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.
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GTA Online isn't giving its players too much down-time it seems. In spite of the recent release of Cunning Stunts, Rockstar felt the need to add even more content to the game. A mini-update was released with more Stunt Races alongside vehicles suited to brave them. This new update felt a lot like "Cunning Stunts 1.5" or something along those lines. Even so, at least one more such update is on the way, seeing as some of the leaked vehicles have yet to be released.
Cunning Stunts has made a lasting impression with the fans, as it is among the best received updates Rockstar has released since Heists. Even so, there are a few creases that could use a bit of ironing, however the community is more fixated on what this DLC could mean for the future of GTA Online. Sure, we know the Stunt Race Creator is coming on the second of August, but what happens after that?
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Some fear that DLC production for GTA Online will slow down as Rockstar begins focusing more and more on their not-so-mysterious mystery project going on, however Cunning Stunts also indicates that GTA Online content will be a bit more liberal with realism in the future.
Either way, while speculation about future DLC is plenty interesting, it hardly trumps speculation about future installments in the GTA franchise, right? So let's not delay any further, and get on with the latest potential setting for GTA 6:
The Big Pineapple is the capital of the state of Hawaii. It is also the capital of the county of Honolulu, the most populous city in the state and in fact the second most populous city in Polynesia. Honolulu also happens to be pretty much the only city the name of which any non-Hawaiian can recall off-hand. The city is the most remote settlement of its size in the world, however this hasn't stopped it from becoming a nexus for tourism. It also servers as a major portal to the USA and an economic link between the east and west, seeing as it is the point of convergence for many trade lanes spanning the Pacific Ocean. Even so, it has managed to maintain its relatively small size and low permanent population. While it is for all intents and purposes a full-fledged American big-city, it has yet to engulf the whole island of Oahu - though hopefully it never will.
Honolulu's industry and economy is mainly based on trade and tourism. As a gateway to the Pacific, connecting the USA to trading partners like China, Australia and other nations in the pacific. Honolulu attracts many tourists, as it combines historic significance with a beautiful landscape. Hawaii is the typical off-hand go-to country when people think of tropical paradises in terms of vacation hotspots, with good reason. While the population of the city proper is around the 340 thousand mark, seeing as Honolulu is a consolidated city-county, the gross population of th statistical area is almost one million.
Besides trade and tourism, one of the biggest "industries" in the city is the US Military. There are several bases across the Hawaiian islands, with a massive military presence being a constant. This is beneficial, since it would justify the abundance of military vehicles in a GTA game set on the islands. The historical connection with the military cannot be ignored either - everyone knows about Pearl Harbour, and how it triggered the USA's entrance into World War II.
The geography of Honolulu is pretty much already a GTA map. It's an island with a city on the southern shore. Done? Done. In all seriousness, basically all of Hawaii would make for an amazing GTA map. Add multiple islands, but pack them closer thanks to Rockstar's geographical liberty, connect them with bridges (or don't) and voila. Make them big enough to justify the use of land vehicles, while the use of sea and air vehicles will be made necessary due to, you know, being an archipelago. There are mountains, volcanos, cities and jungles, so the terrain would be diverse enough.
As shiny as things are in the geography department, this is where Honolulu's star falls. Honolulu is ranked as the 2nd safest city in the USA, with violent crimes being extremely rare. Drug use is high, however the violence that usually comes with it isn't as prevalent. Sure, seeing as it is a big city, you get some of the bad stuff, but nowhere near the levels we've seen in other cities evaluated in this series.
However there may be a "saving grace" - the legendary TV series, Hawaii Five-O has made linking the concepts of "crime" and "Hawaii" much easier for consumers, thus setting you loose in a pseudo-Honolulu with your typical assortment of GTA activities would seem less unreal.
Either way, there is plenty of theft and property crimes to go around, so stealing cars won't seem out of place at the slightest. Murder rampages and full-blown shoot-outs between gangs will be more of a stretch though.
Honolulu will do better in this department than some of the more recent cities we've looked at. Granted, it may not be the city itself which is more recognisable, but the surroundings and whatever the GTA stand-in for Pearl Harbour would be.
Speaking of, Pearl Harbour. You'd be hard pressed to be any more recognisable than that. There's also the USS Arizona memorial, the ʻIolani Palace, the Aloha Tower and the Ala Moana Center. The region may be more recognisable for foreigners due to the popularity of the previously mentioned crime show, Hawaii Five-O - parts of which could totally be inspiration for the story.
As a member of a local gang, you are used to the regular small-time street crime that you've been doing for years. You've always had rivals, but conflicts never escalated beyond broken bones and a few slashes - in fact, the most dangerous thing you've ever come face-to-face with was a crowbar. However when one night your crew is attacked by a rival gang toting military-grade hardware and you are the sole survivor, you realise that crime in Paradise City has changed forever.
Find the people who are in charge of the illegal gun smuggling activity, discover the identities of the military contacts the rival gang has and exact revenge. Take control of your own gang, steal or buy them arms and ammo and eliminate the hostile gangs who now engage in open combat. Uncover the conspiracy aiming to have the gangs weaken one another, so the rivals with corrupt military officials backing them can step in and take control of the drug trade.
Pros: Absolutely perfect geography, Story Potential, Recognition, Easily solved issue of low crime rate
Cons: Low crime rate (but that's easily solved)
Yes, the crime rate is low. Yes, we docked points for that in previous articles. However, that particular issue is bridges much easier in the case of Honolulu than in that of other cities, and everything else is too perfect for us not to score this city the highest in the series so far.
Which city would you like us to evaluate next week?