Taking Bets on Grand Theft Auto V

GameSpot editors place their bets on GTAV's setting and characters in anticipation of next week's trailer.


No Caption Provided

Leave it to Rockstar to send the Internet into a collective tizzy with nothing more than a tweet and a JPEG. Fortunately, yesterday's vague announcement of Grand Theft Auto V did include word of a full trailer coming next week that will almost assuredly shed some more light on this sequel. So with those details on the horizon, we figured we'd take a stab at guessing what's going on with the fifth-numbered installment in this open-world action franchise.

Justin Calvert - Section Editor, Reviews

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? Current rumors suggest a return to the Los-Angeles-inspired Los Santos and, more specifically, to Vinewood, GTA's take on Hollywood. That would make sense given that one of the characters Rockstar was advertising for actors last year was an aspiring actress, but then dreaming about making it big in Hollywood doesn't even guarantee that she's made it to Hollywood. So I'm not entirely convinced. Given that the GTAV logo has a look of currency to it, I'd like to think that the series might be heading somewhere new in the form of Washington DC. Maybe it'll even feature nearby Baltimore and draw inspiration from one of my favorite TV shows ever, The Wire.

When's it set? I'm probably way off, but I'd love to see GTAV set in the '60s and '70s. Those were an eventful couple of decades in American history, and I think it'd be fascinating to see Rockstar North tackle things like the JFK assassination, Martin Luther King's speech, the moon landing, and the Vietnam War.

Who's it about? I think GTAV might expand on what GTAIV did with its Lost & Damned downloadable content, which on a few occasions afforded you an opportunity to experience events you'd already played through in the main game from a different protagonist's perspective. I daresay all of the protagonists will be capable of despicable deeds, but perhaps the only truly criminal one is a corrupt politician or something like that. The others could simply be characters who are demonized in game because of their beliefs or skin color and perform criminal acts only out of desperation or for what they perceive to be the greater good.

Giancarlo Varanini - Editor-at-Large

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? A fake GTA version of Washington DC (perhaps it will be called Dashington WC) seems likely. All the turmoil surrounding America's political scene and the upcoming election themes would make for some great storylines.

When's it set? Going with the present. There's just too much crazy going on right now for Rockstar to pass up.

Who's it about? The protagonist is a young street tough (I know, shocking) who eventually gets wrapped up in some massive political conspiracy when he accidentally runs over the president's dog! Also, I hope Martin Sheen does the voice--the dog's, not the president's.

Carolyn Petit - Associate Reviews Editor

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? I predict that GTAV will see a leap in scale for the series over GTAIV, similar to that seen in the transition from Vice City to San Andreas. However, rather than taking place in one cohesive area, GTAV will be a bicoastal crime epic that will have you traveling between Vice City and San Andreas as you build a criminal empire.

When's it set? Because it directly follows the events of GTAIV, GTAV will take place in the present day; the locations will closely resemble contemporary Miami, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. And like GTA: San Andreas, it will sometimes take you out of the urban landscape and into small towns and isolated areas.

Who's it about? You play as Patrick "Packie" McReary, a supporting character in GTAIV who, at the end of The Ballad of Gay Tony, is seen leaving Liberty City with a duffel bag. Landing in San Andreas to start a new life, you begin by doing odd jobs for various criminal kingpins, earning money until you can start buying property, and building your own drug-dealing organization. I think GTAV will incorporate something similar to the drug-dealing aspect of GTA: Chinatown Wars, but on a larger scale, and that eventually, you'll be able to have lower-ranking people in your organization handle the day-to-day duties.

No Caption Provided
How will GTAV's setting compare to the Liberty City of IV?

John Davison - VP of Programming

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? Here's my messed-up logic on this one: The code name for GTAV is apparently "Rush," which immediately made me think of the classic racer San Francisco Rush. That had nothing whatsoever to do with Rockstar at all, but we know the team has an appreciation of gaming pop culture. San Fiero was the homage to San Francisco in San Andreas, and there's plenty of opportunity for exploring the surrounding areas, as well as the main city. Sound logic? Perhaps not, but I'm sticking with it.

When's it set? My bet for this one is that it picks up on the same timeline as GTAIV and begins a couple of years after Niko's story.

Who's it about? The fanboy in me wants CJ to make a comeback - he was by far my favorite GTA protagonist, but I doubt they'll bring him back. If the game really is set in San Fiero, I'm thinking a lead character with an Asian background, and one that's a more liberal character, struggling with the challenges that face him and his need to go against his natural instincts and principals.

Chris Watters - Associate Reviews Editor

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? Rio de Janeiro

When's it set? 2000-2040

Who's it about? Born on the eve of the new millennium to a happy, well-to-do young couple, Paolo seems destined to live the good life in The Marvelous City. But when tragedy strikes, the young boy finds himself cast out on the street with nowhere to turn. Falling in with an orphan gang in the favelas, he learns to survive the hard way and rises to a powerful position by his teenage years. When a chance discovery sheds light on the fate of his parents, Paolo uses his influence to construct a double life to infiltrate the upper echelons of society and seek revenge. From his tragic change of circumstance and his gang life to his carefully crafted new persona, players will play as Paolo throughout the different periods of his life. They will eventually come to move fluidly between the underworld and the upper crust, using charm, cunning, and brute force to bend the city to his will.

Shaun McInnis - Previews Editor

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? I'm going to go with the rumor mill on this one and concede that it'll probably be set in Los Angeles. After San Andreas, True Crime: Streets of LA, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and LA Noire, doesn't the City of Angels deserve some time in the sun? Kidding! I'm actually quite interested to see how Los Santos would look if given the full treatment Liberty City got from III to IV.

When's it set? This is where I'll go out on a limb and guess the 1980s, if only because I feel so bad taking the safe route with my first guess.

Who's it about? Our main character is a young man from the Midwest who moves out to LA with the hope of making it big in Hollywood. Unfortunately, he doesn't, and he has to turn to a life of crime to make ends meet. He gets roped up in the seedy underside of the LA crime world, and he finally gets his acting career back on track after doing a few odd jobs for a corrupt movie producer. He may or may not have a mustache and be named Ted.

No Caption Provided
How will GTAV's hero compare to Niko?

Andrew Park - Managing Editor

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? One look at the logo--which has the Roman numeral "V" set with the color and texture of American legal tender--makes it obvious that the next Grand Theft Auto game will take place in and around the 12 bank districts of the United States Federal Reserve, making this the most sprawling and ambitious GTA game yet. While you'll definitely have huge streets to roam in New York and Dallas, you'll also hole up inside actual reserve bank locations, testifying before legislators in quick-time events and using timed button presses to disavow any knowledge of the instability of collateralized debt objects or the plunging value of the US dollar. You'll also make use of the game's realistic, LA Noire-esque facial animations during dramatic, bullet-time cable TV close-ups, mashing the X button to affect expressions of boredom, bemusement, or mild irritation.

When's it set? The game will pick up in the mid 2000s and span 10 years, ending in 2015 just as America exports its very last manufacturing job. The game will have multiple endings, depending on whether you decide to ship America's last job to China or to India (as well as whether or not you end up getting the nation's credit status downgraded from AAA to AA+).

Who's it about? Your character will start the game as a fresh-faced MBA graduate who "gets hooked up with a job" sitting at a trading desk at the high-powered Wall Street financial firm where your uncle is a senior vice president. You'll live it up during the fat days of no-money-down subprime mortgages and soaring consumer credit card debt, but once the bottom drops out of the stock market (and the greater American economy in 2008), you'll be required to perform certain "under the table" missions to ensure that your firm definitely receives government bailout money.

Marko Djordjevic - Associate Sports Editor

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? The game will take place in and around the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. There will be a few city/town locations. There won't be a large city like in GTAIV, but there will be enough variety in the locations. Also, the border between the countries will feature border patrol agents that you'll have to avoid

When's it set? The setting will be current day but may go into some flashback scenarios where you play as a number of different characters to give you a better idea of their backgrounds

Who's it about? You will play as an undercover DEA agent who has already been on assignment for some time (a few months), but the line between crime and justice is beginning to blur. The opening mission of the game will have you doing a really horrific execution (women will be involved) but will end with you reporting to your superior officer; you'll be given the chance to tell him what you just did (but still be vague) or feed him with a lie. Moving forward, each mission will give you the opportunity to help one side over the other, and your decisions will determine the fate of your character and those around him. As you progress, the actions you take--whether good, bad or neutral--will greatly affect the later parts of the game.

Guy Cocker - Editor, GameSpot UK

No Caption Provided

Where's it set? London

When's it set? The 1960s.

Who's it about? It's Johnny Chiodini doing his best cockney geezer routine. (Editor's note: You know, Johnny always did strike us as a young Michael Caine).

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 539 comments about this story
539 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for lennonbott

it in LA you can play as 3 defent pepole with out dlc

Avatar image for amalv6456

i would appreciate if GTA V is set in Vice city with san Andreas graphics..

Avatar image for lennonbott

@amalv6456 it needs gta 4 graphics it will be still cool even in vice city

Avatar image for laythkorin


Avatar image for godzilla135

Let's do this San andeas ,Liberty city ,Vice city all together then just have GTA4 graphics with vehicles from San andeas. End of the story but we will see

Avatar image for M3ran

@razor_rj its actually tommy vercetti not tony! and second of all if you havent seen the new GTA v trailer you must!there is a rummor tommy vercetti is on that.

Avatar image for KrazzyDJ

Well, we now know one thing for sure - they were all wrong !!!

Avatar image for razor_rj

@M3ran, you haven't being paying attention to the game lore,gta san andreas had a mission with tonny loyer,he says he had lots of problem so he had to run,gta iv,had a radio news about the violent death of a gangster figure from vice city,so tony vercetti is dead, problably a la al pacino in scarface,since the mansion is pure homage to that movie.

Avatar image for pREMiuM_pLAyeR

Or the reunion of CJ's Hoods , Bellics, Tommy's and other to fight over new MASSIVE power on AMERICA... who knows ..,,,...

Avatar image for pREMiuM_pLAyeR

i think its on IOWA ....

Avatar image for nomailx

@banana23man Exactly. I guess you got my point now since you say yourself that what I say is true for any game. Every game is getting more and more the same, specially if you play a FPS. But at least some FPS like Modern Warfare brought some new stuff and some different interaction, but when I check at the GTA series, nothing new. Just the same stuff over and over again with a little better graphics.

Avatar image for icecoldkilla78

i would LOVE for it to be in vice city. Vice City was my favorite GTA

Avatar image for yavix

My only bet is it won't be anywhere outside of America. Dan Houser said GTA is America, as seen through TV, and film. I don't see how that would translate to any other culture. I mean a lot of people in America, don't spend much time getting familiar with outside cultures. If the game were set in London, it would be weird for some gamers to get the sarcastic inside jokes that would be immediately evident to British people. I'm not saying that it would be interesting, but it's just highly unlikely. Only one more day to wait until we find out what place we'll be exploring. I just hope it's a good game.

Avatar image for sasquatchgamer2

the V is green so i think it might be San Andreas because the gang you are in is green thats my terrible guess

Avatar image for circus2050

so this will be only on consoles? lame...

Avatar image for SkamArtist

As long as the game is on a scale that San Andreas was.

Avatar image for 008Zulu

I think everyone is missing one of the biggest running gags in the entire GTA franchise; The war with Australia. If it isn't set here, then the main character will be Australian, out for revenge.

Avatar image for SauhlGood

whats to specualte, they already leaked info thats its vice city, end of post

Avatar image for pdevil21

GTA: slowly helping the world learn Roman numerals.

Avatar image for M3ran

isnt it suppose to be a "V" for vice city?i mean comon liberty city!,vice city! and san andreas.thats the pattern

Avatar image for M3ran

what about tommy vercetti?what happened to him?he was a huge character when vice city came out you remember?i sure hope the developers try and sew atleast afew characters from the last generation to this one such as CJ,nd his crew to those from vicecity.

Avatar image for zzcool500

thanks alot for spoiling the ending of tbogt for me

Avatar image for Ultimate39

Chris's was great. I wish they would use that one, but I don't think Rockstar would push the envelope and put in kids (not in a GTA game anyways)

Avatar image for flexin007

How about somewhere new....................and FUN!

Avatar image for dj1808

las venturas... duh

Avatar image for ToTs_00

@eoj Chinatown wars had an Asian lead character.

Avatar image for Dark_Infinite

i hope they allow us to travel to different countries

Avatar image for Jessey-Stone

a good setting would be the border towns beteween mexico and the usa a young man age 19 forced to be a halcon(lowest rank in the zetas) and slowly forces his way up the food chain by killing police officers, traitors of the gang, and of course others that try to get in the way of the zetas. after awhile you try to move the drugs to the usa and be able to hide drugs in trucks have coke mules and all that kind. i say this would be the best plus it would help us understand what is really going on in mexico and show us how life truly is, deceptive, difficult and just downright how horrific life truly is now

Avatar image for justoneguy

I don't think it would be bad to have a female protagonist, and i'm betting in Rio too.

Avatar image for Gamey_Lord7

@Lotus12345 your a pure GTA genius, if you think about it i would love if it is based in Detroit mainly for the idea of travelling from United States and Canada. and if they do create a GTA like that weather will be a big factor since in Canada it's mostly snowing trust me i live there

Avatar image for Second_Hokage

Does gamespot not employ woman? oh, carolyn... wait...

Avatar image for adonis021509

my question is how will the multiplayer be like gta 4 multiplayer was ok could ove done a little better (in some parts when doing multiplayer i got a friend in new york and im in new jersey and its says can not connect i suggest stronger online connection)

Avatar image for Gamey_Lord7

i already comment on this before but what about a international setting like Canada, England, or maybe just Egypt

Avatar image for Lotus12345

Los Angeles is the current front-runner in the rumor mill for GTA V's setting. Reasons for GTA V taking place in Los Angeles include the following: Rockstar has a lot of experience with Los Angeles and can use assets from previous games like L.A. Noire, a casting call for voice actors included a call for a character obsessed with becoming a Hollywood celebrity, and GTA: San Andreas was the best-selling entry in the series. Likewise, Miami is listed as a possibility due to the popularity of Vice City, but as one columnist pointed out, Miami in the 1980's is the best time to set such a game, and that's been done. Although Detroit and Chicago mentioned frequently in wish lists for the location of GTA V, there doesn't seem to be much supporting evidence for GTA being set in the Midwest besides the fact that it hasn't yet been set there. Some gamers mention that Detroit could be particularly fun because it could involve cross-border smuggling to and from Canada. Drugs in, guns out, eh? London is a possibility due to expansion packs for the original GTA being set there, and the fact that moving the series to Europe could be a nice change of pace. There's also a Rockstar studio in the UK that does a lot of work on the GTA series, so it'd be logistically possible to set a GTA game there. Of course, with most numbered GTA games having taken place in New York City, and with Rockstar headquartered there, we could always be returning to a life of crime in the Big Apple.

Avatar image for eoj

I would say Chicago and a lead Asian character. Chicago and a lead asian character are something that has not been seen in GTA. Chicago has a mighty history of gangsters. It has Michigan lake so there can be water missions. It has a L train system. And plenty of logical gangs. Also not to mention alot of cultural history. Chicago is a perfect setting.

Avatar image for H2089

It'd be cool if we can meet CJ and Tommy Vercetti in GTAV :D assuming it's a mashup of both Vice City and San Andreas. I'd love to see what they've been up to in the past 20-30 years, because hell CJ is 20 years older in the present (GTA SA being somewhere in the 1992-3s) and Tommy would be about 25 years older, assuming Vice City happened in '85-86.

Avatar image for Ninpo187

Hoping for prohibition-era Chicago.

Avatar image for Pandora2014

Kansas City needs some love. I haven't seen a good game franchise hit Kansas City in awhile and the city's history leaves a good deal of breathing room for a series like GTA to really move. I'm also a little tired of the New York City, Miami, and L.A. facades and would be really happy to see the game move to less well known enviroment.

Avatar image for johnjcoe9198

According to the GTA Wiki, Capital City is GTA's Washington, D.C. And anyone who's ever been to D.C. will tell you, there's the federal block of D.C., which is what you see on TV, and the rest of the city is very urban, which fits in /w GTA quite well. I'd like to see all the RPG and customization aspects of San Andreas return, so you can FINALLY mod the cars, and not have them destroyed 5 minutes later!

Avatar image for nfscraig

please be miami or l.a.

Avatar image for g3t10st

IDC were or when the game will take place but i am sure its going to be better than any other GTA games

Avatar image for earlmccormick88

I thought the main protagonist was being voiced by Gilbert Gottfried.

Avatar image for TheVGamer

Forget the previous cities, it's called GTA V for a reason. I'd like to see DC, but then again, some crazy new concept would be fun too.

Avatar image for garcia_jx

I don't care where it is set as long as it is not set in the 60s, 70s, or 80s. Shoot, I want a modern GTA with modern weapons and vehicles, and most importantly, I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Avatar image for Triilsk

would be nice if was set in tokyo, with yakuza story...but unlikely

Avatar image for eliebaz

they should make the game in Antarctica, you can go around the hoods of penguins, robbing them off there suits and you can go around racing on your stomach :P yeah that's just weird. but i think a new place would be nice

Avatar image for StingrayX5

Where's it set? Los Angeles When's it set? 2012 Who's it about? The GTA3 protagonist moved from Liberty City to Los Santos...making a fresh start to his life.

Avatar image for doughnutbone

Why not tackle prohibition? Something along the lines of the new show on HBO, Boardwalk Empire. The roaring 20s would be a great backdrop and they could have a lot of fun with the characters, vehicles and dialogue. I would love to see that...

Avatar image for tonyh900

Me and a couple of my friends were thinking how this should work. I kept saying have CJ(San Andreas), the guy from lost and damned or Nico, and the guy from liberty city stories would go well together. We also talked about where should it be we all thought three different locations San andreas, Vice city, and Liberty City with the ability to transport(fly from an airport) to each place freely. It would make an epic three way cross over game then.

Avatar image for hasibna

I would like to see next GTA not restricted to a single city but multiple cities across the continents. One should be able to fly from one city to other. of course it mean allot of work and effort but it will add diversity and fun. Cities should not suppose to be that large but should be enough to roam around. Hope to see multi city GTA soon