Tag Archives: los santos

How Well Does GTA V’s Map Emulate Los Angeles?

We’ve been looking over a number of American cities, seeing how good a map for GTA VI they might make if adapted by Rockstar, however GTA V’s map also poses a question of how liberal the devs were with their adaptation. Barring a single foray into the UK, the GTA series has always taken place in an alternate version of the United States of America. The maps, in turn, were always based on existing cities, taking their layout, architecture and culture as a basis for the game’s setting.

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While obviously copying an entire city into a video game is completely nonviable, leading to certain differences, fans have put together some IRL GTA fan videos in Los Angeles where landmarks that are also present in the game appear prominently.

GTA V’s Los Santos, which previously appeared in San Andreas, is based on the real city of Los Angeles, California. Countless landmarks have been replicated in-game to give the city a more authentic look, including one that won’t be around in the real world for long.

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Rockstar has even allegedly tried to model Los Santos’ street layout based on LA, but clearly on a much more compressed scale. This poses the question many fans living elsewhere have asked: could one navigate Los Angeles based solely on knowledge of the city gained from GTA V?

Unfortunately, as cool as that would be, no. Several Los Angeles locals who also happen to be fans of GTA V shared their thoughts on this in a Reddit thread asking the same question.

The game is much more scaled down than the real place, so all of the roads are definitely not there, and neither are many many places. […] You also have to understand that it is a game, so taking note on the general grid layout of LA streets, Rockstar did in the end design the roads to fit their game.

Several discrepancies arise, many of which perfectly model the difference between GTA V’s Los Santos and Los Angeles. For example, one can see the Observatory from LSIA in game – in real life, the observatory is over an hour from the airport and there is no one it would be visible.

Los Santos Sunrise

There are significantly more streets in LA than what LS depicts. Not only are the existing ones longer and possibly different, but countless thousands of smaller paths litter the massive city of Los Angeles that never could fit into a video game. While the main roads and some major landmarks along them may be in the same place, GTA V’s city is very much a fictitious one.

Even so, some similarities in street layout cannot be denied. Rockstar did pay attention to keeping the major roads, highways and rough relative locations of recognizable landmarks in the same place as in real life. If nothing else, a tourist will indeed know the rough direction in which to go based on knowledge of GTA V’s map.

Have any of you visited LA and tried to navigate like it’s GTA V in real life?

GTA V Named Prime Digital Tourist Destination

Video games, besides entertainment, primarily serve the purpose of escapism. They let you leave the troubles of the real world behind for a short while, or at the very least allow you to enjoy another. GTA V presents you with a world much like ours, only without rules – you can do the things in GTA that you can’t in real life. Video games often spirit us away to vibrant, intriguing worlds filled with spectacle and sights to be discovered. Be it a magical land of fantasy, the farthest reaches of space, or just an idyllic countryside reminiscent of the real world, these are places that are pleasant to visit.

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The Telegraph has put together 8 of the most scenic video game locations that you can visit for a virtual holiday. As testament to the longevity of GTA V, it shares a place on the list with some pretty recent releases. Except for Elite: Dangerous, every game on the list is either from this year or the last, making GTA V the oldest game to make the Telegraph’s selection.

Each entry contains a brief description of the game the location is from, the location itself, things you can spend time with and various travel warnings. Los Santos’ description is extremely fitting, so whoever wrote this really did do their research.

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Los Santos is described as a city filled with wealth and every known method of its display. The cars which form and intrinsic part of GTA are mentioned explicitly, as are the satirical NPCs the city is populated with.

The best places to visit in the city according to the articles are Vespucci Beach, though the hordes of douches roaming around may put some people off, the Kortz Center Museum and the Vinewood sign.

What’s there to do in Los Santos? Well, you could always kill people, but the Telegraph decided to omit that particular pass-time, instead focusing on all the peaceful pass-times like golf and yoga. Right, because that’s what you’re going to do in GTA, right?

What the Telegraph nails on the head is the travel warning. If you’re visiting Los Santos, chances are you’re going to get killed. Be it getting shot, stabbed, beaten, set on fire, blown up or run over, death will catch up with you eventually – just another day in Los Santos, right?

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If you were to visit GTA V’s world on a holiday, how would you spend your time?

Three Hours Of GTA V In A Minute

We’ve said it many times and we’ll say it again. GTA V is a game absolutely overflowing with content. There is always stuff happening. Missions, side-missions, additional activities, collectibles, random encounters, NPCs interacting with you and one another. Plenty of locations to explore, plenty of enemies, challenges. There’s a whole multiplayer section which adds countless other missions, side-missions, etc. along with Adversary Modes and new heists. You can’t take two steps in GTA V without tripping over something to do in game.

But what happens if you take no steps at all? For three hours? That’s was GTA fan and YouTuber Jassinlive set out to discover in his latest video. Los Santos and Blaine County are overflowing with people and traffic running whatever odd errands these NPCs must perform.

A lot of things can happen while you stand perfectly still on a randomly picked sidewalk near an intersection. Jassinlive has decided to record a full three hours worth of video of Michael doing absolutely nothing in one of the busier parts of Los Santos. He then took the video and sped it up so that it lasts only a single minute.

While there are no murders, explosions, acts of violence or even vandalsim, the video depicts a busy, vibrant city that pulsates with life. PEDs walking around minding their own business, cars driving along, the moon taking the sun’s place before switching back again.

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This video has a similar vibe to the one that depicts a day in the life of GTA V NPCs when the player doesn’t blow everything up and kill everyone horribly. Once again this goes to show how much effort Rockstar put into making the world of GTA V feel like a real one.

Do you guys ever just stop to take in the world of GTA V, or are you on a perpetual binge of violence?

A US-Sized GTA VI Map Sounds Cool, But Would It Actually?

As always, the GTA VI rumor mills are spinning full force. With non-news and baseless speculation being basically all of GTA 6 journalism, nowadays some news outlets just post the exact same info again and again with yet another clickbait-y title that has no actual correlation with the article.

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So let’s step away from the assumptions and conjecture for a moment, and have a discussion about one of the most cited “features” people expect GTA VI to have. The legend says that the next installment of the GTA franchise will have a map that incorporates the whole of the United States, and will be insurmountably massive, containing all previously visited GTA cities, plus some new additions. While making a game world magnitudes larger than what we have today, and filling it with enough content as to avoid it feeling empty would be a massive achievement, would it be good?

I’m going to say it: many games these days are too big and too long. The vast majority of the target audience for open-world AAA games are working people, with little free time. If you give them a game with a play time of 200+ hours and an immense open world to explore they might just say “to hell with this”, put down the controller and go for a smaller, but more focused experience offered by another game.

Don’t get me wrong, I love sprawling, long story-heavy RPGs, or massive open worlds full of interesting places to find and discover, but I find that I don’t really have time to do all this. If I were in Rockstar’s shoes, instead of increasing the size of the open world, I would approach it like Assassin’s Creed 2 did way back when. Several open-world areas, which are medium in size, but extremely detailed. Have GTA 6 include every city, but not opened together, rather as separate areas.

Would you guys want an open-world several magnitudes larger than GTA V’s Los Santos and Blaine County?

A Guide To GTA Continuity

We’ve recently posted a piece about that fan-made map that placed all five major cities of the GTA franchise on a single large combined continent. At the beginning of that post, we’ve mentioned the three continuities that can be distinguished in the franchise, and how that fan map throws them out the window.

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This post will give you a quick rundown of the three separate universes in the GTA franchise, and will answer a few questions such as why Los Santos looks completely different in GTA V compared to the city of the same name as it appeared in San Andreas, which in turn is completely different from what appeared in GTA…

First of all, we have three universes. These is the 2D universe, the 3D universe and the HD universe.

The 2D universe encompasses GTA, London 1969, London 1961, and GTA II. GTA II incorporated some 3D elements, but was mainly 2D and was still played from a top-down perspective, thus it is still considered part of this universe. The London packs are the only ones to feature “real” cities. GTA 2 is set in Anywhere City, which does not appear in any other game in the franchise again.

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The 3D universe encompasses the games released between 2001 and 2006, meaning the universe began with GTA III and ended with GTA: Vice City Stories. The games in this universe include GTA III, Vice City, Advance, San Andreas, Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. The characters, locations and storylines of these games are related, and cross-over on many occasions. Ironically, Grand Theft Auto III, the first game in this universe, is also the one which happens last chronologically, and story-wise, the other games are all prequels to it.

The HD Universe entails all games from GTA IV onward, including all of its DLCs, Chinatown Wars and GTA V. The reason why GTA V’s Los Santos is different from the one which appeared in San Andreas, is that the two games appear in completely different canonical universes, and the team’s goal with GTA V was to make it resemble the real world city it is based on more.

Which of the GTA universes is you favorite?

Check Out All GTA Cities On One Map

The continuity of the GTA series has gone through a few iterations, with three distinguishable “universes” established. The following fan-made map takes a liberal approach to the franchise’s lore, and decides to ignore those universes.

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GTA V already has a pretty large map, but that is a recurring trend in the franchise. Another thing to consider is the fact that several other games are notorious for their massive, expansive maps such as Just Cause 2 (the iconic grappling hook of which has been modded into GTA V) or the extreme level of detail like in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Following the first two 2D GTA games featuring several cities in which the players could spread chaos and death, with the sole exception of GTA: San Andreas, all games focused on a single city, and the surrounding countryside (if there is any). GTA: San Andreas had a pretty damn big map for its day and age, with the cities of Los Santos, Las Venturas and San Fierro dotting a landscape of extreme variety, with beaches, deserts and mountains.

Now, with several rumors circulating about how GTA VI’s map might be based on the whole of the USA with several cities that can be traversed, one particular GTA  fan mashed together the maps of the 3D and HD universes into a massive continent with all five cities present.

Rockstar has stated in the past that they are interested in making a GTA game down the line which would contain all of their cities, and would allow the player to travel throughout the whole nation in which the games are set. Leslie Benzies, producer at Rockstar Games has spoken of this idea several times.

Of course at some point we would like to have one big world containing all our cities and let the player fly between them and revisit their favorite areas.

What do you think? Would you want a massive sprawling map the size of a country, or would you prefer a smaller, more dense and focused map?

GTA Online’s New Batch Of Player-Created Jobs

GTA Online is filled to the brim with all kinds of activities and jobs for players to complete. Seriously, there is a ton of these things! However, if by some unfathomable means someone might think that there isn’t enough stuff to do in GTA V, Rockstar has added the ability for players to put together their own jobs and missions, and every now and then, Rockstar endorses the best of the best.

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Most recently, the Sony platforms, the Microsoft platforms and the PC all got separate Rockstar-endorsed fan jobs added to Fort Zancudo and the Los Santos International Airport. So what kinds of jobs does it take to get Rockstar’s attention?

Well, PS3 and PS4 players will have a chance to try out Drogom’s Zancudo Team Death Match. Located on the northern side of the fort, the job provides you with all the firepower you could possibly need, and has players rely heavily on cover. Over at the Airport, players of GTA V on Sony consoles can take part in a kart race taking place in the guard post.

Xbox 360 and Xbox One players visiting Fort Zancudo will be offered to compete in a hair-raising race. “Race around Fort Zancudo! Don’t crash into the locals. They tend to shoot people”. The job’s designer, srethrennate, makes a point of urging caution. Over at the airport, Xbox players can once again determine who has the best driving skills in an epic Grand Prix running all around LSIA.

PC players can look forward to a creative and original race in the outskirts of Fort Zancudo, giving them a chance to shows off their wall-riding skills for some serious rep. PC players can also deal out some death at a crash site at the airport, where they can take cover behind pieces of burning wreckage.

What is your stance on community made missions?

Here is GTA V’s Los Santos in Cities: Skylines

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Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation game that came out last week, on March 10. One player has used it to create a model of a city near and dear to Grand Theft Auto fans: Los Santos. This version of Los Santos shows impressive attention to detail. Not only does it cover all of the city’s major features shown in GTA V, but it also uses an accurate scale. It must have taken quite a bit of time and effort, and we applaud the fan who did this.

Here are additional screenshots of Los Santos in Cities: Skylines, displaying it at different angles.

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What do you think? Share your thoughts on this adaptation in the comments below. Have you ever used one game to create an environment from another, as many players do? Have you ever re-created Los Santos or another GTA location?

How Does GTA V’s Size Compare to Real Cities?

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Pictured above is the map of GTA V compared to a real-world city: Berlin, Germany. Reddit user RileyRichard got the idea after seeing the map of GTA V with the correct scale.

In addition to Berlin, he compared the scaled GTA V map to Barcelona (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Los Angeles (United States), London (United Kingdom), Montreal (Canada), New York City (United States), Paris (France), Rome (Italy), Seattle (United States), San Francisco (United States), Toronto (Canada), and Vancouver (Canada), and published the resulting images.

Check them out in this gallery:

This really puts the game world into perspective, doesn’t it? Video game worlds can seem so vast, but they’re tiny compared to the real world. Can you imagine what it would be like if a GTA game was set in a city the size of those pictured above?

Video Comparison: Los Santos and Los Angeles

It’s no big secret that Grand Theft Auto V’s fictional city of Los Santos is based on the great city of Los Angeles, CA. GTA V developer RockStar Games has often modelled its fictional criminal proving grounds on real cities. Liberty City was a fictionalized New York, Vice City an 80’s-style version of Miami, and San Andreas is a large urban and rural area modelled on various parts of California and Nevada.

Los Santos did already make an appearance in the aforementioned San Andreas, but its full-blown showing in GTA V will take the level of detail and authenticity of the city to new heights, and that will include several direct and indirect homages to the real McCoy…er, real Los Angeles.

To see how many of these homages they could find, PlayStation Access sent an intrepid reporter by the name of Nate to Los Angeles equipped with nothing but a bike and some screenshots of the game. OK, he did have some other things, like a map, and…clothes…but those aren’t important. What is important is that he located several of Los Santos’ virtual locations within Los Angeles. It’s also handy that Nate’s travels were documented in a video which can be viewed below.

So what all did he locate? First Nate swung by the famous Venice Beach where a near perfect match was found between one of the game’s screenshots and a small section of the area. It features a few market stalls with a small apartment building tucked in behind them on the left, and the famous beachside view on the right.

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Next Nate headed in-land to the Federal Building at 11000 Wilshire, which can be seen reproduced in Los Santos as the “FIB” building. While the federal building and the building neighbouring it appear in Los Santos, they’ve been given what looks like a vertical expansion, appearing in the game more as skyscrapers than the actual buildings are in reality.

Next it was off to a rather obvious homage to Los Angeles, and that is the famous Hollywood sign. Along the way however Nate stumbled upon the Los Angeles Country Club on his right, and decided to take a closer look, as it was unknown which golf course in Los Angeles, if any, Los Santos’ golf course was modelled after. A view from the outside of the course showing the downtown high-rises in the background was nearly identical to screens of the in-game course, making it a good bet this was the one it was based on.

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A good vantage point showcasing the Hollywood sign was scoped out next, which gave a near identical angle as shown in one of the screens of the Vinewood sign of Los Santos, including the surrounding hills. Lastly, the nearby Griffith observatory gives a stunning view looking out over Los Angeles towards downtown, and this same view is seen in one of the screens of Los Santos, including the little telescope near the ledge.

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All of this is to say…well, that Los Santos is at least somewhat accurately based on L.A, which you probably already knew, but now you definitely know. Now we just have to wait until September to see how many other direct references to Los Angeles areas or landmarks are found in the sprawling metropolitan wasteland of Los Santos; if we can tear ourselves away from jacking cars and shooting punks long enough to see them!