Rumour – Grand Theft Auto 6 coming in 2022, next-gen only sandbox set in the golden age of drug smuggling

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GTA (1)

You’ve got to hand it to the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The series that made sandbox games a breakout genre, every core game in the franchise has had an eye on surpassing previous efforts and creating something even more grandiose in the process. Just compare GTA 3 which took the franchise into proper 3D sandbox territory with GTA 4 that juggled a tale of crime and cousins obsessed with hitting the local bowling alley. HEY COUSIN! WANT TO GO BOWLING?

Grand Theft Auto 5 may just have been the most ambitious game that Rockstar had ever made. A tale of crime and violence split between three characters, the sequel was a lengthy saga where being bad never felt so good. With Grand Theft Online also proving to be a proper moneymaker, Rockstar Games didn’t just have a huge hit on their hands, they pretty much had a blank canvas to try their hand at an even wilder sequel.

Which according to Reddit user JackOLantern1982, is going to be absolutely mental. A lengthy report on what to expect, JackOLantern1982’s list is well worth taking with a pinch of salt as per the usual rumour, but when compared to other leaks that have begun popping up it does provide a tantalising glimpse at how Grand Theft Auto 6 is shaping up. If it’s true, that is. Here’s the full list, via GamesRadar:

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  • The next GTA title has been in development since 2012, but production didn’t begin properly until 2015, but even then the team was focusing more on Red Dead Redemption 2.  
  • It’s another Rockstar Worldwide Production.
  • Codename is PROJECT AMERICAS.
  • Set in both Vice City and a new fictional location based on Rio de Janeiro.
  • Some linear missions take place in Liberty City, but it isn’t an open world (think Ludendorff in GTA 5).
  • Game will balance realism and arcade and it won’t be as realistic as Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • One playable protagonist: male, not female, despite supposed leaks.
  • Set in 1970s-1980s.
  • You play as an up and coming drug lord-wannabe named “Ricardo”. Another key character called “Kacey” is a part of the narrative.
  • You start off as a grunt doing runs as a cocaine smuggler from Vice City to the new large South American area before making connections with big time drug lords and making your way up.
  • Multiple cities.
  • There will also be a giant prison which will play a part in the game.
  • Will feature a ‘chapter’ system similar to a Tarantino flick or Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Weather is a heavy focus (hurricanes, floods, etc).
  • Buildings change over the eras, vehicles too. So older, rare classic cars get more expensive as time progresses etc. Full economy.
  • Heavily inspired by Netflix’s Narcos.
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  • They want to have an incredible 70s/80s soundtrack.
  • A younger Martin Madrazo will make an appearance as will his father who is a big drug lord at the time. You do some missions for the Madrazo family involving hits on other gangs.
  • Drug empire building is a mechanic similar to Vice City Stories but bigger. Think the GTA Online system and dial it up to 10.
  • You can only have weapons on your person. No arsenal in your back pocket, like Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Your personal vehicle will be like your horse saddle in Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • All your equipment is stored in the trunk. You also store your body armour in the car. If you wear it, it appears, no longer just an invisible thing.
  • There will be tons of subtitle reading. Think Max Payne 3 amounts, very immersive, like watching an episode of Narcos.
  • Whenever you’re in South America, don’t expect to hear much English. Vice City however is a mix of everything, but mostly English.
  • Last bit of narrative info, it will discuss topics such as HIV and the immigration crisis of the time. A fictional version of Fidel Castro etc.
  • Next-gen only, not PS4 or Xbox One [aka PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett]
  • GTA 6 is now their primary focus, alongside another title (which might be Bully 2).
  • Game is still in Pre-Alpha so names, locations, details could and probably will change.
  • No ETA on a release date.

Additional (and contradictory) details from another user on reddit who goes by the name of Fireden also added more fuel to the rumour fire:

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  • The game is set back in Liberty City, modern day.
  • The plot in the beginning of the game is reminiscent of The Wire.
  • Police officers are trying to crack down a gang/drug ring based around a night club.
  • There are four main characters, two police and two gang members.
  • The plot then twists and turns and goes to upstate New York, where it becomes more crime noir, think Ozark and Breaking Bad.
  • It will have twice the amount of dialogue as GTA 5 and a really crazy plot twist.
  • The main storyline splits after a while, the criminal side has sort of a sandbox build-a-crime-empire thing (Fallout 4 meets the Sims), while the police side is more of a traditional action game with a little twist of LA Noire.
  • Earliest release is holiday 2021, but I would guess later, 2022 or 2023.

And there we go. That all sounds massively interesting, and provided that Grand Theft Auto 6 can give players a game that doesn’t feature a control scheme akin to that of a whale with an eating disorder, it sounds like it’ll be a blast to play. It’s going to be a hell of a long wait until the proposed 2022 release date, but hey: LET THE HYPE BEGIN!

Last Updated: July 2, 2019

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