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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With the time since the release of the major Further Adventures in Finance and Felony having been filled with the release of the Power Play Adversary Mode, the Grotti X80 Proto, the Pfister 811 and finally the re-release of the Independence Day Special update, fans are getting their fill of content for now.
Rumblings about Rockstar's absence from E3 have died down and once again the biggest problem the community is facing is "when will the next DLC be released?". Incidentally, considering that the as of yet unreleased Cunning Stunts DLC had a promo image with stunt-map sections colored like the US flag, many fans assumed it would launch in celebration of Independence Day.
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Seeing as the Liberator monster truck, Sovereign bike, Musket and others are once again available for purchase, this seems unlikely. The only thing we know about the update is that it will be launched sometime during the summer.
At any rate, this momentary relapse into the "car per week" model for DLC releases isn't as troubling as it was before, seeing as Further Adventures in Finance and Felony is still relatively recent and it was loaded with enough content to keep the game fresh for a good long time.
Rockstar's recent success in eliminating hackers from GTA Online on PC has also won them plenty of positive karma. Playing in public lobbies isn't a figurative game of Russian Roulette with only one chamber empty anymore. In fact, encountering hackers on PC is outright difficult at this point.
As cheery as things are looking for GTA Online, chances are many fans are still eager to find out info about the future of the franchise. Since it is unlikely that the next project by Rockstar will be GTA related, there is plenty of room for speculation. On that note, let's take a look at the next possible setting for Grand Theft Auto 6.
The Emerald City, known as such due to the vast forested regions surrounding it, is the main port-city in the northwestern USA and contains the fourth largest port (Seattle and Tacoma ports included) in the whole country (thanks Reddit friends). The city acts as the main hub of trade between North America and Asia. Situated near the USA-Canada border, the city has historically filled the role of being the gateway to Alaska. Seattle has sea access via an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. As such, it isn't considered a coastal city, despite having a shore with a body of water conjoined with the Pacific Ocean.
The city was named after a Native American chief who acted as the leader of the indigenous local population prior to and during being settled by Europeans (before anyone nitpicks, by European we mean settlers with European ancestors. The founders of Seattle were all born in what is today the USA.).
The city and the larger metropolitan area surrounding it is home to over 3.7 million people, making it the 15th largest in the country - on paper, that doesn't look too high, but that many people, in that region is pretty high. This is mainly due to the (relatively) recent economic boom in the region.
While shipping and logging have always been big businesses in the region, a recent economic upturn was spawned by Boeing and later international retailer supergiant Amazon. Further expansion was fueled by a number of large electronics and biotech firms being established in the city.
Seattle, being situated on a strip of land between a lake and an inlet, surrounded by various islands, peninsulas, other settlements, bays, ports and forests, makes for an absolutely perfect candidate as a GTA setting, in terms of geography.
The proximity of Tacoma, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Vashon Island and Lake Washington in particular add greatly to the geographic viability of the city as a GTA game map. Turning Seattle into an island of sorts wouldn't be too hard and incorporating these other locations would make it relatable and varied.
Seattle is a pretty safe city overall compared to some of the other cities we've looked at in this series. In 2015, there were only 24 murders in total, with the gross violent crime rate being pretty low overall.
As a major shipping port connecting North America to Asia, you can imagine that there is a whole lot of smuggling going on, with connections to gangs and corrupt officials alike. Surprisingly enough, human trafficking isn't a major issue. This is likely due to the US-Canadian border regions not being the right... market for that sort of thing, plus a sea voyage between Asia and NA isn't something easily survived in lieu of the facilities open to sailors.
Well, pretty much everyone knows the Space Needle, right? Other than that, the Seattle Central Library is pretty iconic, as is Pioneer Square.
Seattle has gotten some media attention. Sleepless in Seattle was a movie from '93 that was pretty popular. In terms of video games, the PS4 launch title Infamous: Second Son is set in, an albeit heavily modified, version of Seattle. In broader popular culture, the massively popular cyberpunk science-fantasy tabletop-turned-media franchise Shadowrun features Seattle as a primary setting. A recent game in the franchise, Shadowrun Returns, is also set in the city, though it isn't too recognizable in between all the neon lights and magical elves toting machine guns.
Seattle's role as a major port might be the best source of inspiration in terms of story. The whole smuggling angle might be a good start, setting up the player as a low-ranking member of a smuggling ring. The story would see them rise through the ranks, fighting both rival gangs and corrupt officials trying to undermine your rise to becoming the local criminal kingpin.
Pros: Perfect geography, decent recognition, decent story potential
Cons: Low crime rate
As we've discussed many times before, the low crime rate of any city is a obstacle easily overcome by the devs. Many of the cities featured in existing games is lower than some others we've evaluated. Beyond that, the geography of the region makes Seattle a perfect choice for a GTA map - problem is, Infamous beat Rockstar to the punch, which might make them weary of actually picking this city. Nonetheless, it would be a magnificent choice.
They'll just have to omit the fact that the city has one of the worst rush-hours in the entire country.
Which city would you like us to evaluate for applicability as a GTA map next?