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
With E3 less than 2 weeks away, this and the next article in the series may be the last ones we publish - then again, chances of GTA VI being announced or even confirmed are slim, based on the fact that Rockstar likes to take their sweet time with its games and will probably go for a different project to avoid franchise fatigue. But, what do we know!?
They have a point, too - why bother looking as far ahead as GTA VI, when we have new, exciting Online DLC to look forward to? Rockstar has recently released the first official trailer of Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, which will act as a follow-up to last December's Executives and Other Criminals.
While that update is shaping up to be quite the big boom, some other noteworthy news related to the future of GTA 5 also appeared recently - namely, a screenshot pulled from the portfolio site of a 3D Artist working for Rockstar, which features a section of Liberty City with upgraded graphics. While we consider the possibility of it being "confirmation" of the city being added to Online, it does suggest that the next location we'll see in a GTA game won't be a new one.
In the meantime, let's assume that the next location will indeed be the rendition of an all new city. Will moving further westward take us to promising lands, or will we be getting back to the coast with haste?
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Oklahoma, capital city of the state of Oklahoma is mainly situated in - you guessed it - Oklahoma county. Before you ask, yes, there is a street in the city also called Oklahoma. If you think that is any indication of the creativity that goes into naming things around those parts, you'll probably be interested to hear that one of the official nicknames of Oklahoma is literally "the City".
Before any Oklahomans jump at me, I'm just poking fun - but then they're not likely to, since one of the other nicknames of the city is The Big Friendly. Not only the capital, the city also happens to be the largest in the state, with the surrounding metropolitan area being home to almost 1.4 million souls. While it isn't too high ranking in terms of population, it more than makes up for it in terms of physical size - the city is the largest in the whole country by area when not counting those whose government is not consolidated with that of a county or borough.
Oklahoma has more or less grown together with the (formerly?) neighboring cities of Edmond and Norman, which now act as the suburb districts of the city in technicality. There are few bodies of water around and the city is situated in the Great Plains region, making the area devoid of any natural borders that Rockstar could use to mold the boundaries of the map with - and we know invisible walls aren't their thing unless out in open sea or in a tunnel.
Three "large" lakes are present in Oklahoma, though they are far too small to be used a map-borders. Other than this, the North Canadian River cuts through the city, however the only help this is that it would be easier to section off districts.
Oklahoma also happens to sit in one of the USA's busiest tornado corridors - it has been hit by over thirteen that are classified as Fujita scale 4 or above, with countless smaller ones having "passed through" as well.
A event of great national significance, despite it being a tragedy, cannot go unmentioned. In 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was severely damaged in a bombing that took the lives of 168 and injured almost 700 others. Committed by a domestic terrorist who was fueled by intense hatred of the US Federal Government, the act remains to be the most severe instance of domestic terrorism in the history of the United States of America.
In terms of economy, Oklahoma's biggest industries are that of fossil fuels and livestock - it has one of the largest markets of the later in the world. There are a number of major national companies with their HQs in the city, such as the Sonic Drive-In restaurant chain.
Oklahoma is mostly surrounded by smaller settlements, suburban neighborhoods and woodland. While the terrain variety would lead to a map less varied than that of GTA 5, Rockstar could probably craft it into something not too samey.
While its geography isn't exactly award-winning for a GTA game, Oklahoma gets plenty of points for Crime. According to various studies and metrics, it can be considered as high as the 10th most dangerous city in America. Oklahoma has also been called the most gang-infested city in the country, with gang-related violence and violent crime being extremely high.
The city sits on a major Texan-Mexican travel corridor, making it a pretty big human trafficking and smuggling hub. When illegal immigrants make it across the border, they have a few frequently traveled "next-stop" cities and Oklahoma is one of them.
The city has also a considerably high murder rate, though this can mainly be attributed to gang-warfare. Active criminal gangs who are rivals of one another lends itself perfectly for a GTA game.
Oklahoma falls into that odd space of having distinct and notable landmarks, yet not being particularly iconic when viewed as a foreigner. Non-Oklahoman USA natives might be able to recognize the city based on landmarks alone, however players from across the border might have trouble with placing things.
The Skydance Pedestrian Bridge and Devon Energy Center are probably the two most iconic buildings in the city. Seeing as Oklahoma was founded in the land run of 1889, the city wasn't built in a time the architecture of which was considered "valuable" later on, so few truly historical buildings remain. Most of the city is fairly modern.
While Oklahoma mostly falls into the blank slate category, there are a few sources to draw from. With the fact that gang activity, human trafficking and the livestock industry are all big in the city, the game could focus on rival gangs which are mainly dealing with illegal immigrants that both have livestock companies as covers and money-laundering businesses.
Then again, human trafficking might be too controversial even for Rockstar, so they might stick to a good old rival gang story scenario. They might include something about preventing an attack similar to the 1995 bombing. However, if they don't do it in a tasteful manner, which is difficult on its own, they would get serious heat - plus Rockstar isn't loved for their "tasteful" content, after all.
Pros: High crime rate.
Cons: Poor geography, little story potential, not particularly iconic.
While Oklahoma has the gang activity down, it sadly lacks the other ingredients needed to cook up a good game-map for a GTA title. The unfavorable geography and the lack of international recognition doesn't exactly make this the best city to base an open virtual world on.
Which city would you like us to evaluate for GTA 6 next week? Think hard - it may be the last.