When it comes to establishing a solid atmosphere for a Grand Theft Auto title, location is everything. It's not enough to simply throw players into a splotchy suburb of some anonymous metropolis - the city needs to be alive, teaming with civilians and traffic. It needs to have an identity, a social structure, some evidence of reality buried beneath the layers of cynicism and dry humour.
Through the years, Rockstar has excelled at maintaining this illusion. The missions and storylines that play out through the duration of the game tie into the cities themselves, along with the characters (and innocent bystanders) that populate it. Although the concept of "free roam" gameplay is nothing new, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, through its use of vast cityscapes that mirror and mock major American locations, push the envelope on exactly what gamers consider to be true immersion.
Explore the GTAV map now!
|City of Los Santos|
|Inspired By:||Los Angeles, CA|
|Nicknames:||City of Saints; Santos|
Los Santos, City of Saints
Grand Theft Auto V heads to the city of Los Santos, San Andreas - Rockstar's take on Los Angeles, California. With an estimated population of 3.8 million, the city is most famous for being home to the movie industry. It is also known for its sandy beaches, insane highways and gang-related crime; the latter of which has earned it the unenviable title of "Gang Capital of the World".
Los Santos featured previously in the GTA series, in the 2004 installment Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It should be noted, however, that Los Santos in GTAV has been completely re-imagined and bears little resemblance to its previous incarnation.
Many districts in Los Angeles County have been recreated in GTAV. These include, but are not limited to: Hollywood (Vinewood), Downtown Los Angeles (Downtown Los Santos), Koreatown (Little Seoul), Venice (Vespucci), Santa Monica (Del Perro) and Hollywood Hills (Vinewood Hills).
Set in the present day, GTA5 focuses on the theme of money with emphasis on the stark contrast between wealth and poverty; between those living in exclusive Vinewood neighbourhoods, and those barely scraping by in the notorious Skid Row district, just a few miles away.
Beyond the City
The GTAV map includes countryside, mountains, towns and beaches in addition to the main city. It is therefore extremely diverse and a refreshing change from Liberty City's rigid, and somewhat claustrophobic, layout.
The countryside environment offers a different experience from the city. Gone are the towering skyscrapers of Downtown Los Santos, congested freeways and LS gangbangers, replaced instead with rivers, wind farms, farmhouses, mountains and enormous redwood trees.
To the north of Los Santos lies the desert region of Blaine County. Within it you will find the Alamo Sea, based on California's Salton Sea, and beyond that the towering peaks of Mount Chiliad.
The town of Sandy Shores is the largest settlement outside Los Santos, with a population of around 3000. It contains a liquor store, a gun shop, a motel and, of course, a plentiful supply of drunken, gun-wielding rednecks! Sandy Shores is also home to the notorious Trevor Phillips, one of the game's main characters.
The rural landscape is by no means boring; it features side-missions and tasks to keep players busy, as well as a whole new garage of vehicles to play with. Each of the small towns scattered throughout the map has its own unique layout and populace, meaning there is plenty for players to explore. The map also features wildlife including dogs, rabbits, cougars as well as a variety of birds and marine life.