroit is the "most dangerous city in the USA" or somesuch simply based on hearsay and the widely known stereotype.


Things aren't that bad, though there is some truth to the claims. Detroit held the title of "Murder Capital" for the longest time of all US cities that were branded with that nickname and still has high murder rates, though a tad lower than in Baltimore and St.Louis. In 2015, there were a total of 295 murders, and 299 before that in 2014.

Violent crime has been on a constant rise since a few years ago. Things are pretty quiet in the Downtown area, but anywhere else gang violence is widespread. 70% of murders remain unsolved on average. Most of the violence is drug related or it has ties to the local gangs.


While Detroit has a widely known reputation, it isn't exactly visually iconic. Aside from the newer International Riverfront, most notably the Renaissance Center, the various former automotive factories might be the buildings most characteristic of Detroit and its legacy.


Other than that, large, abandoned and crumbling neighborhoods might also be easy to associate with the city. We really don't want to offend any Detroit residents - the Downtown area is really tidy and on par with any other city we've looked at - but the suburbs are pretty shabby here and there. Not all of them, mind you.

Story Potential

Really, this one is a scattershot. Write up a dozen or two typical GTA themes, pin the paper on a wall, shoot it with a shotgun and everything hit by the shrapnel would perfectly fit Detroit. As would those which remained unharmed. As would those you didn't write down.


Corruption? Check. Gangs? Check. Hell, this is motor city we're talking about. How about a wealthy but corrupt businessman wants to "revive" the automotive industry in the city and needs funds to do so. This brings him into contact with the local gangs, and one of the gang-members becomes something of a liaison. In the end, the gang is planning to betray the businessman and vice-versa. Only the player character, the liaison, knows this and must pick to help one of them, help neither, or betray them both with fake help to put himself in a place of power.

Final Verdict:


Pros: Perfect geography, Great story potential, High crime rate

Cons: Limited recognition

Detroit, due to its geography, high crime rate and story potential lent by those two as well as historic facts all add up to make this a great possible GTA 6 setting. Foreign players might not find much that they recognize though. Then again, that isn't really a big issue, seeing as many games feature entirely original open world maps that players loved and felt comfortable traversing, exploring and blowing to bits nonetheless.

Which city would you like us to take a look at next week?

Aron Gerencser
Aron is responsible for the bulk of the news posts that you'll find on GTA BOOM each and every day. He loves getting involved with the community and is an avid fan of all things Rockstar Games. His journey with the franchise began with GTA 2 back when it was new (all the way back in 1999), and he was a gamer even before then. Find Aron on Facebook.